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Biography

  • Born

    22 October 1947 (age 71)

  • Born In

    Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States

Neil B. Rolnick (b. Dallas, Texas, United States, October 22, 1947) is an American composer and educator living in New York City.

Rolnick's compositions have appeared on 13 records and CDs. A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, he was a researcher at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris in the late 1970s.

Since 1981 Rolnick has taught at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he founded the iEAR Studios. In 1991, as head of Rensselaer's Arts Department, he led the establishment of the nation's first MFA program in Integrated Electronic Arts. As of 2007, he is still a professor at the RPI arts department, commuting weekly from NYC to teach.

Much of Rolnick's musical output involves the use of computers and digital media, but it is generally notable for its accessibility and good humor. His music has been characterized by critics as "sophisticated" (Ken Smith, Grammophone), "hummable and engaging" (Steve Barnes, Albany (NY) Times Union), and as having "good senses of showmanship and humor" (Kyle Gann, The Village Voice).

Rolnick studied composition with Darius Milhaud, John Coolidge Adams, Andrew Imbrie, Richard Felciano, and Olly Wilson. He studied computer music with John Chowning, and James A. Moorer. He earned his B.A. in English Literature from Harvard in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Music Composition from UC Berkeley in 1980.

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