Associate Professor of Composition and Theory; Chair of Composition & Theory Department
Michael K. Slayton currently serves as Associate Professor of Composition & Theory at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. He has composed works in a cross-section of musical genres, with specific emphasis on chamber music, and his continuing dedication to the value of artistic exchange has afforded him opportunity to write for distinguished performers all over the world.
His music, published by ACA Inc. (BMI), is regularly programmed in the U.S. and abroad, including Chemnitz, Seitz, Leipzig, Droyssig, and Weimar, Germany; Graz, Austria; Paris, Tours, and Marquette-lez-Lille, France; Kristiansund, Norway; Aviero, Portugal; Brussels, Belgium; Johannesburg and Potchefstroom, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia; London; and New York.
Recent works include softeR.Mutt.erings (2019), commissioned by the Bateira Trio; Untitled [Rothko Set] (2018); Saudade (2017), commissioned by American clarinetist Keehun Nam; Again the Sea (2017), written for soprano Amy Jarman and the Vanderbilt University Orchestra; Kleemation (2016), commissioned by American oboist Jared Hauser; Dreamers Meadows (2014), commissioned by The Atlantic Ensemble; and Mirórs (2013), commissioned by Australian flutist Agatha Yim.
Slayton is author/editor-in-chief of Women of Influence in Contemporary Music (Scarecrow Press, 2011), a book detailing the lives and music of several of America’s notable women in composition, including Elizabeth R. Austin, Susan Botti, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Cindy McTee, Marga Richter and Judith Shatin. Women of Influence was the winner of the 2013 Pauline Alderman Award, awarded by the International Alliance for Women in Music.
During his M.M. and D.M.A. studies at the Moores School of Music (Houston, Texas), Slayton was under the tutelage of composers Michael Horvit and David Ashley White, and distinguished musicologist and author Howard Pollack. A member of the American Composer’s Alliance, Society of Composers, Inc., The College Music Society, Connecticut Composers Inc., and Broadcast Music Inc., Slayton continues to be an active participant in the national and international music community.