Patricia Morehead biography

Patricia Morehead

Composer and Oboist

Patricia Morehead, composer and oboist, was founder of CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, an organization in Chicago formerly dedicated to the performanc of contemporary music. She was past president of American Women Composers Midwest, and organizer of the fifth anniversary year featuring the music of African-American women composers in two concerts at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. She made her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1977 and has concertized actively in Brazil, Canada, Europe and the USA.

Patricia Morehead has had over twenty works written for her and has premiered over thirty compositions. Her work Music for Five was the 1990 winner of the Search for New Music Competition of the International League of Women Composers. Her composition Flares and Phasers for two alto flutes was chosen for performance at the Bowling Green New Music and Art Festival, 1991, and the performance was subsequently chosen for broadcast. A song from her cycle Zoological Garden, commissioned by the Exsultate Trio, was performed live on WTTW on Easter Sunday and broadcast nationally. She has received two commissions from the American String Teachers Association, in 1986 and 1991, and she has been the recipient of an Alaska Council of the Arts Commission in 1988 and a California Meet the Composer Grant in 1992. The Wonderful Musician was chosen for a concert reading in Toronto, Canada, by the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop in 1991 and performed by the CCP (Contemporary Chamber Players) at the University of Chicago. Her Edible Flute for flute and piano, commissioned by Chicago flutist Mary Stolper, was premiered at DePaul University in April, 1993 and has been played by many different flutists all over the United States. The Edible Flute and Flares and Phasers were played at the National Flute Convention in Chicago in August 1997.

Ms. Morehead participated in the conference womenALASKAmusic at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where her song A Chantar for mezzo-soprano, oboe d'amore, viola and percussion was premiered as part of the Trobairitz project in Summer 1993. The work was performed on Italian television in October 1994 with musicians from the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. Her work The Heavens Declare the Glory of God was premiered in Chicago in February 1994 as part of the International Festival of Sacred Music and was also performed at the Ravinia Festival on the Musica Viva series in August. In 1996 Ms. Morehead was commissioned by the International Festival of Sacred Music for a second time to compose Good New Falls Gently, a cantata for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. It was premiered in three Italian cities, Trani, Bari and Rome, in October 1995. Her song music for an abandoned warehouse for soprano and clarinet was premiered at the International Composers Festival, Talloires, France in July 1996 and con amore for b.c. was premiered at the same festival in the year 2000.

Her opera Black Hawk Speaks: An American Tragedy, was completed in 2015. In 1998 she was chosen to write a new two-piano work, The Handmaid's Tale, for Ursula Oppens and Aki Takahashi in celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of American Women Composers Midwest.

Recent works include commissions from the Arbitrio for the Double Reed Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a saxophone quartet for the Italian group Donne in Sax, a chorus and orchestra work for the Lutheran School of Theology, and a solo harpsichord piece written for Amercian virtuoso Jory Vinicour who lives in France. She is currently working on a tuba concerto for tuba virtuoso Micky Wrobleski and the Shanghai Radio Orchestra.

Ms. Morehead has studied composition at The University of Chicago with Ralph Shapey, John Eaton, and Shulamit Ran. She recently retired from teaching positions at Columbia College, Dominican University, and the Merit Music School.