Born in the United States and now living permanently in Vienna,
Austria, Nancy Van de Vate is known worldwide for her music in the large
forms. She currently teaches music composition at the Institute for
European Studies in Vienna, and has also been a faculty member at eleven
colleges and universities in the United States and at the Jakarta
Conservatory (Yayasan Pendidikan Musik) in Indonesia.
Her full-length opera, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im
Western Nichts Neues) premiered in Osnabrück, Germany in 2003 and
was performed there ten times to great critical acclaim. The same work
was included in May 2003 by the New York City Opera in its VOX 2003:
Showcasing American Opera series, again to critical acclaim.
In January 2005 her new chamber opera, Where the Cross is Made,
based on the play by Eugene O'Neill, was selected by the National Opera
Association (USA) as the winner of its international biennial
competition for new chamber operas. A shortened version was introduced
in New York City, with a full production following in January 2006 at
the 51st annual convention of the National Opera Association in Ann
Her 26 orchestral works include the well-known Chernobyl, which
has been performed in Vienna, Hamburg, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and
in the United States at the Chautauqua Festival and by the Portland
(Maine) Symphony Orchestra. A special performance on February 25, 2006
by the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor, marked the
20th anniversary of the world's most famous nuclear accident.
Chernobyl has been widely broadcast worldwide since its first
appearance on compact disc in 1987.
The composer has also created a large body of solo and chamber music for
a wide variety of instruments and ensembles. Among her newest chamber
works are String Quartet No. 2, commissioned by the Vienna Mozart
Year 2006, and Brass Quintet No. 2: Variations on the "Streets of
Laredo," commissioned by the University of Mississippi for an
October 2005 festival of her music. Journeys Through the Life and
Music of Nancy Van de Vate, a complete biography and extensive
analysis of her music, written by Laurdella Foulkes-Levy and Burt Levy,
was published in 2004 by Scarecrow Press.
A much sought-after speaker, she participated in the World Music Council
meeting in Los Angeles in October 2005. Also widely respected as a
juror, she has been a Nominator for the Kyoto Prize in Music since its
inception twenty years ago. She serves as President and Artistic
Director of the international recording company, Vienna Modern Masters,
which she founded in 1990 with her late husband, Clyde Smith.
Founder of the International League of Women Composers in 1975, she
steadfastly continues her advocacy of women composers with the Nancy Van
de Vate International Composition Prize for Opera and through the
inclusion of many works by women composers on the Vienna Modern Masters