About Ethan Gans-Morse
Ethan Gans-Morse is a critically-acclaimed composer and producer based in Southern Oregon. He is best known for composing and producing the opera, The Canticle of the Black Madonna, which The Oregonian called “A huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate” and Oregon ArtsWatch hailed as “One of the most exciting developments of the arts season.” He focuses on collaborative, socially relevant projects that foster greater human connection. As Eugene Weekly described his work, “Classical music is often rightly accused of ignoring the here and now. Fortunately, [composers such as Gans-Morse] are using classical and postclassical forms to help us understand the sometimes-unpleasant realities of the world we live in.”
His most recent commissions include Dreams Have No Borders, a concert opera based on the Latin American immigrant experience, Six Feet Apart: Stories of Resilience and Transformation, an oratorio based on real-life Covid stories, How Can You Own The Sky?, a program symphony commissioned by the Rogue Valley Symphony in honor of its 50th anniversary season, and Tango of the White Gardenia, a tango-infused opera in two acts for Cascadia Chamber Opera in Eugene, Oregon, about which Oregon ArtsWatch wrote:
“Its messages are loud and clear and humane, and the art is fine enough to carry them. We need compassion, not competition when it comes to relationships. Not only can Tango of the White Gardenia turn people onto the sometimes-alienating ancient art form of opera, it also suggests that we can become better people.”
His instrumental works have been performed by numerous ensembles, including the Walla Walla Symphony, the Siletz Bay Festival Orchestra, American Creators Ensemble, the Quartetto Indaco, the Firebird Wind Trio, and the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and at such venues as the Seattle Opera Center, the Portland Center for the Arts, and the Oregon Center for the arts. His choral works have been performed by the Portland Vocal Consort (winner of their Composer Competition), Chorus Austin, the American School in Taipei, Taiwan, The Sandlapper Singers, and the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles. His music has been presented at numerous concert series internationally—including the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy and the Instrumenta Oaxaca Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico—nationally, including the NEO Voice Festival in Los Angeles and the University of Wyoming New Music Festival, and around the state of Oregon, including at the Siletz Bay Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, Bend Opera, the Music Today Festival, the Vanguard Concert Series, and the Ashland Winter Fine Arts Festival.
Gans-Morse and his creative partner and wife, Tiziana DellaRovere, are the co-founders of Anima Mundi Productions, a non-profit dedicated to “healing the soul of the world through the arts,” and the artistic directors of the Heart of Humanity Concert Series in Ashland, Oregon.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in music and linguistics from Macalester College and a master’s degree in music composition from the University of Oregon, where his principal teachers were Dr. Robert Kyr and Dr. David Crumb.