Roger Zare

Roger Zare has been praised for his “enviable grasp of orchestration” (New York Times) and for writing music with “formal clarity and an alluringly mercurial surface.” Often inspired by science, nature, and mythology, his works have been performed across the United States and on six continents by such musicians and ensembles as the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, the Symphony Orchestra of Minas Gerais, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, the Sinta Quartet, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and clarinetists Andy Hudson and Alexander Fiterstein. Zare's awards include the ASCAP Nissim Prize, three BMI Student Composer Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould award, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, the 2008 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Commission, a Copland House Residency Award, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Interested in interdisciplinary collaboration, Zare has worked with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to present music inspired by particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and Bulgaria in programs about the collision of music and physics. In 2016, he teamed up with astrophysicist Elizabeth Hicks and choreographer Megan Rhyme to create a program about the physics of turbulence titled “Far from Equilibrium.” In 2023, Zare served as the composer-in-residence at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.

Zare holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Southern California. His teachers include Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Paul Schoenfield, Kristin Kuster, Christopher Theofanidis, Derek Bermel, and Morten Lauridsen. Zare currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Appalachian State University and previously taught at Illinois State University. He maintains a website at