A native New Yorker, Charles Griffin’s works have been regularly performed throughout North and South 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). From 2005-10 he relocated to Latvia, where worked on projects with his own 8-piece ensemble as well as commissions from regional sources such as several works for the Riga-based women’s vocal ensemble Putni, a large work for organ, timpani and 30-voice choir to mark the 6th International Organ Music Festival in Liepaja, and a large work for electronics, flute quartet, dancers and video for a premiere in Riga in 2010, with premieres following in Sweden and Lithuania. He was also a lecturer for the US Embassies in Latvia and Lithuania during this period, and a co-administrator of New Music Incubator, an international collaborative project between composers and performers from Baltic and Scandinavian countries.
In 2010 he returned to the US to take a teaching position in the then fledgling online MPBS (Bachelor of Science in Music Production) degree program at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. The rapid growth and success of that program resulted in a creation of a campus version of the same degree, and Griffin’s campus launch for his Advanced Music Composition and Programming course is scheduled for September 2015. In the meantime he has founded the Central Florida Composers Forum, a grass-roots local presenting organization for local composers. In 2014 he inaugurated Zero Crossings, a once-weekly radio show on WPRK 91.5 FM at Rollins College, and Orlando’s home for contemporary and 20th century classical music. With an emphasis on living and local first, Griffin interviews today’s composers, conductors and performers and broadcasts the masterpieces of tomorrow.
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 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.