Geoffrey Hudson


Composer Geoffrey Hudson’s music has been performed across the United States and in Europe. His 2019 eco-oratorio, A Passion for the Planet, blends scientific prose, poetry, and sacred texts from many faiths. The libretto traces an arc from beauty and gratitude into darkness and out again into hope. Read more about A Passion for the Planet.

Hudson’s Quartet Project has been recorded by leading American ensembles like the Chiara, Jupiter, Parker, Miró, and Apple Hill quartets. Brooklyn Rider calls The Quartet Project, “a great idea at the right time,” and the Borromeo Quartet celebrates it as, “a wonderful resource… filled with vivid colors and characters.” In November 2017, a suite from The Quartet Project was performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music’s “World New Music Days” in Vancouver. Read more about The Quartet Project.

His 2006 opera for young audiences, The Bug Opera, was hailed as “clever and well-crafted, reminiscent of Bernstein or perhaps of a light-hearted avuncular Stravinsky.” In 2003, the American Composers Forum commissioned Meeting Ground, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra based on powwow music of the northern plains Indians, written for and premiered by the Chiara String Quartet and the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. Other recent commissions include Peal (2007), an orchestral work written in celebration of the 75th summer of Greenwood Music Camp (Cummington, MA) and First Among Equals, a concerto for viola and chamber ensemble (2002), commissioned and premiered by violist Sam Bergman and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble. First Among Equals was also featured at the 23rd International Viola Congress (Minneapolis, 2004).

A lapsed cellist, Hudson has written often for strings, including string quartets, a string quintet, a string sextet, a piano quartet, duets for viola and cello, and chamber music combining strings and winds. The Minnesota Orchestra has presented two of Hudson’s works on its chamber music series: Mayor of the Nighttime City (1999) for flute, viola, and piano and Quintet (1996) for two violins, two violas, and cello. Daydreamer, a solo work for flutist Christina Jennings, was commissioned in 2002 with support from the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music and has since been performed in eight states and at the 2004 National Flute Association Convention in Nashville. Hudson’s catalog of works also includes several song cycles (From Rilke’s Orchards, On the Subject of Bugs, Seasonal Songs) and works for chorus (Two New England Songs, Psalm 67, and Bird Songs) and orchestra. His score for the short film Recently, Long Ago appeared at the 2015 Palm Springs ShortFest.

Geoffrey Hudson received his undergraduate degrees at Oberlin College, where he studied American history and composition (with Richard Hoffmann) and earned a Master’s in composition at New England Conservatory, where his principal teacher was Malcolm Peyton. Hudson’s work has been supported by grants from the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, the International Music and Art Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and others.

Selected Performances

“Elegy” from The Quartet Project

“The Ice Caps Are Melting” from A Passion for the Planet

Selected Works

A Passion for the Planet for chorus, orchestra, vocal soloists, and narrator.

The Quartet Project (2016)The Quartet Project is a six-volume collection of graduated string quartets. Modeled on Béla Bártok’s Mikrokosmos for solo piano, The Quartet Project starts with pieces for open string and first finger and then, over the course of six volumes grows increasingly complex.

The Bug Opera (2006) is an opera for young audiences and families. The story of a mosquito who doesn’t want to drink blood and a caterpillar who’s reluctant to change. The San Antonio Express News called it “charming, funny… The Bug Opera appeals to audiences of all ages.”

Other chamber and solo works

Quintet for Horn and Strings (2021), commissioned by Jean Jeffries

Three Nocturnes in Time of Covid for two violins, viola, and two celli (2021)

Always Moving, Standing Still for solo piano (2020)

Tri-bute for three cellos (2012), written in honor of Sally Bagg’s 30-years as Director of Greenwood Music Camp

Serenade for alto recorder (or flute) and viola (2004)

Daydreamer for solo flute (2002), commissioned by Christina Jennings and the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music

Sonata for violin and piano (2000) Preview of Sonata Score

Pocket Dances: Nine Miniatures for solo piano (2000)

Mayor of the Nighttime City for flute, viola, and piano (1999), commissioned by Christina Jennings and Matthew Dane

Dance Variations: Tango, Waltz, and Polka on a Theme of Mahler for clarinet and viola (1998)

Three Trios and a Quartet for violin, viola, cello, and piano (1997)

Quintet for two violins, two violas, and cello (1996)

String Quartet (1993)

Orchestral works

Peal for orchestra (2007), commissioned by Greenwood Music Camp to commemorate its 75th summer

Meeting Ground concerto for string quartet and orchestra (2003), commissioned by the American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Project

First Among Equals concerto for viola and chamber ensemble (2002), commissioned by Sam Bergman and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble

Get It Out for orchestra (1997)

Vocal works

Seasonal Songs for soprano and piano (2007)

Joyce Songs for soprano, clarinet, and piano (2007)

On the Subject of Bugs for soprano and piano (1998), commissioned by Alisa Pearson and Kathleen Boyd

From Rilke’s “Orchards” for mezzo-soprano and piano (1996)

Two Songs of Richard Wilbur for baritone and piano (1994)

Five Songs of Vikram Seth for baritone, cello, and piano (1993)

Choral works

Ave Maria for women’s voices SAA (2022)

An American Handful: Five American Folk Songs SATB (2022)

The Question for SAB and piano (2019)

The World That Is All One Thing SATB and piano (2018)

A Shaker Set: Eight Shaker Tunes arranged for SATB chorus (2007)

Wake Up! for a cappella mixed voices (2017) For the Climate Transformer, Amherst Sustainability Fair

Two New England Songs for SATB chorus and piano (2007)

Your Love, O Lord for SATB chorus and piano (2002), commissioned by the American Composer Forum Faith Partners program

Psalm 67 for SATB chorus, piano, and percussion (2001), commissioned by the American Composer Forum Faith Partners program

Bird Songs for SATB chorus a cappella (1995)

Knocking with a Rose: Three Small Love Songs of e.e. cummings for SATB chorus a cappella (1994)

Film scores

Recently, Long Ago Palimpsest Films, Northampton, MA (2014)

William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (South Main Street Productions, Providence, RI) (2001)

A complete listing of works by Geoffrey Hudson is available here. For more information, or to purchase any of these of pieces, write to us at office [at] hybridvigormusic [dot] org.