Guest Composers

Libby Larsen
Music exists in an infinity of sound. I think of all music as existing in the substance of the air itself. It is the composer’s task to order and make sense of sound, in time and space, to communicate something about being alive through music.”
– Libby Larsen

Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.
As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.

For further inquiries about Libby Larson, please visit

James Beckel

James Beckel graduated from the Indiana University School of Music and has been the Principal Trombonist with the Indianapolis Symphony since 1969.  He is also on the music faculty at DePauw University and the University of Indianapolis.  In addition to these responsibilities he has been a very active composer and arranger.  Mr. Beckel was born in Marion, Ohio in 1948.
Many original works have been performed by several professional orchestras such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Rochester, Charlotte, Fort Wayne, Rhode Island, Springfield, Evansville, Tampa, Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Terre Haute, South Bend, Omaha, Knoxville, Delaware, West Virginia, Chautauqua, and New Mexico, etc.

Mr. Beckel has received many composition grants. He has been an Individual Arts Fellow through the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, and recently was one of 50 composers chosen nationwide to be part of the Continental Harmony Project. “Liberty for All” was written for that commission from Composers Forum.   "The Glass Bead Game" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  "The Glass Bead Game: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra" was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on November 10, 1997.  Kent Leslie was the horn soloist.  “The Glass Bead Game” is now available with orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber ensemble written for piano, harp, and percussion, and a version with piano which is published by Hal Leonard Music.  Mr. Beckel has also written several works for brass choir and brass quintet.  In 2004 the Indianapolis Symphony premiered and commissioned "Fantasy after Schubert" dedicated to their Music Director, Mario Venzago, for the opening subscription concerts in celebration of their 75th season. 

For further inquiries about James Beckel, please visit