- BA Philosophy, Yale (1974)
George Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. Recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, an Alpert Award in the Arts in 1999, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) School of Music and studied trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the AACM since 1971, Lewis explores electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisational forms as a composer, improviser, performer, and interpreter, and he is documented on more than 140 recordings.
Lewis’ oral history is archived in Yale University's collection of "Major Figures in American Music," and his compositions and installations have been presented by the American Composers Orchestra, Dinosaur Annex, Wet Ink, the Turning Point Ensemble, and Works and Process, among others, with commissions from the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, OPUS (Paris), IRCAM, Musée des Sciences et des Industries La Villette, Harvestworks, Studio Museum in Harlem, the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. His widely acclaimed book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008), won the 2009 American Book Award. In 2011, Lewis was selected by United States Artists as a U.S.A. Walker Fellow.
Lewis has previously taught at the University of California, San Diego; Mills College; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. He has served as music curator for the Kitchen in New York, and has collaborated in the "Interarts Inquiry" and "Integrative Studies Roundtable" at the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago.