Rakowski's most widely-traveled music is his ever-expanding collection of piano etudes, currently numbering eighty-eight; these pieces approach the problem of etude from many different angles, including technical, conceptual, and stylistic; many of them may be viewed on YouTube. He has also written three symphonies, five concertos, three large wind ensemble pieces, a sizable collection of chamber and vocal music, as well as incidental music.
Rakowski's awards include the Rome Prize, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2006 Barlow Prize, and the 2004-6 Elise L. Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Tanglewood Music Center, BMI, Columbia University, the Orleans International Piano Competition, and various artist colonies. He has been commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the US Marine Band, Sequitur, Network for New Music, Koussevitzky Music Foundation (with Ensemble 21 in 1996 and with Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2006), Collage New Music, the Kaufman Center/Merkin Hall, Boston Musica Viva, the Fromm Foundation (twice), Dinosaur Annex, the Crosstown Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the Riverside Symphony, Parnassus, The Composers Ensemble, Alea II, Alea III, Triple Helix, and others. In 1999 his Persistent Memory, commissioned by Orpheus, was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and in 2002 his Ten of a Kind, commissioned by "The President's Own" US Marine Band, was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has been composer-in-residence at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Guest Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference, and a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His music is published by C.F. Peters, is recorded on New World/CRI, Innova, Americus, Albany, Capstone, Bridge, and BMOP/sound, and has been performed worldwide.
Rakowski taught at Columbia University for six years, and then joined the faculty of Brandeis University, where he is now the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition. He has also taken part-time appointments teaching at Harvard (twice) and New England Conservatory (also twice). Now a failed trombonist, he lives in Boston exurbia and in Maine with his wife Beth Wiemann and two cats named Sunset and Camden.more
This scrappy in-house operation run by Rose and BMOP was launched early last year, and it has released a steady stream of impeccably produced, beautifully packaged discs with exacting and engaged performances of 20th- and 21st-century music.