Praised for his “bold, original, and attention grabbing” sound world that blurs the lines between ambient, noise, electronic, and classical music, Chris Cresswell is an internationally recognized composer, sound artist, and guitarist. His award winning music has been performed in world class concert halls, local cafes, art museums, and at universities around the world. He built a sound installation for the UK’s largest indoor rainforest biome at The Eden Project in Cornwall and once premiered a piece in an abandoned local cinema high atop the remote island cliffs of Madeira, Portugal. He is currently the artistic director and guitarist of 315 Ensemble and released his debut album on Ravello Records with 315’s eponymous release in March 2018. Recent premieres include in the space that separates a new work for wind ensemble and electronics at Central Dauphin and Central Dauphin East High Schools, a stillness, disturbed by the North Jersey Saxophone Youth Ensemble, and a new choral work for the Birmingham, England based choir, Via Nova. As a performer, Cresswell has begun commissioning new works for electric guitar and electronics. His first commissioned work, Detunes, Drones was written by Netherlands based composer, Patrick Ellis and will receive its world premiere in the Fall of 2018. The 2018-2019 season will include a new compositions for trumpet, soprano, and electronics for the New York based duo, Byrne:Kozar:Duo, a new work for violin, viola, and electronics for South African violist, Elsabe Raath.
Cresswell has received awards, commissions, and recognition from leading US and international organizations, including the American Composers Forum, Jerome Foundation, International Music Council, Rostrum+, National Union of Students (UK), Composers and Schools in Concert, the National Band Association, CNY Arts, and the Society for New Music, among others. He has had his work recorded, performed, and workshopped by leading international ensembles and performers, including Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), Decibel, Wild Rumpus, Project Instrumental, Thallein Ensemble, the Cheah:Chan Duo, and the North Jersey Youth Saxophone Ensemble, among others. His music has been performed in diverse venues including the BOZAR in Brussels, Belgium Symphony Hall in Birmingham, England, The Firehouse Space, The National Opera Center, the Tenri Cultural Institute, The Flea Theater, MoMA, and the Kennedy Center and has been presented by Kathleen Supove’s Music with a View, Hot Air Music Festival, the National Student Electronic Music Event (N_SEME), MUSLab (Mexico), Rhymes with Opera, and the Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts. He has held artist residencies with LEAP Ensemble (Birmingham, England), at Estalagem da Ponta do Sol (Portugal), Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Syracuse University, and Lafayette College.
When not working as composer or performer, Cresswell works as an educator and administrator with organizations in the US and UK. He has been the Music Director at Lake of the Woods and Greenwoods Camp in Decatur, MI since 2014, a program he built. He was co-director of the Young Composers Project in Birmingham, England and was a visiting lecturer at the Royal Birmingham Jr. Conservatoire. He was previously a teaching fellow with the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY and works freelance as a teaching artist. Highlights from his freelance career include teaching a masterclass with Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Stephen Dunn. When not engaging with the creative side of the arts, Cresswell remains active as an arts administrator and advocate. He has advocated in Congressional offices on behalf of the arts and arts education. From 2011 to 2014 he worked in the promotion department at Boosey & Hawkes, regularly working with today’s leading composers and arts organizations. Cresswell served on the board for The Octopus Collective in Cumbria, England and continues to serve on the board of the Society for New Music in Syracuse, NY.
Cresswell graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2011 and completed his Masters, with distinction, at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in September 2017. He studied with Nicolas Scherzinger, Gregory Mertl, James O. Welsch, Andrew Waggoner, Joe Cutler, Ed Bennett, Errollyn Wallen, and Zibuokle Martinaityte.