Pamela Madsen is a composer, performer, theorist and curator of new music. From massive immersive concert-length projects, solo works, chamber music to multi-media opera collaborations her work focuses on issues of social change, exploration of image, music, text and the environment. With a Ph.D. in Music Composition from UCSD, studies with Brian Ferneyhough, Mellon Foundation Doctoral Research Award in theory at Yale University, Post-Doctoral research in Music Technology at IRCAM, Paris, and Deep Listening Certificate with Pauline Oliveros, her theoretical research focuses on the evolution of compositional thought, improvisation, electronic music, and women in music.
Her works have been commissioned and premiered world-wide by such artists as Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Brightwork newmusic, ModernMedieval, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Tony Arnold, Nicholas Isherwood, Stacey Fraser, Claire Chase, Jane Rigler, Anne LaBerge, Brian Walsh, Lisa Moore, Vicki Ray, Aron Kallay, Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Ashley Bathgate, Trio Solisti, New York New Music Ensemble, Either/Or, yesaroun’ duo, California Ear Unit, Verdehr Trio, Zeitgeist, JACK, Ethel, Lyris, Formalist and Arditti string quartets with multi-media collaborations with visual artists Quintan Ana Wikswo, Camille Seaman, Jimena Sarno and Judy Chicago.
Major concert-length projects include her National Endowment for the Arts and New Music USA supported Oratorio for the Earth; Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat; Luminosity: Passions of Marie Curie multi-media opera; Melting Away: Gravity for orchestra, with Arctic photographer Camille Seaman; We are All Sibyls-Envisioning the Future Project multi-media opera installation with visual artist Judy Chicago. Selected as an Alpert Award Panelist, Creative Capital artist “on the radar” with awards from National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, American Scandinavian Foundation, artist residency fellowships at MacDowell Colony, UCross, Women’s International Studies Center, Russia/Siberia Concert tour, Pulsar Festival, Denmark, she is a frequent guest artist at festivals and universities worldwide. She is Director of the Annual New Music Festival, InterArts Collaborative Projects at California State University, Fullerton where she is Professor of Music Composition, Music Theory and Director of the New Music Ensemble.
“Madsen's (string quartet) "O Mary" proved a gripping essay of powerfully thrusting, thickly scored micro-tones.” -Mark Swed-Los Angeles Times
“Pamela Madsen’s Sea Change, (Verdehr Trio, American Images 7 CD Review) left a very strong impression with me. . . an absolutely beautiful and somewhat impressionistic work that makes me immediately want to go seek it out.” -Daniel Coombs-Audiophile
“Pamela Madsen’s Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat,. . . I was struck by how the concept of an etude had transcended the technical problems of playing an instrument and into something much larger. . . Madsen’s etudes are meant to possess healing powers.” -Eleonor Sandresky, pianist-ComposerNow
“No Ivory Tower for This Composer- CSUF composer pours lifetime of passions, concerns into her most ambitious work, 'Oratorio for the Earth' - Paul Hodgins-Orange County Register