Aaron Cassidy is an American composer, conductor, teacher, record producer, and author. After 15 years of living and working in England, in 2022 he relocated to Germany, which had increasingly become the base for much of his conducting activity. He lives in Berlin and works as Professor of Composition at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.
As a composer, he is best known for his influential work with multicolored, graphical, tablature notations that prioritise the physical, bodily, and mechanical aspects of sound-production in music, alongside his more recent work exploring the notation of ‘non-geometrical’ rhythm, which untethers speed, duration, and meter from traditional concepts of pulse. Recordings of his work are available on 12 commercial CD releases from NEOS, Kairos, NMC, HCR, and New Focus Records, and his compositions have been presented in hundreds of performances across 27 countries at festivals including Donaueschingen, Ultraschall, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus, Dark Music Days, Bludenz, Mixtur, and Tage für Neue Musik Zürich.
Aaron’s work as a conductor is stylistically diverse, encompassing both contemporary and historical repertoire across chamber, orchestral, operatic, and choral settings. He has led many dozens of world premieres, including work by Richard Barrett, Mary Bellamy, Ann Cleare, Turgut Erçetin, Jürg Frey, Sergej Newski, and Erik Oña, as well as his own compositions. Through the pandemic period he built a strong reputation for his ability to learn challenging repertoire quickly as a last-minute jump-in for numerous high-profile performances. Notable recent appearances as a conductor include performances with Musikfabrik in the Großer Saal of the Berlin Philharmonie for Musikfest Berlin (Berliner Festspiele) and at the WDR Funkhaus in Cologne for the Musikfabrik im WDR series, a performance with ensemble mosaik with works by Laura Bowler, Sara Glojnarić, and Sergej Newski at MaerzMusik, the Australian premiere of Liza Lim’s Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus with ELISION at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and a monthlong engagement as conductor and Musical Director for the premiere of Ann Cleare’s opera The Little Lives at the Munich Biennale.
- 27. Juni 2009 (2020–21) world premiere. Carl Rosman, E-flat clarinet. Musikfabrik Montagskonzert, Köln, 2 October 2023
- The wreck of former boundaries (2016) for alto saxophone and live electronics. weird aftertaste music, Aliwal Arts Centre, Singapore, 27 October 2023
- The Crutch of Memory and l.d._ p.c. (t.c.h.). Das Neue Ensemble (Jessica Kuhn, cello, & Christof Hahn, piano). Music 21 Festival, Hannover, 9 November 2023
- 27. Juni 2009, Because they mark the zone where the force is in the process of striking, and numerous solo works from The wreck of former boundaries. ELISION, Klangbrücken Festival, Kammermusiksaal Plathnerstraße, 28 April 2024
- Self-Portrait, Three Times, Standing (15.3.1991–20.3.1991) and works by Turgut Erçetin, Mary Bellamy, Eftichis Vittori, Thanos Sakellaridis, and Farhad Ilaghi Hosseini. ELISION (Aaron Cassidy, cond.). Klangbrücken Festival, Richard Jakoby Saal, Hannover, 30 April 2024
- Conductor, ELISION, Alex Waite, piano solo, Harry Ward, violin solo. Melbourne Recital Centre New Music Days. Works by Aaron Cassidy (Piano Concerto, world premiere) & Liza Lim (Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus, Australian premiere), 20 April 2023
- I, for example, … Klangbrücken Festival, Hannover, 21 April 2023
- A republic of spaces. Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Peter Neville. ANAM, Melbourne, 28 April 2023
- Conductor, ensemble mosaik. Works by Laura Bowler, Sara Glojnaric, Sergej Newski. MaerzMusik, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Große Bühne, 21 March 2023
- CD Release: Mary Bellamy, Behind the transparent surface. Ensemble Musikfabrik. Aaron Cassidy, conductor. HCR28, April 2023
- CD Release, A Way of Making Ghosts. Performances by ELISION, Ensemble Musikfabrik, JACK Quartet, line upon line; Manuel Nawri & Aaron Cassidy, conductors / Kairos 0015073KAI, December 2022