Amanda Harberg is a composer and pianist whose work communicates on emotional, spiritual and intellectual levels. With music described by the New York Times as “a sultry excursion into lyricism”, Harberg weaves her deep admiration for the classical tradition together with contemporary influences to create a distinctively personal style. The Flutist Quarterly has called her music “heartfelt, expressive, powerful and beautiful”, and composer John Corigliano says that her music “invigorates the brain and touches the soul”.
Harberg’s works have been presented at leading institutions including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Bargemusic. Her music has been recognized by awards such as a Fulbright Hays fellowship, Juilliard’s Peter Menin prize, New Jersey and New York State Council on the Arts fellowships, a MacDowell Colony summer residency, and a Newly Published Music award from the National Flute Association.
Recent commissions include works for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Sound All Around series, the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, the Juilliard School, the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music Program, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and by the Harmonium Choral Society. She recently completed her new orchestral work, The Sleeping Gypsy, to be premiered by the Bay Atlantic Symphony in May 2019.
Harberg’s work has been performed by leading instrumentalists including Los Angeles Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour, New York Philharmonic principal flutist Robert Langevin and Pacific Symphony concertmaster Dennis Kim. Her orchestral work has been performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, the Interlochen Philharmonic, the Roundtop Festival Orchestra, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the Thuringer Symphonker, the Susquehanna Symphony and the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and by many other orchestras worldwide.
Harberg’s recent piece Court Dances: Suite for Flute and Piano (2017) was commissioned by a consortium of 57 flutists led by Cobus du Toit. It was enthusiastically acclaimed by the Flutist Quarterly after its premiere at the National Flute Convention in 2017 given by du Toit and Harberg. Published by Theodore Presser Company, “Court Dances” was performed at the Kosciousko Foundation in 2018 by Robert Langevin with Harberg at the piano, and was used as a required competition piece for the Wm. S. Haynes Texas Flute Allstar Competition in 2018.
Her Sonata for Piccolo and Piano (2018) was commissioned by a consortium of 24 piccolo players, led by Regina Helcher Yost. It was premiered by Helcher Yost with the composer at the piano at the National Flute Convention in 2018. The sonata is scheduled for recital performances this Spring by leading piccolo players, including by Philadelphia Orchestra piccoloist Erica Peel with Harberg at the piano, and a European premiere by Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra piccoloist Gudrun Hinze at the European Flute Festival.
Harberg’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (2011/12) was commissioned by violist Brett Deubner. It was premiered with the National Symphony of Ecuador in 2011, and has gone on to be performed by over ten orchestras worldwide with Mr. Deubner as soloist. The concerto can be heard on Naxos American Classics with the Southern Arizona Symphony.
Harberg is also a dedicated educator with more than two decades of experience teaching composition, piano, music theory, aural skills, and 20th/21st century music history. Harberg began teaching through the Morse Fellowship program which sends Juilliard students into New York City public schools. She also served on the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, which is dedicated to educating students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Harberg has also taught composition at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Luzerne Music Center, the Rocky Ridge Music Center, and the ASTA Chamber Music Institute. She currently teaches music composition at the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.
As the in-house composer for Common Good Productions, Harberg has composed scores for The Abominable Crime, an award winning feature documentary, and Beyond Borders: Undocumented Mexican Americans.
Furthering her goal of creating bridges between audiences and performers, Harberg has directed and co-directed several music series dedicated to bringing American music to her community, including the Music in Montclair series in Montclair, NJ, and the Music and More series in Glen Ridge, NJ.
Her work is published by Theodore Presser Company, and has been recorded on Naxos, Koch International, American Modern Recordings, Albany and Centaur Records.
Harberg completed her undergraduate and masters degrees at the Juilliard School in composition, where she studied with Stephen Albert, David Diamond, and Robert Beaser. She received a Fulbright/Hays fellowship to study for a year with composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski, and her early studies in music composition were with Andrew Rudin.