In College of Fine Arts and Communications

Dan Bradshaw’s appointment follows the six-year tenure of previous executive director Ethan Wickman

Photo courtesy of Dan Bradshaw

The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, housed in the Dean’s Office of Fine Arts and Communications at BYU, has a long and distinguished history as an ally of the arts internationally. Its mission statement includes a mandate to encourage and financially support “composers who demonstrate technical skills and natural gifts for the composition of great music.” With the start of a new year, the endowment has named composer Dan Bradshaw as its new executive director.

Bradshaw received his doctoral degree in music composition from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He currently serves as professor of composition and theory at BYU-Hawaii, where he teaches music theory, history and composition. He served as chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at BYU-Hawaii from 2014 to 2018, and has previously served on the Barlow Endowment Board of Advisors.

Writing in a variety of styles and genres, from large orchestral works to interactive electronic pieces, Bradshaw’s musical compositions have been described as “simply beautiful,” “stunning,” and “multivalent and haunting.” His orchestral work, “Chaconne,” was featured on Performance Today as performed by the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “Delights and Shadows,” a song cycle on texts by Ted Kooser, was premiered in venues across the US by Metropolitan Opera singer Ariel Bybee and violinist Alison Dalton of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recent works include “World of Dinosaurs” for orchestra, based on melodies composed by the students of Lā’ie Elementary, and “On the Cooler” for solo steel pan.

“I’m not afraid to take audiences in an unexpected direction or challenge their perceptions of beauty, art or music,” Bradshaw said when describing his artistic vision. “While my music is rooted firmly in the western tradition, I find inspiration in the music of Led Zeppelin and the drumming traditions of the Pacific, as well as in Brahms, Beethoven or Messiaen.”

Professional honors include awards from the American Music Center, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition and the American Composers Orchestra.

Bradshaw will fill the role previously undertaken by executive director Ethan Wickman, who is a composer and professor of music at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

“Ethan has provided exemplary work by refining the judging process, working toward greater diversity and inclusiveness among judges,” said Ed Adams, dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. “Ethan spent the summer researching, talking with others and refining recommendations for more BIPOC awardees. We have seen better processes, and an increase in women receiving awards during his tenure.”

Bradshaw becomes the fourth executive director in the Barlow Endowment’s 37-year history. His father, Merrill Bradshaw, was the founding executive director, serving from 1983 to 1999.

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