Avery with folded arms

Avery Griffin

baritone & composer

Avery Griffin is a freelance musician working extensively in New York, New Jersey, and New England. He has had the privilege of working with a wide variety of notable artists including prestigious conductors Simon Carrington, Andrew Parrot, Andrew Megill and Jane Glover, composers Toby Twining, Joseph Maneri, Jason Eckardt, Rinde Eckert and Caroline Shaw and choreographer Mark Morris.

Avery is a passionate advocate of new music and his primary avenue of expression in this vein is through the eight-voice vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Founded in 2009 by conductor, singer, composer, and educator Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth seeks to expand the range of possibilities for vocal composition by incorporating different singing techniques from around the world into an ever increasing body of newly commissioned works. Roomful of Teeth's self-titled debut album won the Grammy Award for best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

In addition to Roomful of Teeth Avery has extensive performance experience with the wider world of new and experimental music ranging from the work of IRCAM veterans Pascale Criton and Ketty Nez to the neo-romantic aesthetic of Martin Amlin to the 72-note octave technique of James Bergin. Avery has premiered several works written specifically for him by composers that include Boston-based great Ezra Sims. A composer himself, Avery's output includes several song sets, electroacoustic etudes, a piano sonata, and numerous choral works which have been premiered by ensembles including the Boston University Chamber Chorus and the Trinity Wall Street Choir.

New music is far from Avery's only love and he has sung with several prestigious New York choral ensembles which specialize not only in traditional western ensemble singing but also in early music performance practice. From the fall of 2010 to the spring of 2014 he was a member of the St. Thomas Church Choir of Men and Boys at 5th Avenue in Manhattan under the direction of John Scott. Before this Avery sang with the prestigious Trinity Wall Street Choir of downtown Manhattan and has participated in several distinguished concert series and festivals including the Spoleto USA and Mostly Mozart festivals in the United States and the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow, Russia. Avery spends July in Carmel by the sea, California where he takes part in the Carmel Bach Festival as a member of the professional ensemble.

As an educator Avery held the post of “Theory and History Coordinator” at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a Summer program for musically gifted high school students, from the Summers of 2008 to 2010. His duties included structuring curriculum and teaching beginning and advanced theory and history courses. Avery is also a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist for the Very Young Composer program which seeks to promote the unfettered artistic creativity of New York public school children by allowing them to compose for both chamber ensembles and full orchestras. Original works by the children are premiered by both NYPhil Teaching Artists and even actual members of the Philharmonic. Avery does similar work with the Songcatchers Composers of the Future program in New Rochelle, NY.

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