Who is 7R? - David T. Little

Who is 7R?

David T. Little, composer
Composer of Dress in magic amulets, dark, from my feet, response to TO THE FEET

We didn't know that David was going to be named composer in residence at Opera Philadelphia when we asked him to compose for 7R.  But, the timing was perfect; we developed the 7R idea in the Fall of 2013, applied for major support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in January 2014, his residency at Opera Philly was announced in May and our green-light grant from the Pew was announced in June.  Perfect - and it's nice to have a 'home' composer; David was born and currently lives in New Jersey. It's been a great ride with him, whom we noticed due to his truly individual and creative opera Dog Days; the political nature of that work led us to believe that he may be a great fit for our aesthetic; and, we were right. 

The 37 year-old American composer has been hailed by The New Yorker as ''one of the most imaginative young composers'' on the scene. He has garnered great success with music dealing primarily with political and existential themes. His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, the Bang On A Can Marathon, and elsewhere, performed by such artists as Third Coast Percussion, Kronos Quartet, The LA Philharmonic, David's music is heavily influenced by his history as a punk/metal drummer.

Of his background and eclectic melding of styles, David has said:

I try to embrace the broadest possible musical universe. That’s how I’ve always been as a listener, so to be that way as a composer makes sense to me. My use of style in my compositions today is driven by instinct, and though I am aware of using a style, the process feels very organic. Style is a tool – like harmony and counterpoint. What tools you use depends on what you are trying to build.

David has written three operas: JFK (2016), Vinkensport or The Finch Opera (2010), and Dog Days (2012), which according to The New York Times "proved beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future." Watch excerpts from the premiere production here:

David has also written three multi-media theater works: Artaud in the Black Lodge (in progress), Soldier Songs (2006/2011), and Music for The Musical Illusionist (2007). Soldier Songs received wide critical acclaim, with Musical America commenting ''One might have expected some sort of stylistic hybrid, but Little’s music falls comfortably within the modern-day ‘classical’ idiom, his allusions to pop adding rhythmic verve and melodic appeal.'' The Atlanta Opera presented a new staging of Soldier Songs to rave reviews in fall 2015, directed by Tomer Zvulun, and designed by GLMMR. 

Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School and Shenandoah Conservatory, and is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam and Innova labels.

You can learn more about David and his music at his website: davidtlittle.com