Shulamit Ran began composing songs to Hebrew poetry at the age of seven in her native Israel. By nine she was studying composition and piano with some of Israel’s most noted musicians, including composition with Alexander U. Boskovich and later with Paul Ben-Haim, and piano with Miriam Boskovich and Emma Gorochov.
Within several years she was having her early works performed by professional musicians, as well as orchestras, in concerts and on the Israeli radio. She continued her studies in the U.S., on scholarships from the Mannes College of Music in New York and the America Israel Cultural Foundation.
Along with winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for her Symphony, Shulamit has been awarded most major honors given to composers in the U.S., including first prize in the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards competition for orchestral music, two Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, grants from the N.E.A., the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress, Chamber Music America, the Fromm Music Foundation, and many more.
Her music has been played by major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Jerusalem Symphony. Maestros Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Christoph Von Dohnanyi, Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta, Gary Bertini, Yehudi Menuhin, David Shalon, and various others, have conducted her works. She also served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1990-1997) and with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (1994-1997), the latter culminating in the performance of her first opera Between Two Worlds (The Dybbuk). In 2011 she was the Paul Fromm Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome.
Among current compositional projects Shulamit Ran is now composing Anne Frank, an opera based on a libretto by Charles Kondek to be produced and premiered in the fall of 2020 by the Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater, Jacobs School of Music, conducted by Arthur Fagen.
In recent seasons Shulamit’s second string quartet (Vistas) and her third quartet (Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory) have received multiple performances by the Juilliard Quartet and the Pacifica Quartet respectively, in major venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. Birkat Haderekh – Blessing for the Road for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, commissioned for the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Festival, received its premiere in the summer of 2015, and Stream, commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for its 30th anniversary season for the Brentano Quartet with clarinet virtuoso Anthony McGill, was premiered in April 2016, followed in the summer of 2016 by the premiere of Love’s Call for SongFest’s 20th anniversary. In December 2018 her Grand Rounds for thirteen players was premiered at the inaugural concert of the newly established Grossman Ensemble at the University of Chicago. Among other notable choral and instrumental ensembles who performed her music have been the famed 12-man San Francisco-based choir Chanticleer, Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Irish National Choir under Paul Hillier, the New York Virtuoso Singers, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Mendelssohn, Lark, Rolston, Penderecki, and Spektral String Quartets, the Peabody Trio, the San Francisco Contemporary Players, Da Capo Players, the Juilliard Ensemble, and many more. Her Hyperbolae for piano won the competition for the set piece for all participants in the Second Artur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Israel in 1977, and her East Wind for flute was commissioned to be a required work in the semi-finals of the National Flute Association Competition in the U.S. in 1988.
The recipient of five honorary doctorates, Shulamit Ran is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She recently retired from the University of Chicago, where she had taught since 1973, and where she was the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music, serving also as Artistic Director of Contempo (Contemporary Chamber Players). She cites her late colleague and friend Ralph Shapey, with whom she also studied in 1977, as an important mentor.
Shulamit has guest-taught in many settings. In 1987, she was Visiting Professor at Princeton University, and in 2010 she was the Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of Composition at Eastman School of Music. Her numerous residencies in festivals and summer programs across the U.S. have included the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Institute, Yellow Barn, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference, and many more. She also served as music director for “Tempus Fugit,” the International Biennial for Contemporary Music in Israel, in 1996-2000.
In the summer of 2018 she was composer-in-residence with the world-renowned Marlboro Festival as well as at the International String Quartet Competition and Festival in Banff, Canada.
Her works are published by Theodore Presser Company and by the Israeli Music Institute and recorded on more than a dozen different labels, including several all-Ran discs.
More information can be found on: https://www.presser.com/composer/ran-shulamit/