Works performed by Earplay:

Three for Trio

The music of Eric Sawyer receives frequent performances across the country and internationally, including at New York's Weill and Merkin concert halls and at Tanglewood, as well as in England, France, and Germany. Many of his larger works spring from American historical subjects, while his output also includes a substantial amount of abstract instrumental music.

Sawyer's first opera Our American Cousin (libretto by John Shoptaw) tells the story of Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater through the eyes of the actors and audience, and was premiered in 2008 by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and released as a CD on the BMOP/sound label. A second opera, The Garden of Martyrs (libretto by Harley Erdman), based on the infamous 1806 Daley/Halligan murder trial in Northampton MA, received its premiere in September 2013 from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. A third, The Scarlet Professor, was presented in an initial workshop in June 2015.

Sawyer's Fantasy Concerto: Concord Conversations, based on the American Transcendentalists, was given its premiere in October 2013 by Triple Helix and the Concord Orchestra. A chamber music collection String Works and the cantata The Humble Heart based on texts of the American Shakers are available on CD from Albany Records.

Sawyer has received the Joseph Bearns Prize, awards from the Tanglewood Music Center and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a recent prize from the Ravinia Festival for his piano trio Lincoln's Two Americas. Sawyer's music has also been performed by the Brentano String Quartet, Triple Helix, Boston Musica Viva, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Concord Orchestra, Seraphim Singers, Radius Ensemble, Laurel Trio, Ives Quartet, Arden Quartet, Lighthouse Chamber Players, Essex Chamber Players, Earplay, and Empyrean Ensemble.

Following four years as Chair of Composition and Theory at the Longy School of Music, Sawyer joined the composition faculty of Amherst College in 2002. His teachers have included Leon Kirchner, Ross Bauer, Tison Street, George Edwards, and Thomas Benjamin.

Sawyer's website is

[from program for February 1, 2016 concert]