Chester Biscardi

on leave spring semester

BA, MA, MM, University of Wisconsin. MMA, DMA, Yale University. Composer. Recipient: Rome Prize from American Academy in Rome, Academy Award in Music and Charles Ives Scholarship from American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Aaron Copland Award; fellowships from Bogliasco Foundation, Djerassi Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Japan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, and Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio), as well as grants from Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. Music published by C. F. Peters, Merion Music, Inc. of Theodore Presser Company, and Biscardi Music Press and distributed by Classical Vocal Reprints and Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. Recordings appear on the Albany, American Modern Recordings, Bridge, CRI (New World Records), Furious Artisans, Intim Musik (Sweden), Naxos, New Albion, New Ariel, North/South Recordings, Perfect Enemy Records, and Sept Jardins (Canada) labels. Director of the Sarah Lawrence College Music Program, 1987-2017, and the first recipient of the William Schuman Chair in Music. SLC, 1977–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018


Survey of Western Music


This component is required for all students taking Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition and is also open to students who have completed the theory sequence.

This course is a chronological survey of Western music from the Middle Ages to the present. The course is designed to acquaint the student with significant compositions of the Western musical tradition, as well as to explore the cyclical nature of music that mirrors philosophical and theoretical ideas in Ancient Greece and how that cycle appears every 300 years: the Ars nova of the 14th century, Le nuove musiche of the 17th century, and the New Music of the 20th century and beyond. The course involves participation in listening, reading, and discussion, including occasional quizzes about and/or written summaries of historical periods. Presentations are required during the second term.


Previous Courses

Keyboard Lab


Placement is arranged by the piano faculty.

This course is designed to accommodate beginning piano students who take Keyboard Lab as the core of their Music Third. Instruction takes place in a group setting, with eight keyboard stations and one master station. Students will be introduced to elementary keyboard technique and simple piano pieces.