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Michael Alec Rose

Professor of Composition

Michael Alec Rose is a composer of symphonic, chamber, piano, vocal, wind ensemble, ballet and theater music. From 2005 to 2016, he co-directed an International Exchange Program between Vanderbilt University and the Royal Academy of Music, London. The collaboration inspired more than a dozen new compositions for violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved and his international community of arts organizations. 

Rose has composed eight string quartets, all premiered by distinguished ensembles, at venues including the Library of Congress, Tate St. Ives (Cornwall, England), and the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, Texas). In April 2019, Rose’s chamber opera Lolly Willowes premiered at the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston, a production funded in part by the Houston Arts Alliance’s maximum grant of $15,000. Upcoming is a suite inspired by the paintings of California artist Ali Smith. The piece’s premiere will be given in in the presence of the artworks which inspired them, at the Vanderbilt Fine Art Gallery’s exhibition of Smith’s works in the spring of 2020. 

Rose has received 30 ASCAP awards and numerous commissions, including those from the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, The Spoleto Festival, the Nashville Symphony (twice), Longbow Ensemble of London, the Cassatt Quartet, and the Brazilian Wind Orchestra. He has won three teaching awards at Vanderbilt, including the Chair of Teaching Excellence. His book, Audible Signs: Essays from a Musical Ground, was published by Continuum Books (2010).  

More information and lots of music can be found at