Rodney Lister


Rodney Lister has received commissions, grants, and fellowships from the Berkshire Music Center, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress, the Fires of London, the Poets’ Theatre, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, the Preparatory School of the New England Conservatory, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, the Master Singers, the International Barbara Pym Society, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. He was co-founder and co-director of Music Here & Now, a concert series of new music by Boston area composers at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (1971-1973), and from 1976 until 1982 was music coordinator of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble. His music has been recorded on the Metier, Albany, Arsis, Summit labels, and his recording with David Kopp of music for piano four hands by Virgil Thomson, Harold Shapero, and Arthur Berger is on the New World label.

Rodney is currently on the faculties of Boston University School of Music, where he teaches composition and theory and is the director of Time’s Arrow, a new music ensemble, and of the Preparatory School of the New England Conservatory, where he teaches composition, theory, and chamber music and is director of the school’s annual contemporary music festival. He is also a music tutor at Pforzheimer House, Harvard University, and is on the faculty of Greenwood Music Camp.

Rodney’s works have been performed by Joel Smirnoff, Tammy Grimes, Phyllis Curtin, Jane Manning, Mary Thomas, Michael Finnissy, Kathleen Supove, Jonah Sirota, Rebecca Fischer, Boston Cecelia, the Blair and Chiara Quartets, the Boston University Wind Ensemble, Collage New Music and the Fires of London among others, at Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and in New York and London, among other places. As a pianist, he has been involved in premieres, first US performances, first UK performances or first Boston performances of works by Virgil Thomson, Peter Maxwell Davies, Milton Babbitt, Michael Finnissy, Philip Grange, Lee Hyla, and Paul Bowles, among others. His articles and reviews have appeared in Tempo, Sequenza21, and The Paris New Music Review. He is the author of the article on Arthur Berger in the Grove Dictionary of American Music. His articles on the music of Peter Maxwell Davies were published in Tempo and in Peter Maxwell Davies Studies edited by Nicholas Jones and Kenneth Gloag.

Rodney received his early musical training at the Blair School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music and completed postgraduate study in music at Brandeis University. He studied privately with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and was a member of Davies’s composition seminar at the Dartington Hall Summer School of Music (1975, 1978, 1980-82). He was a Bernstein fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1973. His composition teachers, aside from Davies, were Malcolm Peyton, Donald Martino, Harold Shapero, Arthur Berger, and Virgil Thomson. He also studied piano with Enid Katahn, David Hagan, Robert Helps, and Patricia Zander.

Biographical Details

  • Year of birth: 1951
  • Website: http://

Works by Rodney Lister

Festival performances of works by Rodney Lister

Call for Scores submissionUK premiere

LFCCM 2024

LFCCM 2023

Recorded performances of works by Rodney Lister

LFCCM 2023