Composer Joan Tower, began writing music in 1956 at the age of 18. Orchestras around the world have played her works. She is currently Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, where she has taught since 1972. Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. She has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC. She also has worked with amazing soloists, including: Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, John Browning and Dame Evelyn Glennie who will be performing Tower’s Strike Zones for Percussion and Orchestra for Saturday night’s festival concert.