Patrick Zimmerli is a New York- and Paris-based composer, producer, and saxophonist. His CD Sun on Sand, with Joshua Redman and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, was released on Nonesuch Recordings in 2019. This marks his third collaboration with Nonesuch, following Modern Music, his two-piano CD featuring Kevin Hays and Brad Mehldau, and Redman’s Walking Shadows. In 2020 he released Book of Dreams, a vinyl-only album, for Newvelle Records
Since winning the inaugural Thelonious Monk Composers Competition in 1993, he has written, recorded and performed with many leading lights in the classical and jazz worlds.
The COVID crisis forced Zimmerli online, where he created a “Virtual Venue” concept featuring musicians filmed in different places around the world, using filmic techniques to give the illusion of their playing together. The music for the pilot, entitled Children of Bronzeville, was based on poems of Gwendolyn Brooks, and that spawned video collaborations with such artists as Kurt Elling, Shelly Berg, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tierney Sutton, Niki Harris, and John Daversa.
In addition he has was awarded a commission from Opera Arizona to write a serial opera specifically to be viewed on Cell Phones and Tablets.
Currently he is producing Children of Bronzeville as a video/documentary for Savage Content, featuring vocalists Samara Joy, Vanisha Gould, and Joshua Banbury, along with pianists Helen Sung and Aaron Diehl. This work will launch in early 2022.
Pre-COVID projects include Views of Chicago, a “multi-composition” of nine pieces for nine ensembles across many genres in the Chicago area (of which Children of Bronzeville is an offshoot); Messages, a commission from the Seattle Commissioning Club for an evening-length work for classical saxophone quartet + jazz trio; and
a Concerto for Flute and Jazz Percussion for Jasmine Choi, Satoshi Takeishi and
the New York Classical Players, premiered in early 2020. From 2016-17 Zimmerli curated the INTERSECT festival in NYC’s Bryant Park, and developed Now and Then, a TV series juxtaposing old and new music, for National Sawdust and WNET.
Zimmerli has written numerous orchestral, chamber and choral works, including two four-movement Piano Trios for the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and two four- movement Piano Concertos with jazz percussion, for Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra with pianists Ethan Iverson and Sonia Rubinsky.
Other large-scale pieces include Clockworks, a Chamber Music America Commission, premiered at (le) Poisson Rouge and released on CD in 2018. In 2017 he
wrote Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny, an oratorio for male choir, operatic tenor, jazz percussion and piano, premiered at the Invalides Cathedral in Paris; it was reprised in
Reims and at the Fondation Boghossian in Brussels, with a New York premiere
at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in November, 2019. A radio program was created from the work with narration by NPR’s Scott Simon, that was aired on NPR stations on Memorial Day 2021.
Zimmerli’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Sala São Paolo in Brazil, the Vienna Konzerthaus Grosser Saal and the SF Jazz Center. He also created a site-specific piece entitled Waterfall/Gathering Pools for the Centre Pompidou in Paris with the Paris Percussion Group.
His music has been featured at MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum,
on NPR and WQXR, and has been released on the Naxos, Blue Note, Arabesque, Songlines, and Naïve labels. He has taught at the Paris Conservatoire, Sciences Po, and Columbia University, where he holds a DMA in Composition.