Patrick Zimmerli, Composer, Performer, Producer, Presenter

Projects and Commissions (2010-present)
2023-2024Tahirih: The Unveiling (Song Cycle for singer Tierney Sutton, Alto Flute, and Orchestra based on poems of the seminal Iranian poet and historian Tahirih IN PRE-PRODUCTION)Tierney Sutton/The Knights Orchestra
2022Fallen (Chamber Opera in form of Filmed Episodic Series IN PRODUCTION)Arizona Opera
2021Children of Bronzeville, Song Cycle for Piano and VoicesGreater Cincinnati Foundation
2019-2020Views of Chicago: (cycle of 9 Pieces for Chicago-based ensembles of jazz, chamber music, and vocal music IN PRODUCTION)Music in the Loft
2019MessagesSeattle Commissioning Club
2018Concerto for Flute and OrchestraJasmine Choi, NY Classical Players
2018Anthems, for full Chorus SSAATTBB a cappella (Updating of the European National Anthem, with lyrics in 62 languages)Mikrokosmos Vocal Ensemble
2017Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny (Evening-length Oratorio based on the poems, diaries and letters of the WWI poet)Florence Gould Foundation
2017Komm, for full Chorus (Composition based on JS Bach for Jumala, a show for Choir and Taiko drums)Mikrokosmos Vocal Ensemble
2016Waterfall/Gathering Pools, for 12 PercussionistsAMIS de Centre Pompidou
2015Clockworks, for Tenor Sax, Piano, Bass, and DrumsChamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant
2015Sleight of Hand, for Solo PercussionConcerts de Poche, France
2015Aspects of Darkness and Light, for Joshua Redman et alSeattle Commissioning Club
2014Signs of Life, for Jazz Piano and Classical MarimbaBulgarian Cultural Commission
2014Brownian Motion, for Symphonic BandBrown Univ. 250th Anniversary
2013Sappho Songs, for Luciana Souza and Gary VersaceWigmore Hall, London
2013Quintet for Saxophone, Strings, and PianoFestival Mozaic, California
2012Sonata Kol Nidrei, for Solo CelloLev Aronson Project/Brian Thornton
2011Introduction and Allegro, for 2 Pianos/ ResidencyMusic in the Loft, Chicago, Illinois
2010Festival Overture, for Full OrchestraColorado Music Festival “Click” People’s Commission
MessagesPatrick Zimmerli, Steve Wilson, Chris Potter, Ron Blake, Edward Simon, Scott Colley, EJ Strickland2024 Nonesuch
Composer, Saxophonist, Producer
Children of BronzevilleSamara Joy, Joshua Banbury, Vanisha Gould, Aaron Diehl, Helen Sung2022Savage Content
Composer, Producer
Book of DreamsPatrick Zimmerli, Kevin Hays, Satoshi Takeishi2020NouvelleComposer, Saxophone
Sun on SandJoshua Redman + Brooklyn Rider2019NonesuchComposer, Producer
Day after DayBen Monder2019SunnysideProducer
ClockworksPatrick Zimmerli2018SonglinesComposer, Saxophone
So Many ThingsA-S von Otter2016NaïveArranger
Shores Against SilencePatrick Zimmerli2016SonglinesComposer, Saxophone
Signs of LifeThomas Encho + V. Serafimova2016Deutsche GrammophonComposer
Walking ShadowsJoshua Redman + Brad Mehldau2013NonesuchArranger
Lev Aronson ProjectBrian Thornton2012TelarcComposer
Modern MusicBrad Mehldau + Kevin Hays2011NonesuchComposer, Arranger, Producer
VariationsKevin Hays2011PirouetProducer
River of LightTimothy Fain2011NaxosComposer
Stone and SteelKristina Reiko Cooper2008KochComposer, Arranger, Producer
Piano Trios No. 1 & 2Scott Yoo et al2006ArabesqueComposer
PhoenixPatrick Zimmerli2004SonglinesComposer, Arranger, Saxophone, Producer
Book of HoursOcturn2002SonglinesComposer, Saxophone, Producer
ExpansionsPatrick Zimmerli2000SonglinesComposer, Saxophone, Producer
Twelve Sacred DancesPatrick Zimmerli1998ArabesqueComposer, Saxophone
ExplosionPatrick Zimmerli1996SonglinesComposer, Saxophone
Performance Highlights
2023Messages Pre-recording performances: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ars Nova Philadelphia, The Falcon
2022American Premiere of Messages: DC Jazz Festival, Jimmy’s of Portsmouth, Jazz Gallery
2020Premiere of Concerto for Flute, Percussion and Strings, Jasmine Choi, flute, Satoshi Takeishi, percussion, New York Classical Players, Dongmin Kim, cond.
2019NYC Premiere of Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
2017Premiere of Oratorio Alan Seeger: Instrument of Destiny at the Invalides, Paris
2016-18Premiere of Clockworks at Poisson Rouge; CD release at Ecstatic Music Festival
2015Conducted premiere of full orchestral version of the Concerto #2 for Piano and Percussion in Sala Sao Paolo, Brazil, with pianist Sonia Rubinsky and the TUCCA Orchestra
2014Premiered Sappho Songs with Luciana Souza and Gary Versace at Wigmore Hall, London
2014Conducted world premiere of Aspects of Darkness and Light with Joshua Redman, Escher String Quartet, Scott Colley and Satoshi Takeishi at Wigmore Hall, London
2011-13Pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays toured Modern Music worldwide, performing at such venues as Carnegie Hall in NYC, Salle Pleyel in Paris, and the Vienna Konzerthaus
Selected Recent Press Quotes

“Clockworks is a major accomplishment…a highly structured, optimistic work that runs through a course of mind-bending variations and ends on a strong, singable melody.”– DownBeat editors pick

“…marvelous lyrical, witty and emotive suite…engaging songs teeming with improvisational flair and in some stretches polyrhythmic glee…More spins recommended.” – Dan Ouellette

“Zimmerli has a natural affinity for shifting intricacies and formal convolutions.” – WBGO Radio

“…melds the spontaneity and exuberance of jazz with the complexity and rigor of the modernist composers he admires.” – The New Yorker

Selected Writings and Interviews

Josh Redman and Brooklyn Rider on NPR’s Soundcheck, May 2017
Interview with Ethan Iverson on Do the Math
Time is Flat Nov 2016 New Music Box
Jazz and Classical— Musical, Cultural, Listening Differences Nov 2016 New Music Box
WWFM Interview
Neon Jazz Interview


2019 (In Production) Curator, Then and Now: New Music and Roots, National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY, in conjunction with WNET Public Television, NYC

  • Conceived series of concerts juxtaposing new pieces with classics that influenced them. The series will be based in classical music but will also cover jazz and possibly indy pop and other genres, showing how music evolves from its sources.
  • Concerts will be concurrent with a TV series on WNET’s new AllArts Channel.

2016-17 Curator, IN/TER\SECT Festival, Bryant Park, NYC

  • Conceived series of jazz and classical music for Manhattan’s Bryant Park combining classical music and jazz at the nexus of new creation.
  • Selected ensembles according to an aesthetic of high-quality, innovative but audience-friendly music whose broad stylistic range also encompassed electronics and even rap.
  • Coordinated with Chamber Music America to ensure that their grantees were well-represented on the series.
2017-18Paris Conservatoire
2011-13Professor in Jazz, Sciences Po, Paris
2005-10Professor in Classical Music Theory, Columbia University
2010-presentCoachings with established jazz and classical musicians
2003-2005Composer in Residence, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra
  • DMA/MPhil, Columbia University, 2000/1996
  • BA, Columbia University, 1990