Biography of M.O. Abbott


M.O. Abbott began playing classical trombone at age 9, and began self-guided forays into composition in his early teens. Today, M.O.'s foci include computer-assisted algorithmic composition, microtonality and just intonation, and sonification. He is fascinated by stochastic systems and emergent generative forms, and often draws creative inspiration from science, nature, the mystical, the absurd, and the mundane. M.O. remains an ardent supporter of absolute and abstract music, and risk-taking music based in research, experimentation, speculation, and inquiry.

M.O. Abbott's music has been performed by ensembles such as loadbang and Illinois Modern Ensemble, and by esteemed new music performers such as Caleb Burhans, Yi-Wen Chen, Melody Chua, Martha Cluver, Elizabeth Gartman, Nathan Mandel, Kevin McFarland, Tomoko Ono, Victor Pons, and Lucas Marshall Smith. M.O.'s work has recently been heard at festivals and conferences including ICMC, Diffrazioni, the SCI National Conference, the SEAMUS National Conference, the National Student Electronic Music Event, Electronic Music Midwest, and New Music on the Point. Along with pianist Whitney Ashe, M.O. was awarded the 19th Annual 21st Century Piano Commission. He has also been recognized with a Presser Graduate Music Award.

M.O. holds a B.M. in Theory from Eastman School of Music and a M.M. in Music Composition from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. M.O. is now pursuing a D.M.A. at Illinois, where he is the graduate teaching assistant administrator of CAMIL (Computer Assisted Music Instruction Laboratory) and CMP (Computer Music Project). M.O.'s primary composition instructors include Sever Tipei, Heinrich Taube, Scott A. Wyatt, Erik Lund, Erin Gee, Brian Belét, Janis Mercer, and David Liptak. M.O. has had additional lessons or masterclasses with Marc Sabat, Robert Morris, Ann Cleare, Amy Williams, Elainie Lillios, Marcos Balter, and Ronald Parks, among others.

In addition to his composition work, M.O. continues to perform regularly on bass trombone. He has performed with myriad groups including Illinois Modern Ensemble, Eastman Musica Nova and Ossia, Eastman Trombone Choir, University of Illinois Trombone Choir, University of Illinois Jazz Repertory Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and California Youth Symphony. Presently in the studio of Jim Pugh at University of Illinois, M.O. has previously studied trombone with Mark Lawrence, John Marcellus and Elliot Chasanov, and has had additional lessons with Felix Del Tredici and Reginald Chapman.


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