Margaret Brouwer has earned critical accolades for her music’s lyricism, musical imagery and emotional power. Lawson Taitte (The Dallas Morning) News wrote, “Ms. Brouwer has one of the most delicate ears and inventive imaginations among contemporary American composers.” Brouwer’s honors include an Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Meet The Composer Commissioning/USA award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Ohio Council for the Arts Individual Fellowship, Cleveland Arts Prize, Lebenbom Award, Ettelson and International Women’s Brass Conference prizes and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Ford Foundation, John S. Knight Foundation, Cleveland Foundation and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Her music has been called “devoid of slickness…true to a vision” (New York Times), “inhabiting its own peculiarly bewitching harmonic world” (New York Times), and “a marvelous example of musical imagery.” (American Record Guide).
The Music Division of the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center established a Margaret Brouwer Collection in 2015. Her scores, manuscripts, papers, and recordings will be available for research by scholars, composers and performers. Margaret Brouwer was named one of “The Best of Female Classical Composers” on Naxos’ album POWER TO THE WOMEN. Dr. Brouwer served as Head of the Composition Department and holder of the Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1996 – 2008). She was NEA Composer in Residence with the Roanoke (VA) Symphony (1992-1997) and Composer-in-Residence at Washington and Lee University (1988-1996). Residencies have included those at the MacDowell Colony where she was a Norton Stevens Fellow, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Charles Ives Center for American Music. Recordings of Brouwer’s music can be found on the Naxos, New World, CRI, Crystal, Centaur, and Opus One labels.
In 2018, Brouwer’s 80-minute revised Oratorio, Voice of the Lake, was premiered in Cleveland, then brought to Cincinnati to be performed at the International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society. A professional video was made of the performance and aired on various cable TV stations throughout the country. Chamber work premieres in 2019 were Through the Haze (4 percussionists), All Lines are Still Busy (solo violin), and This Morning is Beautiful (tenor and piano). Her current finished commissions include a new work called Parallel Isolations for Orli Shaham and the Pacific Symphony’s Ludwig Cafe Chamber Series to be performed with Covid restrictions, and Fear, Hiding, Play for the American Wild Ensemble which will be premiered at the International Clarinet Association Clarinetfest in June 2021. Orchestral commissions since 2009 include those from the symphonies of Detroit, Dallas, Rochester, American Composers Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland and performances include Flagstaff, Maryland, Columbus, Toledo, Canton, Cabrillo, Liverpool, the Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle, St. Louis, and Poznan Philharmonic (Poland) symphonies. Her ensemble music has been performed by such ensembles as American Modern Ensemble, Alias, counter)induction, Composers Now, Da Capo, MOZAIC, Continuum, Off the Hook Arts, AURA Contemporary Ensemble, the Audubon, Da Vinci, Cavani and Cassatt String Quartets at venues throughout the country including at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Orchestra of St. Luke’s “Second Helping,” SubCulture, Kennedy Center, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, Concoran Gallery, Philips Gallery, National Opera Center, Boston’s Dinosaur Annex, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Bowdoin’s Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music including venues in Taiwan and Germany.