Pierce Gradone’s music reflects the strange brew of musical cultures that made up his childhood, from playing bluegrass in the hills of Appalachia, to sprinting the marathon of blinding-fast pentecostal shout music.
Drawing inspiration from disparate sources including visual art, literary theory, and popular culture, his work situates notions of groove, glitch, and virtuosity within contemporary musical practice. Described as “gorgeous, expansive” (I Care If You Listen) and “engaging” (Chicago Tribune), his music been performed by Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Signal, Imani Winds, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Pacifica Quartet, Quince Ensemble, and Switch Ensemble, among others.
He has received commissions and awards from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, American Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Luna Nova, Line Upon Line Percussion, Ursa Ensemble, and many others. Pierce holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.).
He is an Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Knox College, where he oversees the composition program and electronic music studio.