The music of composer Marilyn Shrude is characterized by its warmth and lyricism, rich timbre, multi-layered constructions, and complex blend of tonality and atonality. The result is a bright, shimmering and delicately wrought sound world that is at once both powerful and fragile. Her concentration on color and the natural resonance of spaces, as well as her strong background in Pre-Vatican II liturgical music, give the music its linear, spiritual, and quasi-improvisational qualities.
Shrude received degrees from Alverno College and Northwestern University, where she studied with Alan Stout and M. William Karlins. Among her more prestigious honors are those from the Guggenheim Foundation (2011 Fellow), American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rockefeller Foundation, Chamber Music America/ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Sorel Foundation (Medallion Winner for Choral Music 2011), and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was the first woman to receive the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for Orchestral Music (1984) and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Music (1998). Her work for saxophone and piano, Renewing the Myth, was the required piece for the 150 participants of the 3rd International Adolphe Sax Concours in Belgium (2002).
Active as a composer, pianist, teacher, and contemporary music advocate, Shrude has consistently promoted American music through her many years as founder and director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (1987-99) and as chair of the Department of Musicology/Composition/Theory at Bowling Green State University (1998-2011). She joined the faculty of BGSU in 1977, has served as Visiting Professor of Music at Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory and Heidelberg College, and was a faculty member and chair of the Composition and Theory Department at the Interlochen Arts Camp (1990-97). She has received four Dean’s Awards for Service and for the Promotion of Contemporary Music on the Campus of BGSU (1994, 1999, 2005, 2011) and a 2008 BGSU Chair/Director Leadership Award. In 2001 she was named a Distinguished Artist Professor of Music. Together with saxophonist, John Sampen, she has premiered, recorded and presented hundreds of works by living composers both in the United States and abroad.
Shrude’s compositions have been recorded for New World, Albany, Azica, MMC, Capstone, Orion, Centaur, Neuma, Access, and Ohio Brassworks, and are published by C. F. Peters, Editions Henry Lemoine (Paris), American Composers Alliance, Neue Musik Verlag Berlin, Southern Music, and Thomas House. She has had the honor to work with the impressive musicians of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Fromm Music Series, St. Louis Orchestra Chamber Series, Brave New Works, Contemporary Directions Ensemble, Icicle Creek Trio, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Ravenna Festival, Music Today, Spectrum Trio, Lost Dog Ensemble, Ryoanji Duo, Studio for New Music of the Moscow Conservatory, Flexible Music, CORE Ensemble, Duo Montagnard, Azmari String Quartet, Chicago Saxophone Quartet, New Music Chicago, Quatuor Apollinaire, Tower Brass, Masterworks Choral and Voices of Ascension. Her works for orchestra, wind symphony and choir have led to collaborations with conductors such as Emily Freeman Brown, Yuval Zaliouk, Stefan Sanderling, Andrew Massey, John Paynter, Robert Spano, Henry Charles Smith, Christophe Changnard, Kate Tamarkin, Steven Smith, Ed London, Bruce Moss, Mark Kelly, Steven Gage, Octavio Mas-Arocas, Grzegorz Nowak, Janna Himes, Robert Fitzpatrick, Vladimir Valek and Dennis Keene. Works featuring soloists have lead to rich opportunities with distinguished leaders in the field: saxophonists John Sampen, Frederick Hemke, Donald Sinta, Jean-Marie Londeix, Jean-Michel Goury (to mention but a few); sopranos Julia Bentley, Ekaterina Kicheegina, Ann Corrigan, Dawn Padula; violinists Maria Sampen, Stephen Miahky, Timothy Christie, Miranda Cuckson, Movses Pogossian, Jennifer Caine, Ioana Galu; flutists Judith Bentley, Nina Assimakopoulos; oboist Jacqueline Leclair; tubists Velvet Brown, Ben Pierce, Charles Guy; organists Karel Paukert, Emma Lou Diemer; pianists Robert Satterlee, Winston Choi, Hugh Hinton, Anne-Marie McDermott, Joan Tower; cellists Katri Ervamaa, Norbert Lewandowski, Andrea Yun, Andrew Mark; and percussionist Michael Parola. Guest appearances as a pianist and composer include tours to Russia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Canada, South America, and Armenia, as well as numerous performances in the United States.