Department SpotlightProfessor Earns National Reputation as Composer, Performer and Author
Renowned conductor Gunther Schuller issued high praise to Assistant Professor of Music Brent Edstrom prior to a recent Spokane Jazz Orchestra concert, which Schuller conducted and for which Edstrom played piano. "This is only the second time I've had the opportunity to work with a pianist talented enough to play these pieces," Schuller said of Edstrom.
Edstrom, who has coordinated Whitworth's music-theory and composition program since 2001, is earning a national reputation for his work as a performer, composer and author. Edstrom is the author of Bill Evans, Signature Licks (2003, Hal Leonard), which highlights the work of one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century and features note-for-note transcriptions of a number of Evans' improvisations. Edstrom also recorded trio versions of Evans' improvisations on a demonstration CD that accompanies the book.
In another of his areas of expertise, Edstrom's upcoming book, Music Notation Algorithms in C++, explores how programming language can be used to create music notation algorithms.
"Computers are amazing tools for composers," Edstrom says. "I'm interested in using music software and hardware to create, edit and synthesize music. My theoretical focus has been on the design of computer algorithms and classes to handle the complex rules of music notation, which has led me to develop a library of notation classes that will form the basis of a computer-aided ear-training application."