Billy Childs Quartet
Billy Childs was born in Los Angeles on March 8th, 1957. In 1975, he entered USC as a composition major, graduating four years later with a bachelor of music in composition under the tutelage of Robert Linn. Since then Mr. Childs has received a number of orchestral and chamber commissions from, among others: Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the American Brass Quintet, the Ying Quartet, the Lyris Quartet, Anne Akiko Meyers, Rachel Barton Pine, and Inna Faliks.
Thus far, in his career, Childs has garnered sixteen Grammy nominations and five Grammy awards: two for best instrumental composition (Into the Light from Lyric and The Path Among The Trees from Autumn: In Moving Pictures), two for best arrangement accompanying a vocalist (including New Y ork Tendaberry from Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, featuring Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma), and one for best instrumental jazz album (Rebirth, 2018). In 2006, Childs was awarded a Chamber Music America composer’s grant, and in 2009 was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He has been awarded a composers award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015). Childs has also been named “Outstanding Alumnus” of the Thornton School of Music (sharing that honor with, among others, Morton Lauridsen, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Marilyn Horne). Childs is currently serving as president of Chamber Music America.
Childs’ solo jazz recording career began in 1988, when he released four critically acclaimed albums on the Windham Hill Jazz label. Mr. Childs has also recorded two volumes of “jazz/chamber music” (an amalgam of jazz and classical music) – Lyric, Vol. 1 (2006) and Autumn: In Moving Pictures, Vol. 2 (2010); both recordings have collectively been nominated for five Grammy awards (winning twice). Childs recorded a collection of re-imagined Laura Nyro compositions for Sony Masterworks, released in September 2014. Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, was produced by Larry Klein and features as guest artists, among others: Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, Alison Kraus, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, and Lisa Fischer. In 2017, Childs released his most recent recording, Rebirth, which won the 2018 Grammy award for best instrumental jazz album.
As a pianist Childs has performed with, among others, Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Renee Fleming, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, Chick Corea, the Kronos Quartet, Wynton Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, the Dorian Wind Quintet, Ying Quartet, the American Brass Quintet, and Dave Holland. Past commissions include, among others: four works for the LA Philharmonic (Tone Poem, 1993, Fanfare for the United races of America, 1994, If, to The Color of Midnight, 2003, and Of Darkness and Light, 2018) two pieces for the LA Master Chorale (The Voices of Angels, 2005 and In Gratitude, 2017), a piece for wind quintet and piano for the Dorian Wind Quintet (A Day in the Forest of Dreams, 1996), a piano quintet for Childs and the Ying Quartet (The River, the Bird, and the Storm, 2016), a violin concerto for Regina Carter and the Detroit Symphony, a solo violin suite - Four Portraits for Violin and a one movement sonata for violin and piano – Incident on Larpenteur Avenue, both commissioned by Rachel Barton Pine.
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