“My work doesn't belong to any one school or method of composition; one of my biggest challenges is to develop techniques that enable me to express myself musically through whatever sounds the subject calls for.”
David Ludwig's contemporary classical compositions address a wide range of topics—from climate change and astronomical phenomena, to gun violence and religious traditions—in works for orchestra and chamber ensemble, chorus and solo voice, theater, dance, and film. Ludwig explains, “I use style and genre to adapt to the motivating ideas of the piece, not the other way around.” His music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” by The New York Times, and he was selected as one of NPR's “Top 100 Composers Under 40” in 2012. His work has been commissioned and performed by numerous recognized artists and ensembles, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, PRISM Quartet, pianist Jonathan Biss, and violinists Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh. In 2012, his choral work “The New Colossus” was selected as the opening music for the private prayer service for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. His awards include recognition from American Composers Forum, Independence Foundation, Theodore Presser Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ludwig is on the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, and he directs the Curtis 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. In 2016, he received a Center Project grant to premiere The Anchoress, a new song cycle for soprano bridging Renaissance and contemporary musical languages, with poetry by Katie Ford.