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Composer, educator Theodore Wiprud joining SD Symphony Orchestra as Music Alive composer-in-residence

Pictured L to R: SDSO Executive Director Jennifer Boomgaarden, SDSO Music Director Delta David Gier, Music Alive composer-in-residence Theodore Wiprud

Renowned composer and educator Theodore Wiprud is joining the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) for a Music Alive composer-in-residency that extends through June 2019.

The composer-orchestra pairing is one of only five across the nation to participate in Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

Maestro Delta David Gier, the SDSO’s music director, said Wiprud has traveled to South Dakota twice for performances of his works, and the SDSO is privileged and excited to welcome him into the family.

“Ted Wiprud is a major coup for the SDSO,” Gier said. “He is a composer of national and international standing, with experience writing for many different kinds of ensembles, incorporating diverse musical styles from all over the world.”

Music Alive prioritizes collaborative work and immersive experiences for composers, orchestra musicians, artistic leadership, and community members. Music Alive hopes to demonstrate – through active partnership with the participating residency pairings – the power and value of living composers working at the center of American orchestras.

In addition to being a well-established composer, Wiprud is an internationally renowned educator, serving as co-chair of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable and, until February, as the New York Philharmonic’s vice president for education. During his 13 years with the New York Philharmonic, Wiprud created and hosted the iconic Young People’s Concerts and took the Very Young Composers program national and to many countries around the world.

“He will work with Lakota and Dakota children on similar composing projects, beginning this summer, which will be performed by musicians from the SDSO as part of our Lakota Music Project,” Gier said.

Wiprud said the opportunity is very special for him in several ways.

“In the 1990s, I administered earlier orchestra residency programs at Meet The Composer, the predecessor to New Music USA, always secretly wanting to hold one of the residencies myself,” Wiprud said. “And then the chance to work with Delta David Gier and the SDSO, the acknowledged leaders in sustained engagement of non-traditional audiences, and prior champions of my work – this is a dream come true.”

Wiprud often explores different musical cultures in his own music, including Korean traditional music known as gugak. Some of his major works include:

Some of Wiprud ‘s orchestral works, such as Hosannas of the Second Heaven and Grail, explore spiritual experience. Others respond to American literature, including American Journal, based on Robert Hayden’s poem, and A Georgia Song, a setting of Maya Angelou.


About Music Alive

The Residency of Theodore Wiprud is made possible through Music Alive, a residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. This national program prioritizes collaborative work and immersive experiences for composers, orchestra musicians, artistic leadership, and community members. Music Alive hopes to demonstrate—through active partnership with the participating residency pairings—the power and value of living composers working at the center of American orchestras. Major funding for Music Alive comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a vibrant and growing community serving a 125-mile region that touches five states. Known for innovative programming and statewide outreach, the SDSO has a strong heritage upon which to build an even stronger future. SDSO was the 2016 winner of the Bush Prize for Community Innovation, which is given by the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Bush Foundation and recognizes organizations for their innovative work in community engagement.

SDSO is the region’s premiere performing arts organization with the Washington Pavilion as its home. Artistically, SDSO is led by Maestro Delta David Gier, who has guided the orchestra to new musical heights. The core of SDSO is comprised of nine full-time professional musicians that make up the Dakota String Quartet and the Dakota Wind Quintet. Musically, SDSO performs well above its $2.3 million budget.