Chris Arrell

Music Department

Associate Professor

D.M.A., Cornell University

Fields: Theory, Composition, Computer Music

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Office Phone: 508-793-3339
Office: Brooks 144
PO Box: 15


Chris Arrell takes inspiration from acoustics, coding, audio synthesis, found sounds, and process.  His music, praised for its nuance and unconventional beauty, has received recognition from New Music Box, the Boston Music Intelligencer, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, among others.

Arrell’s invitations include a portrait concert at the Alte Schmiede (Vienna, Austria), selection as the Featured Guest Composer for the Ball State University Festival of New Music, selection as a Composer-in-Residence by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, guest composer for the University of Houston Moores School of Music, and Walking in Altamira, an extensive collaboration with Collide-O-Scope Music (New York).

Arrell has fulfilled commissions for a number of ensembles and institutions including the Alte Schmiede, the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, the Boston Musica Viva, Music at the Anthology, the Aura New Music Ensemble, Spivey Hall, Cornell University, and the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University. Performances of Arrell’s music include those by Alia Musica, Bent Frequency, the Bent Frequency Duo Project, Brave New Works, the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, the Boston Musica Viva, the Boston New Music Initiative, newEar, Nextet, Sonic Generator, Sospeso, Thamyris, the Thelema Trio, Tony Arnold and Jacob Greenberg, Amy Foote and Victoria Neve, Gerard Morris and the PSWE, Lisa Leong, Scott Pool, Rhonda Taylor, and others at venues across the US and in Canada, South America, Europe, and Australia.

Publications of Arrell’s music are available from MSR Classics, Beauport Classical, Electroshock Records, Parma Recordings, Trevco Music, and Ablaze Records. Especially influenced by Grisey’s approach to musical time, Arrell’s analysis of the composer’s Partiels, appearing in the Proceedings of the International Spectral Music Conference, is described by Nicholas Deyoe in Notes, the quarterly journal of the Music Library Association, as ”the most interesting writing about Grisey’s Partiels that I have read.”

Arrell holds degrees from Cornell University (DMA), the University of Texas (MM), the University of Oregon (BM), and participated in the Cornell-Columbia Exchange Scholar Program.