Short Biography

Composer Paul Salerni’s music “pulses with life, witty musical ideas and instrumental color” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), and has been described by the New York Times as “impressive” and “playful.” His one-act opera Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast won the National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera competition in 2007, and a definitive recording of the opera was recently released on Naxos in 2010. His second one-act, The Life and Love of Joe Coogan, an adaptation of a Dick Van Dyke TV Show episode, had its premiere in September 2010. Both one-acts are published by Theodore Presser. Salerni’s latest large-scale project was a ballet (FABLES) commissioned and premiered by Rioult New York. Other recent commissions include Philadelphia Brass, Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, Two-Part Invention, Cape Cod Symphony, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, and SATORI. A CD of Salerni’s chamber music (“Touched) was released by Albany Records in January 2015.


Salerni is the NEH Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Music at Lehigh University. He received his Ph.D. in composition from Harvard University, where he studied with Earl Kim. Salerni has performed and lectured about Kim’s music in Korea, at the Kennedy Center, the 92nd St. Y, and the Aspen Music Festival. A dedicated educator, Salerni was the recipient of the Stabler Award, Lehigh University’s most valued acknowledgement of excellence in teaching. He served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, including two years as its Chair.


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