Recent performance by
the Arditti Quartet via June in Buffalo 2020
Jack Herscowitz (b.1998) is a composer of contemporary music. He holds a B.A. from Middlebury College where he studied with Matthew Evan Taylor and Su Lian Tan. Originally from Maryland, Jack began composing in college after taking classes with Professor Tan. Since, he has written a wide variety of music for classical, jazz, and rock performance spaces. He sees his work on a trajectory of disintegrating control, hoping to subvert the mythos of the singular composer figure and create meaningful relationships through co-creation.
Jack's music has been performed by the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Hypercube, Baritone Stephen Lancaster, Violist Katsiaryna Shapachka, the Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, and more at venues including the Moscow Conservatory (RUS), the Hellerau European Center for the Arts (DEU), the Santa Maria di Canepanova (ITA), and the ROCC Conference (US). Jack has participated in festivals and workshops at June in Buffalo, the Sō Percussion Summer Institute, DePaul University's Residency with Ensemble Dal Niente, the highSCORE Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival. There he took lessons and participated in masterclasses with composers including Kaija Saariaho, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Roger Reynolds, Caroline Shaw, Hilda Paredes, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Amy Beth Kirsten, Melinda Wagner, Cenk Ergün, Chen Yi, Dan Trueman, David Ludwig, and many more. He is also grateful to have workshopped his music with ensembles including the Jupiter String Quartet, the Imani Winds, and the Brentano String Quartet.
Collaboration is also an important marker of his work, having collaborated with Pete Francis of the rock band Dispatch to arrange one of Francis’s original songs, Show Me, for rock band and orchestra, novelist and poet Julia Alvarez on an upcoming piece for chamber orchestra and chamber choir based off her novel, In the Time of Butterflies, and members of the Middlebury College Dance Department. Future collaborations include a solo flute piece for Anat Nazarathy of Meitar Ensemble and the 2021 Shastra Collaborative in Los Angeles to premiere a new arrangement of a traditional Hindustani bhajan for string quartet and Hindustani vocalist. Jack is also a composer of big band music, having written and arranged charts for the Middlebury College Jazz Ensemble. In addition to composing, Jack plays the saxophone and is particularly drawn to improvisation, especially with dancers.
Jack is also interested in ethnomusicology, having worked as Professor Damascus Kafumbe’s research assistant as Kafumbe completed his first research manuscript, Tuning the Kingdom, which was published spring 2018 and the winner of the 2020 Kwabena Nketia Book Prize. His personal research has studied the relationship between social change and Chilean popular music, as well as syncretic musical influences in jazz music (presented at the 2017 NECSEM conference and accepted for the 2020 conference). Jack also studied Environmental Policy at Middlebury College where he has pursued a variety of interests including Mapuche-Chilean land right conflicts (research published in spring 2019). He sees these methods of inquiry as crucial for understanding the systems which produce and inform contemporary music culture in the fight for affectation, access, and value in contemporary art.
Beginning in the Fall of 2020, Jack will be based in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he will work for Hopewell Music Cooperative as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member before applying to graduate school.