Discipline: Music Composition

LJ White

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Chicago, IL
MacDowell Fellowships: 2009, 2023

LJ White is a composer inspired by the human voice, popular culture, gender and sexuality, and sociopolitical conditions. He is also a trans male singer, cultivating a vocal performance career alongside his compositional work.

His work has been presented by Alarm Will Sound, the Spektral Quartet, the Crossing, Third Angle Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Steven Schick, and the Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco symphony orchestras.

While at MacDowell, in 2009, White began work on a piece for combined piano and percussion set-up that was commissioned by pianist Danny Holt for his 2010 tour. In 2023, he revised and recorded for The Best Place for This, a large-scale piece for voices and electronics originally commissioned by the Quince Ensemble, using his own voice and studio techniques. The album is supported by grants from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis and the Puffin Foundation.

Portrait by Deidre Huckabay



LJ White worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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