Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music

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Hours and Location

Music Building
Room 203
Queens College, CUNY
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Queens, NY 11367-1597
(Tel) 718-997-3800
(Fax) 718-997-3849

Mon-Thurs 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Edward Smaldone

Edward Smaldone

Associate Director

Fields of Study:

Degrees and Studies:
BA and MA in Music from Queens College
PhD in composition from the City University of New York

Edward Smaldone is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, having joined the fulltime faculty in 1989.  He was also the Director of the School and Chairman of the faculty from 2002 - 2016.  He is currently back on the teaching faculty and serving as an Associate Director of the School. 

Prof. Smaldone is a graduate of Queens College (BA ’78, MA ’80) and holds a PhD in composition from the City University of New York Graduate Center (1986). His composition teachers include George Perle, Ralph Shapey, Henry Weinberg and Hugo Weisgall. He also studied Music Theory, Analysis and Music History with Sigmund Levarie, Carl Schachter, Charles Burkhart, Saul Novack, Henry Burnett, Joel Lester, Edward Lerner, and Barry Brook.

Prof. Smaldone is the recipient of awards such as the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as grants and awards from ASCAP, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo Corporation, the Charles Ives Center for the Arts, the Percussive Arts Society, and the American Music Center. In 2016 he was named “Composer of the Year” by the Classical Recording Foundation at their annual Gala at National Sawdust, in Williamsburg.

His music has been performed by the Munich Radio Orchestra, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Oberlin New Music Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, the Florilegeum Choir, League/ISCM Chamber Players, Peabody Camerata, Stony Brook “Premieres!” Ensemble, Oratorio Sinfonica Japan, the EOS Orchestra of Beijing, China, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and many other soloists and ensembles in the United States, Canada, China, Japan and Europe. An active composer for the dance, Prof. Smaldone has arranged music by and attributed to Pergolesi which has been performed worldwide by Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. Other collaborations have been with the Hartford Ballet and dancer-choreographer Yin Mei.

His music is recorded on the CRI, New World, Capstone, Ablaze and Naxos labels, including his latest CD, “Rituals: Sacred and Profane.” In 2015 the New York Virtuoso Singers commissioned a choral work, L’Infinito, which was premiered at Merkin Hall and subsequently recorded for release on the Naxos label, on a CD featuring the music of twelve Queens College composers. He is a revising author for the fifth and sixth editions of "A New Approach to Sight Singing,” published by W.W. Norton and used by hundreds of schools across the country.

Smaldone’s music has always been a blend of rich chromaticism that derives from the 20th Century models of the post-tonal world.  This harmonic vocabulary is tempered with a strong rhythmic sense and a love of improvisation and jazz.


“Edward Smaldone's work The beauty of Innuendo …is reminiscent of both Sibelius and Douglas Lilburn, with its brilliant brass, high wind writing and cells of notes that gradually build into a longer phrase.

Very pleasurable and committed performances.”

Geoff Pearce, Music and Vision, Australia, 2016


“The earliest works here exhibit a fetching take on East Coast style dissonance. Music from the 1990’s…a certain personal take on Americana…. a carefully considered, clearly expressed motivic tautness. This often intriguing release is worth a listen.”

David Cleary, The New Music Connoisseur, 2003


“...a fluent blend of jazz, American populism, New York intensity, overt Romanticism. …creating a synthesis that is harmonious and yet diverse, backed up by very impressive technique.”

Robert Carl, Fanfare, 2001


“I am definitely rushing out to find the music for Edward Smaldone's piano pieces "Scenes from the Heartland," part of the CD of the same name devoted entirely to Smaldone's music . Like his Rhapsody for piano, the Scenes represent a rich combination of free atonality, Mahlerian lushness, and jazz.”

Jennifer Undercofler, The NewMusicBox.org, 2000

Listen to Prof. Smaldone's Recordings.

Music Building 203


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