The music of American composer David T. Little has been described as "dramatically wild…rustling, raunchy and eclectic," showing "real imagination" by New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini, and his work "completely gripped" New Yorker critic Alex Ross: "every bad-ass new-music ensemble in the city will want to play him." Little's highly theatrical, often political work draws upon his experience as a rock drummer, and fuses classical and popular idioms to dramatic effect.
His music has been performed throughout the world-including in Dresden, London, Edinburgh, LA, Montreal, and at the Tanglewood, Aspen, MATA and Cabrillo Festivals-by such performers as the London Sinfonietta, Alarm Will Sound, eighth blackbird, So Percussion, ensemble courage, Dither, NOW Ensemble, PRISM Quartet, the New World Symphony, American Opera Projects, the New York City Opera, the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. He has received awards and recognition from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, the Harvey Gaul Competition, BMI, and ASCAP, and has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Baltimore Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the New World Symphony, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the University of Michigan, and Dawn Upshaw's Vocal Arts program at the Bard Conservatory.
Recent works include the opera "Dog Days" (Robert Woodruff, director; Royce Vavrek, librettist, based on the short story by Judy Budnitz)--called "one of the most exciting operas in recent years" by the Wall Street Journal--"Haunt of Last Nightfall" for Third Coast Percussion, "RADIANT CHiLD" for the New World Symphony, "Conspiracy Theory" for Darcy James Argue'e Secret Society–a new music big band–"CHARM" for the Baltimore Symphony under Marin Alsop, "haunted topography," for Alarm Will Sound, and "Am I Born" for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus and soprano Mellissa Hughes, under Alan Pierson. Upcoming projects include new works for the London Sinfonietta, Newspeak, cellist Maya Beiser, violist Nadia Sirota, and the Kronos Quartet.
Little is the founding artistic director and drummer for the amplified chamber ensemble Newspeak. Hailed as "potent" (TheRestIsNoise.com), "innovative" (New York Magazine), and "fierce" (Time Out New York), Newspeak explores the relationship of music and politics, while confronting head-on the boundaries between the classical and the rock traditions. A New Amsterdam Records artist, Newspeak released its first CD of commissioned works in November 2010, to critical acclaim. "You could call this punk classical," one critic proclaimed, noting that the disc is "fearlessly aware, insightfully political (and) resolutely defiant." They have been featured at the Park Avenue Armory, on the Ecstatic Music Festival, and this summer will perform on the Bang On A Can Marathon.
He holds degrees from Susquehanna University (2001) and The University of Michigan (2002) and Princeton University (PhD, 2011), and his primary teachers have included Osvaldo Golijov, Paul Lansky, Steven Mackey, William Bolcom, and Michael Daugherty. He has taught music in New York City through Carnegie Hall's Musical Connections program, served as the inaugural Digital Composer-in-Residence for the UK-based DilettanteMusic.com, and from 2010-2012 served as the Executive Director of New York's MATA Festival. He is a member of the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), 2012-2013, NYC, where he is developing a new multi-media theater work, "Artaud in the Black Lodge" with legendary poet Anne Waldman. Little serves as the Director of Composition and Coordinator of New Music at Shenandoah Conservatory, and maintains an active presence in the New York City new music community.
His music is published by Project Schott New York.