A native New Yorker, Charles Griffin’s works have been regularly performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico in such venues as Merkin and Weill Recital Halls in NYC and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, the SpoletoUSA, Aspen,
and International Cervantino Festivals, and conventions of the WPPC (World Piano Pedagogy Conference), PASIC (Percussive Arts Society), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and NFA (National Flute Association). In 2005, he relocated to Latvia, where he has been working on projects with his own 8-piece ensemble as well as commissions from the Riga-based women’s vocal ensemble Putni, for the 6th International Organ Music Festival in Liepaja (a large work for organ, timpani and 30-voice choir), and US-based commissions for The Westchester Chamber Orchestra and the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, among others. He has recently begun delving into electro-acoustic music, with a premiere in July 2009 at the Norberg Electronic Music Festival in Sweden. Upcoming projects include a new work for trumpet, strings and electronics with musicians from the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra; and a solo piano work for Mexico-based pianist Ana Cervantes.
He has received grants from ASCAP, Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA, Queens Council on the Arts and New Dramatists, and commissions from Ethos Percussion Group, the Piedmont Choirs, and the Dale Warland Singers, among others. His work has been included on several Compact Discs and has regularly been aired on radio stations such as WNYC and WQXR in New York, WGBH in Boston and WHPK in Chicago.
His several residencies have included Faith Partners (an interfaith residency in New York City funded by the Wolfensohn Family Foundation involving Temple Emanu-el, St. Bartholomew’s Church and St. Ignatius-Loyola, where he composed four choral works for the three institutions), another choral residency at the Frank Sinatra High School for the Arts, and most recently, during the summers 2004 and 2006 at the International Festival for Young Latvian Musicians, in Ogre, Latvia.
As a freelance copyist, orchestrator or arranger, Griffin has worked on projects for Phillips Classics, Jessye Norman, Hugh Downs, Yo Yo Ma, and President Clinton’s Inauguration. He earned his B. A. in voice and composition and M. A. in composition from Queens College, City University of New York, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of ASCAP, former Director of the New York Chapter of the American Composers Forum, and was on the board of directors of the Long Island Composers Alliance for several years. He has served on the adjunct faculties of Hofstra University, Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and Nassau Community College. He was elected into the Latvian Composer’s Union in 2006.