Elizabeth Ogonek

Associate Professor


Elizabeth Ogonek is an American composer living and working in New York. Her music has been described as “shimmering,” “dramatic,” and “painstakingly crafted” by the Chicago Tribune and “elusive and wondrous” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sought after for her chamber and orchestral music, Ogonek has received commissions from orchestras, ensembles, and institutions including the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Proms, the Fromm Foundation, Music Academy of the West, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Lakes Area Music Festival, and the Harvard Musical Association. Other orchestras that have performed her music include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Gävle Symphony Orchestra. Her music has been conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, Ricardo Muti, Xian Zhang, François-Xavier Roth, Tim Weiss, Kirill Karabits, Elim Chan, and Christian Reif. She has worked closely with violinists Benjamin Beilman and Karen Gomyo, and pianist Xak Bjerken.

Ogonek served as Mead Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2015-18. In the summer of 2018, Ogonek was in residence at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Her music was also featured in the 2018 BBC Proms in a collaboration with Gerard McBurney. In early 2020, Ogonek was in residence with the FLUX Quartet at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama, Japan for performances of her 2013 string quartet Running at Still Life. In 2022, she became the inaugural composer-in-residence at the Lakes Area Music Festival which co-commissioned her orchestral work Starling Variations along with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Ogonek’s work has been recognized by the ASCAP Foundation, the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Ohio Arts Council, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Born in 1989, Ogonek grew up in New York City. Her primary teachers were Don Freund, Claude Baker, Michael Gandolfi, Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, and Julian Anderson. A former Beinecke and Marshall Scholar, she holds degrees from Indiana University, the University of Southern California and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. From 2015-2021, she taught at Oberlin Conservatory. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Music at Cornell University.

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