John W Rot
Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor
What I do
Professor and department chair, Composition
As a composer, he strives to create art that challenges and confounds preconceived notions regarding form, rhythm, and development, while employing unique conceptualizations of division and simultaneity to create powerful temporal and sonic experiences. His work often straddles divisions between free atonality and tonality/spectralism, employing traditional acoustic instruments alongside electronic and mechanical elements, and breaking down typical paradigms concerning the performer-audience relationship and the concert structure as a whole. He has been performed and commissioned by a diverse group of ensembles and performers including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Court-circuit, loadbang, and TAK Ensemble, as well as music festivals in the United States and Europe.
As a pianist, Rot has competed and performed both nationally and internationally. He has performed as concerto soloist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Illinois's three-time "Orchestra of the Year") and in the Gala Concert of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. He placed first in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition open senior division, and has been a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra youth concerto competition and a semifinalist in the Oberlin International Piano Competition.
Beyond composition and performance, teaching is a fundamental facet of Rot's artistic life. As an enthusiastic purveyor of progressive and non-traditional pedagogy, he has collaborated extensively over the last decade with the Chicagoland non-profit Hamilton Wings on the SCORE! (Students Creating Opera to Reinforce Education) program, in which in which young students create, produce, and perform an original opera over the course of a year. He has also worked with the NYC-based institution Face the Music, developing a compositional workshop for young musicians designed to awaken creativity in free sonic exploration. He is fundamentally committed to the study of composition as a crucial element of an educational paradigm in which contemporary music functions as a potent means of discourse and discovery.
Rot holds degrees in composition from Columbia University and Oberlin Conservatory. Past teachers include Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, George Lewis, Reiko Füting, Lewis Nielson, and Josh Levine.