Medium biography of Ian Guthrie


Ian Guthrie (b. 1992) is quickly emerging as one of America’s upcoming young composers. He began piano at age seven and composition at age nine.  His earliest surviving work, Barcarolle in G minor, composed at the age of 11, marks the beginning of his truly original composition career. This piece later won 1st place for 7th grade in the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association (WSMTA) Young Composers Project, a contest he won for his age group the next three years, with “Atomic Power Plant” (2008), “Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge” (2009), and “Carnival Waltz” (2010). Many of his works have been performed publicly around the Pacific Northwest from groups such as fEARnoMUSIC, Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, March Music Moderne, and the 2014 Pierrot Lunaire Project.

Guthrie’s style is truly unique and influenced by many composers like Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Ravel. In addition, he enjoys incorporating various indigenous musical elements in his works. Many perceive his music as modern, labeling it either Modernist or Postmodernist. However, since he is drawn to emotions and colors, he considers himself a Neo-romantic. His latest projects include a song cycle and other commissions for various ensembles.

His piano skills are fundamental to his musical development. At the age of 10, he already accompanied choirs and soloists, and a year later, he caught the attention of Vancouver, WA’s notable entertainer Jim Fischer, who subsequently invited Guthrie to join him on his major concerts and tours. In May 2012 he won the 1st-place college-level OMTA scholarship competition. Most recently, he won the 2013-14 Oregon MTNA young artist’s competition and also the 2014 Brookings-Harbor Friends of Music scholarship.

Jim Fischer also suggested Guthrie to study with concert pianist Dr. Barbara Roberts, who accepted Guthrie as a student in Fall 2004. In September 2008, under the instruction of teacher Barbara Roberts, he and fellow student Mary Stone performed Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with Portland’s Columbia Symphony Orchestra. He studied with Dr. Renato Fabbro at the University of Portland and Marylhurst University from 2010 to 2014, under whom he won the Oregon MTNA competition in 2013. He currently studies with Dr. Gloria Lin at Texas Christian University.

Guthrie studied composition with Dr. Robert Priest in Portland from 2006 to 2009. He received his B. Mus. in Composition from Marylhurst University in Spring 2014 after studying composition with Dr. John Paul. He is currently attending Texas Christian University for his master’s under a teaching assistantship and studies under Dr. Till Meyn.