Eric Whitacre, a 1995 graduate of UNLV, is one of the more popular and performed composers of our time, as well as a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five-star reviews and became the number one classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release. His second album, Water Night, was released on Decca in April 2012 and debuted atop the iTunes and Billboard classical chart. It features seven world-premiere recordings and includes performances from his professional choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, the London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann.
His ground-breaking Virtual Choir, Lux Aurumque, received more than a million views on YouTube in just 2 months (now 3 million), featuring 185 singers from 12 different countries. Virtual Choir 2.0, Sleep, was released in April 2011 and involved more than 2,000 voices from 58 countries. Virtual Choir 3, Water Night, received 3,746 submissions from 73 counties and launched at Lincoln Center, New York and revealed online in April 2012.
Mr. Whitacre has written for the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor and The King’s Singers, among others. His musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, won both the ASCAP Harold Arlen award and the Richard Rodgers Award, and earned 10 nominations at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards.
His latest initiative, Soaring Leap, is a series of workshops and festivals. Guest speakers, composers and artists, make regular appearances at Soaring Leap events around the world.
An exceptional orator, he was honored to address the U.N. Leaders programme and give a TEDTalk in March 2011 in which he earned the first full standing ovation of the conference.
Many of Mr. Whitacre's works have entered the standard choral and symphonic repertories and have become the subject of scholarly works and doctoral dissertations. Inspired to compose, his first piece Go, Lovely Rose, was completed at the age of 21. He went on to the Juilliard School (New York), and earned his Master of Music degree studying with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning composer, John Corigliano.
Mr. Whitacre is currently Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.