Composer Judd Greenstein was born and raised in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, where he began his compositional life writing hip hop beats as a teenager. His concert works reflect those origins as well as his traditional piano background, combining an urban, beat-oriented sensibility with a late Romantic classical harmonic language. A passionate advocate for the indie classical community in New York, Judd has written much of his work for the city’s virtuosic ensembles and solo performers, and he has tailored his compositions to their specific talents and abilities.
Judd has been praised as “among New York’s most gifted younger composers” by New Yorker critic Alex Ross, “one of the bright lights among young composers” by WNYC’s Evening Music, and “[one] of New York’s more prominent young postclassical composers” by Time Out New York. He has attracted attention through his close collaboration with many of the best young solo musicians in New York and beyond, including violist Nadia Sirota, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, percussionist Samuel Solomon, violinist Colin Jacobsen, pianist Michael Mizrahi, flutist Alex Sopp, clarinetist Sara Budde, and cellist and vocalist Jody Redhage. His work has also been performed and commissioned by a wide array of presenters and ensembles around the country, including Present Music, the Seattle Chamber Players, and the University of Texas at Austin New Music Ensemble as well as many prominent institutions in New York, including Carnegie Hall, the Kaufman Center, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New Millennium Ensemble, the Knights, and the New York Youth Symphony.
Judd’s work has been heard at the Bang on a Can Marathon (both in New York and at Mass MoCA), the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, MATA, Wordless Music, the Carlsbad Music Festival, the Look & Listen Festival, Bumbershoot, Music on the Edge (in Pittsburgh), Icebreaker (in Seattle), and many more festivals. International performances of Judd’s music recently took place at the Festival Internacional de Chihuahua in Mexico, by NOW Ensemble; the Musiekgebouw in Amsterdam, by Guitar Quartet Catch; in Rome, by the Williams College Concert Choir; and at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, by the Israel Contemporary String Quartet. He is also the composer-in-residence for Sympho, a collaborative orchestral project conceived and directed by renowned conductor Paul Haas. Other recent performances include the New York premiere of his choral work Amergin (winner of the Trinity Composition Competition) by the Trinity Wall Street Choir, a premiere by Music at Minneapolis's Southern Theater, and the presentation of his piano work First Ballade by Blair McMillan at the Keys to the Future festival.
Judd received degrees from Williams College and the Yale School of Music and has been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music. He is completing his Ph.D. dissertation on hip hop music at Princeton University.