DAVID CUTLER is a multi-dimensional composer who listens voraciously to a colossal range of musical styles.  His enormously eclectic output reflects this large musical world, with a vocabulary that ranges from beautiful, lyrical, tonal realms to unusual sounds, dissonant clashes, and bizarre juxtapositions.  Though many of his compositions refer to the sounds that surround him, they are far from simple imitations.  Instead, these works are impressions of the music he hears, or commentary on them.  In other words, they are indications of what happens to the music after it is processed by Cutler’s unconventional and deeply philosophical mind.  For example, a piano trio entitled Trunk Music, combines the sorrow of a chanson by Renaissance composer Josquin de Prez (1440-1521) with the joy of an original Irish reel.  He has a setting of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto for violin and avant garde jazz ensemble, in which the band literally destroys the music and upstages the soloist, and a fast 11/8 Kopanitza round dance in which the ensemble breaks into song in Bulgarian while the pianist plays a Cuban montuno pattern.  Kartoon Music for the Kriminally Insane and Socially Delinquent reflects on the extremely violent yet delightfully quirky moments of Loony Tunes, while the orchestral tour de force Under the Big Top sets the scene for one of the most imaginative, extreme, and hypothetical circuses ever produced (certainly in Cutler’s own mind).  Cutler is not afraid to use humor in his music, but other works are intensely serious, such as Chestnut Branches in the Court, a choral cycle dealing with the Holocaust.  All of his music attempts to connect with the people who listen, though much of it pushes musical and performance boundaries, aiming to challenge as well as delight.
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Cutler’s concert compositions, which have inspired audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, have been commissioned and performed by ensembles and artists such as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Classical Orchestra of Milan, Repertory Symphony Orchestra, LAVIE Singers, Korean Chamber Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New Century Saxophone Quartet, harpist Jung, saxophonists Joe Lulloff and Jim Houlik, and pianist David Allen Wehr.  His jazz compositions and arrangements have been presented by Nancy Wilson, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, Kenny Wheeler, the Airmen of Note Air Force Big Band, New York Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, North Carolina Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Surge, Eastman Studio Orchestra, and many college jazz ensembles.  In 2005, he won the Sammy Nestico Award and the Millennium Arts Society's International Competition for Composers.  In 2006, he will serve composition residencies at the Visby International Centre for Composition in Gotland, Sweden, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogota Colombia, and the Asian Pacific Performance Exchange in Los Angeles, CA, where he will work closely with American and Asian musicians, dancers, theatre artists, and puppeteers.  His music has often interfaced with dance, film, actors, costumes, stage design, and visual artists. 

In addition to composing and arranging, Cutler is active as a pianist, conductor, writer, and educator.  His style of jazz piano playing is as wide ranging as his compositions, spanning such styles as stride and bebop to elements far beyond the traditional jazz vocabulary.  As a classical pianist he has focused his efforts on the music of contemporary and American composers.  Always an advocate of new music, he has conducted many large and chamber ensembles, including over 20 premiers.  In 2002, he became a contributing author to Jazz Styles, eighth edition, the top selling jazz history textbook in the country, published by Prentice-Hall, and he is presently working on an orchestration text for the same publisher.  Cutler studied piano at the University of Miami (BM), composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, jazz arranging and composition at the Eastman School of Music (MM), and composition at Indiana University (DM).  He was chair of the composition program at the Brevard Summer Music Festival (2000-2004), and has served on the faculty of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA since 2000.  For more information, please visit