Pierce Gradone’s music reflects the strange brew of musical cultures that made up his childhood, from playing bluegrass in the hills of Appalachia, to sprinting the marathon of blinding-fast pentecostal shout music. Drawing inspiration from visual art, literary theory, and mass culture, his work seeks to situate notions of groove, glitch, and virtuosity within contemporary musical practices. His recent work has focused on labor and personhood in the new music economy. As a composer committed to a collaborative compositional process, Pierce has had the privilege of creating music with many committed and talented performers, including eighth blackbird, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Signal, Imani Winds, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Switch Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Quince Ensemble, Line Upon Line Percussion, and others. In 2015, Pierce received a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University to create a new work for Ensemble Dal Niente, which was premiered at Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival in 2016. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Chicago, where he studies with Augusta Read Thomas.


To Paint Their Madness

PDF score

for 12 musicians commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for Ensemble Dal Niente premiered October 7, 2016

Bizzarie di Figure

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for chamber orchestra commissioned by the SoundSCAPE Festival premiered July 13, 2016

In Memory's Twilight

PDF score

for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion written for and performed by eighth blackbird premiered May 15, 2016


for string quartet written for and performed by Pacifica Quartet premiered May 12, 2015