meet the Creators



A "modern day master"and often the "highlight of the program" (The New York Times), Robert Paterson's music is praised for its elegance, wit, structural integrity, and a wonderful sense of color.  Paterson was named The Composer of The Year from the Classical Recording Foundation with a performance and celebration at Carnegie's Weill Hall in 2011.  His music has been on the Grammy® ballot yearly, and his works were named "Best Music of 2012" on National Public Radio.  His works have been played by the Louisville Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Vermont Symphony, BargeMusic, the Albany Symphony Dogs of Desire, among others.  Paterson’s choral works were recorded by Musica Sacra and maestro Kent Tritle, with a world premiere performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Current premieres include Shine for the American Brass Quintet, performed at Aspen, Princeton, and Juilliard in 2015.  His opera The Whole Truth was showcased at Opera America and given its New York premiere in January, 2016.  Notable awards include the winner of the Utah Arts Festival, the Copland Award, ASCAP Young Composer Awards, a three-year Music Alive! grant from the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, and yearly ASCAP awards.  Fellowships include Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Paterson holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Indiana University (MM), and Cornell University (DMA).  Paterson gives master classes at colleges and universities, most recently at the Curtis Institute of Music, New York University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  Paterson is the artistic director of the American Modern Ensemble and resides in NYC with his wife Victoria and their son, Dylan.  He summers in Maine where he is the director of the composition program at the Atlantic Music Festival.  For more information, visit

DAVID COTE, librettist

David Cote is a playwright, librettist and journalist based in New York.  Opera libretti include The Scarlet Ibis and Fade with composer Stefan Weisman, and We’ve Got Our Eye on You with composer Nkeiru Okoye.  The Scarlet Ibis headlined the 2015 Prototype festival, where The New York Times called it “an outstanding new chamber opera...a moving, intense and dignified creation.”  David wrote the text for Okoye’s Black Lives Matter–themed monodrama for baritone and chamber group, Invitation to a Die-In (2016).  His song cycle with Robert Paterson, In Real Life, will have its NYC premiere in April 2017, following the world premiere in Austin, Texas.  His choral works with Paterson, Did You Hear? and Snow Day, were sung by Musica Sacra, conducted by Kent Tritle and released on Eternal Reflections (American Modern Recordings).  Plays include Otherland (O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist), The Great Aphrodisiac and Aristotle’s Comedics.  David is theater editor and chief drama critic of Time Out New York and theater critic on NY1’s On Stage.  His reporting and reviews have appeared in American Theatre, Opera News, The Guardian, The New York Times and elsewhere.  He taught arts criticism at Brooklyn College and wrote companion books to the hit musicals Wicked, Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening.  Fellowships: The MacDowell Colony.  Bard College alumnus and member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.  He lives in Manhattan with his wife, audiobook narrator Katherine Kellgren.