Prof of Music, David Vayo.

Professor of Music, David Vayo

David Vayo (born 1957) is the Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory and Composition Department head at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he teaches composition, improvisation, and contemporary music.

As Coordinator of New Music Activities, he directs the annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, the New Music Cafe concert series, and other events in the School of Music’s New Music Series.

Vayo has also taught at Connecticut College and the National University of Costa Rica. He holds an A.Mus.D. in Composition from The University of Michigan, where his principal teachers were Leslie Bassett and William Bolcom; his M. Mus. and B. Mus. degrees are from Indiana University, where he studied with Frederick Fox and Juan Orrego-Salas.

Vayo has received awards and commissions from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, ASCAP, the Koussevitzky Music Foundations, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and the Illinois Council for the Arts, and has been granted numerous artists’ colony residencies.

Over four hundred performances and broadcasts of his compositions have taken place, including recent performances in Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Spain, and Brazil and at the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, and the University of Iowa.

Festivals which have programmed his work include Sound Symposium (St. John’s, Newfoundland), the International Trombone Festival, the International Double Reed Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Thailand Composition Festival, and three World Music Days of the International Society for Contemporary Music.

His compositions are published by Honeyrock, Bèrben/Italia Guitar Society Series, and the International Trombone Association Press.

Vayo is also active as a pianist performing contemporary music, free improvisations, and jazz.

Recent projects include And Unto Dust for the Fifth House Ensemble, Dark Energy for contrabassoonist Steven Braunstein of the San Francisco Symphony, and Winter Into Spring for pipa virtuoso Yang Wei with the Taipei Liuqin Orchestra.

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Photo credit: Marie-Susanne Langille


Photo credit: Marie-Susanne Langille


Photo credit: Marc Featherly