Malcolm Lynn Baker is the Director of the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Program at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver, where he directs the Lamont Jazz Orchestra, coaches combos, and teaches Jazz Improvisation and Composition class, Jazz History classes, and Jazz Techniques classes. Lynn holds degrees from the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University and has also studied at Mt Hood Community College with Larry McVeigh and at Indiana University with David Baker, Dominic Spera and Eugene Robinson. Before coming to Denver in 1993 Lynn taught at Indiana University and before that Carleton College, and universities in Oregon.
Lynn is an award-winning composer, performer, and educator winning the 1987 Westside Composer Award (Minneapolis, MN), the 1995 COVisions Award for Jazz Composition, the 1980 Ruth Loraine Close award in performance from the University of Oregon, and the 2005 Downbeat Magazine award for Outstanding Achievement in Jazz Education – College Level and students and ensembles from Lamont are frequent Downbeat Student Music Award winners.
In addition to his educational activities Lynn is an active performer and clinician, performing with his own Lynn Baker Quartet, the free-improvisation trio Rhythmic_Void, performing with and directing the Rocky Mountain Jazz Repertoire Orchestra, and programming the jazz series at the Cherokee Ranch and Castle Performing Arts Series. His clinician appearances at colleges, universities, high schools, and festivals have taken him across the North American continent and to Asia. He is a Origin Records recording artist with his debut release on that label scheduled for September 2010.
Michael Wittgraf earned the D.Mus. in composition from Northwestern University, the M.A. in music theory and composition from the University of Minnesota, and the B.A. in mathematics from Carleton College. His composition teachers include Dominick Argento, Andrew Imbrie, M. William Karlins, Alan Stout, Jay Alan Yim, Alex Lubet, and Phillip Rhodes. In 2005 he served as Dayton-Hudson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at Carleton College. Currently he is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Dakota. He specializes in composition, theory, technology, and bassoon. Prior to 1998 he served on the music faculties at Northwestern University and St. Mary’s College.
Wittgraf has won the University of Minnesota Craig and Janet Swan Sesquicentennial Commissioning Project. Additionally, his music has received special distinction in the ASCAP/Nissim Foundation Composition Contest, and he has been a finalist in the Ladislav Kubik International Prize in Composition, the Modern Chamber Players International Composition Contest, and the Pi Kappa Lambda Chamber Music Composition Competition. His music has been performed by many artists, including Zeitgeist, Trio Montecino, the Chiara String Quartet, the BECS Quartet of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Thursday Musical of St. Paul, the University of North Dakota Wind Ensemble, the DuQuesne Contemporary Ensemble, and Tempus Fugit. Wittgraf has been commissioned through the National Symphony Orchestra, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the North Dakota Music Teachers Association, The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, The University of North Dakota, and many other organizations, ensembles and performers. He was named the 2011 North Valley Arts Council (North Dakota and Minnesota) Artist of the Year. He was the commissioned composer for the National Symphony’s North Dakota Residency in 2003. He has won grants from the Bush Foundation, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, The American Composers Forum, and the American Music Center. His catalog contains over sixty works, and includes music for orchestra, band, choir, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, voice, and electronics. His music has been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.