Christopher Culpo

Christopher Culpo is an American-French composer and pianist, who has been living in France since 1991. As a performer and composer, Culpo lies at the confluence of contemporary classical music, jazz, and free improvisation. He has written chamber and symphonic music, vocal and opera, for the dance and the theatre, and has composed and improvised music for silent films. He has been commissioned by Radio France.

Culpo has earned degrees in composition from Boston University and The Juilliard School, where he studied amongst others with Milton Babbitt and David del Tredici. He also studied piano and improvisation with Charles Banacos. Following his studies at Juilliard Mr. Culpo was the personal assistant to Aaron Copland and an active Teaching Artist for the Lincoln Center Institute. Since receiving a Fulbright scholarship to work with Tristan Murail in Paris in 1991, Mr. Culpo has lived and worked in Europe. His performing career has taken him on stages as diverse as the Cluny Jazz Festival, Jazz at Domergue, Rhino Jazz (France), Blossoms Festival (Belgium), The Old Town House, Athol Fugard Festival in Nieu Bethesda and the Forge (South Africa), Club Borgo, « Sestri Jazz Jazz La Spezia (Italy), the Radar Festival (Mexico), the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the Sydney Opera House (Australia), or the Festival Christchurch (New Zealand).

As a performer Christopher Culpo has released four albums: Portrait in Black & White with saxophonist Jean Charles Richard, Love & Bananas Are Here with the Culpo – Richard- Herbert Trio and two albums with the Fresh Frozen Trio which features clarinetist – saxophonist Achille Succi and tuba player Glauco Benedetti. In late 2017 he will release a new recording with Irish saxophonist Catherine Sikora. His current ensemble features Succi, contrabassist Salvatore Maiore and trombonist Massimo Morganti. With this group he recorded in April 2017 his composition The Four Freedoms, based on the Norman Rockwell paintings, which was commissioned by the Albany-Berkshire Ballet. His « After Midnight, Before Dawn » was praised by The Washington Post as « a strikingly vivid work that explores the elusive worlds of sleeping and dreaming, to hallucinogenic effect ». In February 2012 Culpo was awarded the Clefworks composition prize and his Of Ground, or Air, or Ought- was premiered by the ETHEL quartet in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2013 Radio France commissioned Culpo to compose Murmurations for the National Orchestra of France. 

Culpo’s music is published by Les Editions Le Chant du Monde and Editions Musicales Contemporain. His albums are published by El Gallo Rojo Records.

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