The music of Todd Tarantino (b. 1974) invites dialogue about society, character, performance, and possibility by making the familiar strange and revealing the ecstatic truths behind discourses of authenticity. Rooted in tradition, yet maintaining an uneasy relationship to it, his work is deeply personal, richly varied, and characterized by bold surfaces and the long line, massed sounds and sustained intensity. Critic George Grella described his All Words Are Already Decided as "tense quarter-tone intervals, through a stormy piano solo, to a delicate and almost wistful consonance... a fascinating expression of ambivalence about tonal harmony." Recent compositions build their harmonic worlds from ambient sound, using a 24-tone scale and an intuitive tonal sense to create elemental narratives.
Tarantino's music has been presented at concerts and festivals worldwide by leading musicians and ensembles, including Talea Ensemble (New York), Curious Chamber Players (Stockholm), Ostrava New Orchestra (Czech Republic), New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Moderne Akademie (Frankfurt), OCNM Ensemble, Manhattan Sinfonietta, Orfeo Duo and countless others. He holds degrees from Columbia University, New England Conservatory, and Bennington College; his principal composition teachers include John Luther Adams, Fred Lerdahl, Stephen Siegel, Jonathan Kramer, and Tobias Picker.
He has taught music history, music theory, and aural skills at Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music. From 2012 to 2019 he served as Director of MATA, a leading presenter of new music, guiding its global expansion. Tarantino lives in the Hudson Valley and performs regularly on the organ and piano and as a singer in the New York metropolitan region.