Baltimore-based composer Elliott Grabill brings an authentic perspective to contemporary classical music. As a math teacher, his experiences working with students of all walks of life nurtures an artistic voice that’s both personal and relevant. His most recent song cycle, Teacher Tales, recalls the stories of injustices he witnesses on a daily basis while teaching. The songs, with self-authored lyrics, were hailed by Ron Beckett as doing “what great art has been able to do – raising awareness on issues society blindly accepts.” His songs received an honorable mention in the Arcady 2019 Emerging Artist Competition .
Elliott Grabill also composes electronic music, described by the InTowner as “hauntingly beautiful.” His works Pranayama, Un Jardin, and After the Storms explore the layering of piano overtones combined with psychedelic visuals. He’s also written electronic music featuring flute, bassoon, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone and synthesizer, often using live effects like looping and delay. In 2019, he was commissioned to write a piece for bassoon and live electronics for Lynn Hileman. He also won 3rd place in the Peabody Prix d’Eté for his etherial, looping, meditative electronic work Gravity for solo clarinet.
For over a decade he has written music for ensembles such as Pique Collective, Dark in the Song, the Washington Men’s Camerata, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and Quartetto Apeiron, as well as collaborating with artists of other media like Danielle Madrid, Vin Grabill, and the Black Cherry Puppet Theatre. Soloists such as Lynn Hileman, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved, Hila Zamir, Melissa Lander, Shawn Earle, Andrew Im, Tae Ho Hwang, Michele Jacot, and Andrea Cheeseman have also taken on his work. He received the Dark in the Song Prize for his bassoon quartet Escape. In the mid-Atlantic region his work has been performed or screened at the Rosebud Film Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Windup Space, Reverb, the Black Cherry Puppet Theatre, the Peabody Thursday Noon Concert Series, the UVA Technosonics Festival, the Temple University Conwell Dance Theatre, and American University. His work has also been featured at Electroacoustic Barndance, the Athens International Film and Video Festival, inner sOUndscapes, the International Computer Music Conference, the SEAMUS Conference, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, June in Buffalo, highSCORE, the National Student Electronic Music Event, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium.
Mr. Grabill has taught calculus, statistics, and history of jazz at schools such as the University of Baltimore, Baltimore City Community College, and Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Jessup Correctional Institution. He also recently piloted a course in ethnomathematics.