Meet our Composer-in-Residence


“she energetically bends music to her will and reshapes it with fascinating results.” – Jazz Improv Magazine 2022

A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. The Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist and educator is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range.

What motivates Assad? What drives her passion and creativity?

Writing and playing music that inspires and encourages audiences’ imaginations to break free of often self-imposed constraints is just the beginning. She endeavors to harness the incredible and intangible power of music to connect people and transform lives through original works, commissions, and education programs that give voice to everything from the impact of climate change to issues of social justice, gender equity, and the empowerment of young voices.

Assad also engages audiences directly to immerse themselves in the music. Her 2019 work, É Gol!, which was inspired by the legendary female Brazilian soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva, is scored for full orchestra and features active participation by audience members singing, performing body percussion movements, and making sound effects. This work continues her explorations with expanding the sonic palette of the voice, both acoustically and through electronic means. Classical Voice North America praises her, saying, “In other hands, the electronically altered sounds might be dismissed as a gimmick, but Assad is like one of those cooks who can turn any four random foodstuffs into a feast.”

She takes the immersive experience outside of the concert hall with the innovative and accessible VOXploration, which she created in 2015. The program offers a creative and fun approach to music education through meaningful, interactive experiences. It has been carefully curated to work equally well with participants of any age or musical background. It has received numerous grants and awards from Brazilian foundations such as CAIXA CULTURAL and SESC, as well as American organizations New Music USA and the McKnight Foundation. Assad has given master classes, residencies, and workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad is one of the most widely performed Brazilian concert music composers of her generation. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, amongst them an Aaron Copland Award and several ASCAP awards in composition, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a Master of Music degree from The University of Michigan School of Music.

More information about Clarice can be found at her website: