Board of Directors
Brian Shea, Chairman
Pamela Barrett-Lasser, Treasurer
BJ Adler, Secretary
Philip Lasser, Institute Director
Philip Lasser is a visionary composer native to French and American traditions. His music, direct and undisguised, creates a unique sound world that blends together the colorful harmonies of French Impressionist sonorities and the dynamic rhythms and characteristics of American music.
His newly commissioned concerto for piano and orchestra, “The Circle and the Child,” is featured on the recently released Sony Classical album “Broadway-Lafayette” with Simone Dinnerstein and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kristjan Järvi. Lasser’s works have also been performed by the Atlanta, Seattle, Boulder and Shreveport Symphonies, as well as The New York Chamber Symphony, and by artists including Kristjan Järvi, Susanna Phillips, Elizabeth Futral, Margo Garrett, Lucy Shelton, Cho-Liang Lin, Zuill Bailey, Brian Zeger, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger and Sasha Cooke. Lasser’s works can be heard on the Sony Classical, Telarc, New World, Crystal, and BMG RCA/Red Seal labels.
Early in his musical training, Lasser entered Nadia Boulanger’s famed Ecole d’Arts Americaines in Fontainebleau, France, where he began to establish his connection to the French lineage. Following his studies at Harvard College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Lasser lived in Paris while working with Boulanger’s closest colleague and disciple, Narcis Bonet, and legendary pianist Gaby Casadesus. Lasser later received his master’s degree from Columbia University, where he undertook intensive studies in counterpoint with René Leibowitz’s disciple, Jacques-Louis Monod, and received his doctorate from The Juilliard School, where he studied with composer David Diamond.
Lasser is the author of “The Spiraling Tapestry: An Inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music,” which brings new insights into the world of musical analysis. Since 1996, he has been the director of the European American Music Alliance (EAMA), a school dedicated to training young composers, chamber musicians, and conductors in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. He is also the artistic director of Gaspard, a performance group based in New York City that is dedicated to performing music in the French perspective through salon-type concerts. Lasser has been a distinguished member of the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1994. He currently lives in New York City with his family.