Kyle Gann is a composer and theoretician of microtonal music. He was born 1955 in Dallas, Texas. He has been assistant professor of music at Bard College since 1997 and new-music critic for the Village Voice since 1986. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and American Music in the 20th Century (Schirmer Books, 1997); he has also written scholarly articles on John Cage, La Monte Young, Henry Cowell, Mikel Rouse, and other American composers. A collection of his Village Voice columns, It's Only As Good As It Sounds, will appear in 2001 (University of California Press). Gann studied composition with Ben Johnston, Morton Feldman, and Peter Gena, and obtained a B. Mus. (1977) from Oberlin College and an M. Mus. (1981) and D. Mus (1983) from Northwestern University.
Gann's music is often microtonal, using up to 37 pitches per octave, often in just intonation, and his rhythmic language, based on contrasting tempos both in quick succession and at the same time, was developed from study of Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo Indian musics. His works have been performed on the New Music America, Bang on a Can, and Spoleto festivals, and across Europe. He received a 1994 commission from Music in Motion for his Astrological Studies, and in 1996-97 a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artists' Fellowship. His music is recorded on the Lovely Music, New Tone, and Monroe Street labels.