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b. 1955 -

Photo of John Jeffrey Gibbens(9k)
Gibbens in early 1989
Photo by Milt Leidman
Madison Wisconsin

    John Jeffrey Gibbens was born in 1955 in Harvey, Illinois, USA. He holds degrees in Composition and French literature from Lawrence University and graduate degrees in Composition from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Gibbens's teaching experience includes a semester as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin College. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda and several professional organizations. Gibbens's principal composition teachers are Ben Johnston and James Ming.
    Publications include a review of N. Matossian's Xenakis in the December, 1987, issue of Notes; Burst for Snare Drum in volume 3 of The Noble Snare from Smith Publications; and "Design in Ben Johnston's Sonata for Microtonal Piano," Interface, fall 1989. "Debussy's Impact on Ives," one of two articles for Gibbens's dissertation project, has been praised as "path-breaking" by Geoffrey Block in Charles Ives: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1988). This article is superseded by a book-length study in manuscript, Debussy, Counterpart and Rejected Model: An Essay on Charles Ives (1990), commissioned by Block for a collection of essays on Ives and some of his principal European contemporaries.
    Gibbens's recent compositions, from Nonet (1984) to Words for Cello and Piano (1992), draw on familiar musical elements, treated in such a way that they are rarely present on the musical surface, and do not predetermine the "style" of a given composition. He believes musical traditions can inform and transform contemporary life only to the extent that they are reinterpreted through composition.

Archived Compositions

Burst (1987)
for solo snare drum
(see The Noble Snare vol. 3)

Breaks (1973)
for solo piano


Audio Files

Timing, K and format
Timing, K and format

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