Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets; soloists Evelyn Glennie, Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, Paul Neubauer, and John Browning; and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and Washington DC among others. From 1969 to 1984, she was pianist and founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, which commissioned and premiered many of her most popular works. Other chamber works have been commissioned by the Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and La Jolla Music Society for SummerFest, Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among many others. She has received honorary doctorates from Smith College, the New England Conservatory, and Illinois State University. She is the Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, where she has taught since 1972.