Palter, Morris

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Born in Canada, Morris Palter’s wide-range of musical interests have found him performing throughout North America, Asia, and Europe at some of the most prestigious festivals and concert venues including his Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall debut under famed composer/conductor Pierre Boulez in 2001. As a frequent guest at universities and conservatories worldwide, Morris has commissioned and/or premiered hundreds of new compositions, working with prominent composers and performers including Bob Becker, Christopher Adler, Roger Reynolds, Anders Åstrand, Mark Menzies, Chou-wen Chung, John Luther Adams, James Tenney, Phillipe Manoury, Scott Deal, Evelyn Glennie, David Lang, Stuart Saunders Smith, Eduard Zilberkant, Thomas DeLio, Michael Roth, Andres Diaz, Erik Griswold, Philip Manoury, Iancu Dimitriescu, Evan Ziporyn, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Tonkin, and Chinary Ung. Recent guest residencies include the “Roots and Rhizomes” summer percussion program (Banff Centre for the Arts), the Together Now Festival (Holland), the Open Ears Festival (Canada), the Technosonics Festival (University of Virginia), the University of British Columbia, the University of Miami, and the Royal College of Music (London, UK).

Morris is the Artistic Director of Ensemble 64.8 (University of Alaska Fairbanks resident percussion laboratory). The group performs chamber music with an emphasis on works by noted American and European composers. To date, the group has performed concerts in Sweden, New York City, Toronto, PASIC, and across Alaska, working with famed performers/composers Christopher Adler, Bob Becker, and Anders Astrand. The group recently premiered six new percussion quintets composed by Alaskan, Matthew Burtner.

As a Novelty Jazz Xylophonist, Morris founded the Speak-Easy Duo (Colin McAllister, guitar) in 2003 and has appeared at the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival in Boulder, CO, the Bohèm Festival in Hungary, the Rotterdam Conservatory, the Orange County RagFest, the Breda Jazz Festival, NL, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the Ragtime Xylophone Institute in Delaware, and the Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag.

In 2000, Morris co-founded NOISE (San Diego New Music), and was a member of the percussion group redfish bluefish (Artistic Director, Steven Schick) from 1999-2005. Morris is also actively involved with theatre, working as composer and performer at both The Old Globe Theatre and the Tony Award Winning La Jolla Playhouse and has made recordings for various on and off-Broadway plays.

Morris was the host and director of the Focus Day of Percussion at the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention and was a member of the Percussive Arts Society New Music/Research Committee from 2007 - 2016. He has been published in PAS journal and on Mellen Press, and is currently endorsed by Mike Balter Mallets, Black Swamp Percussion, and Sabian Cymbals. As a Yamaha Performing Artist, Morris can be heard on New World Records, Tzadik Records, Centaur Records, Mode Records, Innova, and RCA/BMG and has received degrees from the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory, The Hague, and the University of California, San Diego where he received his doctorate of musical arts in 2005 and was a Lecturer in Music during the 2006/07 academic-year. Morris is currently an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and will be Visiting Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arizona during the 2016-17 academic-year.

Morris was named a 2012 Rasmuson Foundation Artist Fellowship and is an avid endurance mountain biker, completing numerous 100+ races, including the winter 350 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational on two occasions. 

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