PAYTON MACDONALD is a composer and performer. As a composer he has received grants and awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the American Institute of Indian Studies, as well as fellowships from Yaddo and Ragdale. Numerous ensembles have performed his music in the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Europe, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Quintet Mont Royal, Classical Jam, and tabla soloist Shawn Mativetsky. MacDonald recently performed his percussion concerto in Carnegie Hall. The New York Times described him as an “energetic soloist.” His music has also been described as “…engaging and utterly beautiful.” (Sequenza 21) MacDonald has been a featured performer of his own music on festivals in Montreal (Voyages) and Minneapolis (Electric Eyes).
As a performer he is a founding member of Alarm Will Sound, a new-music group based in New York City. Alarm Will Sound is currently regarded as one of the foremost new music ensembles in the country and they have made four recordings, on the Nonesuch and Cantaloupe labels. The New York Times wrote that they are “the future of classical music.” With Alarm Will Sound MacDonald has performed at New York’s finest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall, and Symphony Space. Alarm Will Sound has performed in Holland, Russia, Boston, San Francisco, and Minneapolis as well.
MacDonald also frequently appears as a marimba soloist with Super Marimba. With Super Marimba MacDonald performs his own music using looping machines and delay pedals. From 1994-2004 MacDonald performed with Verederos, a flute and percussion duo. Verederos performed concerts nationwide and recorded two CDs under the Equilibrium label. He has also appeared as a soloist in England and Croatia, performed with Present Music, and toured Japan with Keiko Abe and the Galaxy percussion group.
MacDonald earned his BFA from the University of Michigan, where he studied percussion with Michael Udow. He earned his MM, DMA, and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied percussion with John Beck and composition with Sydney Hodkinson, Robert Morris, and Augusta Read Thomas. Further studies include tabla with Bob Becker and Pandit Sharda Sahai. MacDonald is a disciple of Mr. Sahai.
MacDonald teaches music at William Paterson University. When not composing, performing, or teaching music, MacDonald competes in triathlons and is also an arachnoculturist.