Patricia Morehead, composer and oboist, is the Founder and former Artistic Director of CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. She is past president of the International Alliance of Women in Music and American Women Composers Midwest, and organized the latter’s fifth anniversary year featuring the music of African-American women composers in two concerts at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. She made her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1977 and has concertized actively in Brazil, Canada, Europe, China and the USA.
Patricia Morehead has had over forty works written for her and has premiered over fifty compositions. Her work Music for Five was the 1990 winner of the Search for New Music Competition of the International League of Women Composers. Her composition Flares and Phasers for two alto flutes was chosen for performance at the Bowling Green New Music and Art Festival, 1991, and the performance was subsequently chosen for broadcast. A song from her cycle Zoological Garden, commissioned by the Exsultate Trio, was performed live on WTTW on Easter Sunday and broadcast nationally. She has received two commissions from the American String Teachers Association, in 1986 and 1991, and she has been the recipient of an Alaska Council of the Arts Commission in 1988 and a California Meet the Composer Grant in 1992. The Wonderful Musician was chosen for a concert reading in Toronto, Canada, by the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop in 1991, which she founded, and subsequently performed by the CCP (Contemporary Chamber Players) at the University of Chicago and by CUBE. Her Edible Flute for flute and piano, commissioned by Chicago flutist Mary Stolper, was premiered at DePaul University in April, 1993 and has been played by many different flutists all over the United States. The Edible Flute and Flares and Phasers were played at the National Flute Convention in Chicago in August 1997.
Ms. Morehead participated in the conference womenALASKAmusic at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where her song A Chantar for mezzo-soprano, oboe d’amore, viola and percussion was premiered as part of the Trobairitz project in Summer 1993. The work was performed on Italian television in October 1994 with musicians from the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome. Her work The Heavens Declare the Glory of God was premiered in Chicago in February 1994 as part of the International Festival of Sacred Music and was also performed at the Ravinia Festival on the Musica Viva series in August of that year. In 1996 Ms. Morehead was commissioned by the International Festival of Sacred Music for a second time to compose Good New Falls Gently, a cantata for soprano and orchestra. It was premiered in three Italian cities—Trani, Bari and Rome—in October 1995. Her song music for an abandoned warehouse for soprano and clarinet was premiered at the International Composers Festival, Talloires, France in July 1996 and con amore for b.c. was premiered at the same festival in the year 2000. In 1998 she was chosen to write a new two-piano work, The Handmaid’s Tale, for Ursula Oppens and Aki Takahashi in celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of American Women Composers Midwest.
In 2015 she completed her opera Black Hawk Speaks for soloists, chorus and chamber ensemble. A full reading was done at Grace Place in Chicago in spring 2015.
Recent works include commissions from the Arbitrio for the Double Reed Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a saxophone quartet for the Italian group Donne in Sax, a chorus and orchestra work for the Lutheran School of Theology, and a solo harpsichord piece written for Amercian virtuoso Jory Vinicour who lives in France. During 2004-5 she composed Cityscape for orchestra, premiered by the Chicago Businessman’s Orchestra and later recorded by the Czech Philharmonic, and Salome Gives Seven Explanations for a Kiss, premiered by CUBE with soprano Michelle Areyzaga.
She has written two works for North/South Consonance in New York: Disquieted Souls for English Horn and chamber ensemble, commissioned and premiered with the composer as soloist by North/South Consonance in New York in April 2009, and subsequently performed and recorded with the CUBE Ensemble by Carolyn Hove, English horn soloist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Come Dance With Me the Dance of Life for bassoon and chamber ensemble, premiered by Gilbert de Jean with North/South Consonance in New York in June 2015. Other recent works include Three Icons of the Feminine Divine, composed for oboist Alicia Tait and premiered at the Double Reed Conference in Birmingham, England, in July 2009; Prairie Portraits for English horn and piano, premiered by Carolyn Hove at her English horn workshop at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; and Yangtzee River Journey for erhu, pipa, oboe, violin and cello. Her work Conversations for oboe and percussion was premiered on January 24, 2011 WFMT Radio by Alicia Tait and George Blanchett. Other recent works include Metropolis for orchestra, premiered by the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony, Russell Vinick, conductor, and the song Sempre un giorno nuovo, a setting of a poem by Cathy Ann Elias, premiered by soprano Henriët Fourie. Ms. Morehead is currently working on a tuba concerto for tuba virtuoso Micky Wrobleski and the Shanghai Radio Orchestra.
Ms. Morehead studied composition at The University of Chicago with Ralph Shapey, John Eaton, and Shulamit Ran. She recently retired from her positions on the adjunct faculty of Columbia College, Chicago, and Dominican University, River Forest, and she was for 17 years leader of the Composers Forum at the Merit School of Music.