Meet Christopher Cerrone – Walt Whitman Class of 2002 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee


Hailed as "a rising star" by The New Yorker and by WIRED for his work at "the leading edge of operatic innovation," Christopher Cerrone (b. 1984, Huntington, NY) is a Brooklyn-based composer of a wide range of orchestral, operatic and chamber music, multimedia projects, and ambient electronic works. Throughout the range of musical media, Cerrone's works are characterized by a deep and evocative beauty.

Cerrone’s first opera, Invisible Cities, based on Italo Calvino’s classic surrealist novel, was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, and has been praised by The Los Angeles Times as "A delicate and beautiful opera...[which] could be, and should be, done anywhere." Invisible Cities received its fully staged world premiere in the fall of 2013, in a wildly popular production at Los Angeles' Union Station.  Performed to 22 sold-out performances, the opera was taken on international tour in 2015/2016.  Invisible Cities was be published worldwide by Schott Music and is planned as a released commercial recording.

Other notable projects include a commission for the Los Angeles Philharmonic to be premiered in 2015; a collaborative work for Eighth Blackbird; original scores to accompany installations at the New Museum and the Time Warner Center in NYC; a staged production of a chamber opera, All Wounds Bleed, by the Tulsa Opera; a violin concerto, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony; a Carnegie Hall commission for Ensemble ACJW; and Memory Palace, a solo work for custom-built percussion instruments and live electronics, commissioned by the American Composers Forum's JFund.

Cerrone has received awards and grants from some of the most prestigious organizations in the world, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Chamber Music America; the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy; OPERA America; the Jerome Foundation; ASCAP (3-time Young Composer award winner); and New Music USA. He has served as composer-in-residence at the Carlsbad Music Festival and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy.

A co-founder emeritus of Red Light New Music, Cerrone is one-sixth of the Sleeping Giant composer collective, with whom he serves as co-composer-in-residence at the Albany Symphony from 2014-2017. He holds multiple degrees from the Yale School of Music (M.M., M.M.A. and D.M.A.) and the Manhattan School of Music (B.M.).

Please join us:  Chris, along with seven other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Chris and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field)

* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at