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The PLU Chinese Studies Program

Greg Youtz 游子国

Professor of Music and Composer

Greg Youtz
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  • Professional
  • Personal
  • Video

Education

  • D.M.A., Composition, University of Michigan, 1987
  • M.M., Composition, University of Michigan, 1982
  • B.A./B.M., Music/Composition, University of Washington, 1980

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Music Composition
  • Director of PLU's Gateway Program in Chengdu, China

Responsibilities

Applied Composition Lessons; Director of Composers’ Forum; teaches Music and Culture, Analyzing Music, Making Music, The Arts of China, and 20th Century Music courses.

Accolades

  • 2013, 2014-15 American Leadership Forum Seminar
  • 2008 Artist Trust G.A.P. Grant recipient for music recording project
  • 2001 “Composer of the Year” award from the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association
  • 1991 Burlington Northern Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 1990 Ostwald Award for FireWorks, American Bandmaster's Association
  • 1984 1st prize awarded to Scherzo for a Bitter Moon, National Bandmaster's Association Band Composition Contest
  • 1984 Charles Ives Award, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters
  • 1984 - 2013 ASCAP Standard Panel Awards

Professional Memberships/Organizations

Biography

Born in 1956 in Beirut, Lebanon, Gregory Youtz received his B.M. in composition from the University of Washington in 1980 and his D.M.A. in composition from the University of Michigan in 1987. His principal teachers have included Leslie Bassett, William Bergsma, William Bolcom and William Albright.

He was awarded a Charles Ives Award in 1984 from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and has received annual awards from ASCAP since 1990.  His Scherzo for a Bitter Moon for band won the 1984 National Bandmasters Association contest and in 1990 his Fire Works for wind ensemble won the American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award.  A choral work  If We Sell You Our Land based on the famous speech by Chief Seattle was the subject of a story on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition show in 1987 and his subsequent opera Songs from the Cedar House based on the history and legends of Indian and White cultural interaction in the Pacific Northwest premiered in February of 1991 at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. His other compositions include works for orchestra, band, choir, voice and chamber ensembles, and a one-act opera. His wind ensemble music in particular is performed regularly throughout North America, Europe and Japan. In 2001, Youtz was honored with the “Composer of the Year” award from the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association.

His compositions include works for orchestra, band, choir, voice and chamber ensembles, and he is currently at work on a second opera: Cai Yan Fiery Jade based on a libretto by Chinese poet Zhang Er 张耳. Youtz’ wind ensemble music is performed regularly throughout North America, Europe and Japan. In 2008, The Five Changes: Concerto for Percussion and Winds was performed at Carnegie hall by the Oregon State University Wind Ensemble, and in 2010 The Monkey King for wind ensemble was performed by the Shanghai Wind Orchestra at the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition.

Beyond his lifelong interest in local Native American cultures, Youtz has done research in China and Trinidad and Tobago and enjoys drawing conceptual and musical ideas from those rich traditions as well.  A native Northwesterner, he presently teaches composition, theory, history and courses in world music. He frequently teaches study abroad courses and is the Director of PLU’s China Gateway Study Abroad Program at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

Behind the Scenes with Music professor Greg Youtz and his Bach-inspired Composition

PLU Music Professor Greg Youtz: Why Classical Music Concerts are Underrated

Drum Taps: Nine Poems on Themes of War