Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” Often inspired by science, nature, and mythology, he seeks to create compositions that are vividly descriptive.
His works have been performed across the United States and on five continents by such musicians and ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, the Symphony Orchestra of Minas Gerais, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, the Donald Sinta Quartet, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.
Zare’s awards include the ASCAP Nissim Prize, three BMI Student Composer Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, a Copland House Residency Award, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
He has served as composer-in-residence at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and the SONAR new music ensemble, and has collaborated with CERN to present his music in Switzerland and Bulgaria in programs about the collision of music and physics. Roger was one of the participants in the second cycle of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and contributed to the #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID initiative during the spring of 2020. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Southern California. His teachers include Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfield, Kristin Kuster, Christopher Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Morten Lauridsen. Zare currently serves as instructional assistant professor of music composition and theory at Illinois State University.