Biography

Combining athletic virtuosity and lyrical expressionism, Gregory Wanamaker’s music has been called “pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace” (San Francisco Chronicle), “achingly beautiful” (Palm Beach Daily News), “compelling” (Audiophile Audition), “outstanding” (American Record Guide), and “a technical tour de force” (Fanfare).

Gregory’s earliest musical training began at age 6 in professional summer stock theater companies, and continued through both schooled and self-guided explorations through the American folk music of the 1960s, bebop and free jazz, and Western classical music of the late 20th century. He continues his study of sounds to those from around the world, to draw from a variety of musics to inform his continually evolving voice.

Prolific in all musical media from solo instrumental works to music for chorus and orchestra including multimedia works, Wanamaker’s best-known works are his chamber works that exploit unique timbral characteristics and technical extensions of wind instruments. To date, his virtuosic Duo Sonata for clarinet and saxophone has received over 400 performances world-wide and is featured on five commercial recordings. His Sonata deus sax machina was one of the required pieces for finalists of the 2014 Adolphe Sax International Competition in Dinant, Belgium and the 2020 Pushechnikov Foundation International Competition for Wind Instruments, Saxophone Division in Moscow.

Gregory Wanamaker’s multimedia collaboration with Carrie Mae Weems, A Story Within a Story, was commissioned in 2011 by the Syracuse-based Society for New Music, and was supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts 2011 Access to Artistic Excellence Grant. He also is the recipient of a 2012 Individual Artist Commission from The New York State Council on the Arts in addition to awards from ASCAP, The National Association of Composers/USA and Britten-On-The-Bay.

Gregory also collaborates with director and writer, Garth Bardsley, with whom he has composed several substantial works. Their Adirondack Songs for chorus and large wind ensemble is available on Mark Records. Their recent work Laude!, for choir and orchestra, was premiered in December 2016 at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY for broadcast on PBS affiliate stations.

Wanamaker’s recent residencies include SAX18 at The Conservatorium van Amsterdam, The Music and Aesthetics Symposium at The University of Florida, the inaugural American Single Reed Summit at Truman State University, and the XVIII World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb.  In June 2019, his recent chamber music will be featured in a concert at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, South Carolina.

His album Light and Shadows, Waves and Time features 21 musicians from around the globe in world premiere recordings of 8 of his recent chamber works. Released by Navona Records in April 2018, his music also appears on 10 other commercial labels including innova, Equilibrium, Albany, Centaur, Blue Griffin, Soundset, Mark Custom, White Pine, and Summit. He publishes his own music, which is available exclusively through this website at www.gregorywanamaker.com.

Wanamaker is currently Professor of Composition at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam where he has served since 1997. He studied composition with William Averitt, Thomas Albert, Anthony Branker and Ladislav Kubík.

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Citizens of Nowhere

Jan Berry Baker and Kenneth Long

Albany RecordsRelease Date: September 1, 2013

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Citizens of Nowhere is the new album from saxophonist Jan Berry Baker and clarinetist Kenneth Long. This album features a beautiful performance of my Duo Sonata alongside brand new works by Perry Goldstein, Nikitas Demos, and others. This recording is not to be missed!
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Adirondack Songs

The Crane Chorus and Wind Ensemble

Mark RecordsRelease Date: February 10, 2015 – Catalog#: 51320-MCD
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Brian Doyle conducts The Crane Chorus and Wind Ensemble in the world premiere recording of my collaboration with Garth Bardsley, Adirondack Songs. The work was commissioned for the 40th anniversary of Crane Youth Music. This great disc also features works by Scott Lindroth and Chen Yi.
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the space between us

Akropolis Reed Quintet

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Hybrid

Robert Young

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Light and Shadows, Waves and Time

Various Artists

Navona RecordsRelease Date: April 13, 2018 – Catalog#: NV6154 – Format: Digital and CD
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1. DES ONDES ET LES TEMPS
Casey Grev, Tenor Saxophone

2.  …UNSETTLED, UNPHASED…
Robert Young, Tenor Saxophone – M. Maxwell Howard, Piano – John Geggie, Double Bass – Tim Sullivan, Drumset & Percussion

3. ELEGY 
Akropolis Reed Quintet
Tim Gocklin, Oboe – Kari Landry, Clarinet – Matt Landry, Alto Saxophone – Ryan Reynolds, Bassoon – Andrew Koeppe – Bass Clarinet

4. RAGAHORO BREAKDOWN
Duo Entre-Nous
Jackie Glazier, Clarinet – Don-Paul Kahl, Alto Saxophone

OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS
5. I. Luminant Shadows
6. II. Flickering Beams, Perpetual Wind
Stephen Page, Alto Saxophone – Liz Ames, Piano

7. OUT OF MIND, INTO BODY 
John Friedrichs, Bass Clarinet

8. COUNTERPUNCH 
Eos Sextet
Sam Detweiler, Soprano Saxophone – Curren Myers, Alto Saxophone – Fangyi Niu, Alto Saxophone – Grace Chen, Tenor Saxophone – Andrew Lammly, Tenor Saxophone – Justin Rollefson, Baritone Saxophone

9. DES ONDES ET LES TEMPS (REMIX)
Casey Grev, Tenor Saxophone

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