George E. Lewis

Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music, Composition & Historical Musicology
George E. Lewis
Composition Area Chair (2023–24)
Director of Reiner Center (2023–24)
Office Address: 
615 Dodge
Office Hours: 
By appointment
(212) 854-5837

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, where he serves as Area Chair in Composition and Faculty in Historical Musicology. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings. His work has been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mivos Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, London Sinfonietta, Spektral Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, Ensemble Erik Satie, Eco Ensemble, and others, with commissions from American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, Studio Dan, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, IRCAM, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. Lewis’s music is published by Edition Peters.

Lewis has served as Fromm Visiting Professor of Music, Harvard University; Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago; and CAC Fitt Artist in Residence, Brown University. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself:  The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award; Lewis was elected to Honorary Membership in the Society in 2016.  Lewis is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), and his opera Afterword (2015), commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.  

His book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award. Lewis (with Benjamin Piekut) is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies(2016).  He holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University.

Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute.

George Lewis and Vijay Iyer in Concert

At the AAR, Arnold Davidson and George Lewis on "improvisation as a way of life"

George Lewis and Marina Rosenfeld Sour Mash

Either/Or: George E. Lewis - Thistledown (world premiere)

George Lewis: Ikons (2011)

Degrees from Other Institutions: 
Yale University


  • Lewis, George E., and Benjamin Piekut, ed.  The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, Vols. 1&2. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Lewis, George E. A Power Stronger Than Itself:  The AACM and American Experimental Music.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2008.


  • Amo (2021), for five voices (soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, bass) and spatialized computer sound processing. Written for the Neue Vocalsolisten, commissioned and premiered by the Biennale di Venezia, September 2021, 22 minutes duration.
  • Minds In Flux (2021), for symphonic orchestra and spatialized computer sound processing. Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for the BBC Proms 2021, and premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov, conductor, August 2021, 27 minutes duration.
  • H.narrans (2020), for voice and five instruments, 10 minutes in one movement. Premiered October 2020, Donaueschinger Musiktage (online),

  • Blombos Workshop (2020), composition for piano,  commissioned by Skaņu Mežs festival for pianist Agnese Eglina, Riga, Latvia, October 2, 2020, 25 minutes in one movement.

  • Kulokker (2020), version for brass band. Performed by Oslo Band.  Premiered at the Ultima Festival, Oslo, Norway, September 2020. 20 minutes in one movement.

  • Breakout (2020), for harp, viola, and bass flute.  Performed by the New Gates Trio. 60 seconds in one movement. Premiered on France Musique, July 2020,

  • Un petit brouillard cerebral (2020), for violin solo. 3 minutes in one movement. Premiered By Jennifer Koh, June 9, 2020.

  • Kulokker (2020), composition for wind band. Performed by Norwegian Naval Forces Band, commissioned by the Borealis Festival, Bergen, Norway. Premiered March 4, 2020. 20 minutes in one movement.

  • Big Shoulders, Sharp Elbows (2020), composition for wind band. Performed by Norwegian Naval Forces Band, commissioned by De Paul University. Performed at the Borealis Festival, Bergen, Norway. Premiered March 4, 2020. 8 minutes in one movement.

  • Lonnie and Lonie (2019), double concerto for orchestra with trumpet and piano. Written for Glen Whitehead (trumpet), Susan Grace (piano), and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, conducted by Thomas Wilson. Premiered November 24, 2019, First Methodist Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado. 12 minutes in one movement.
  • a whispered nine (2019), for quartet (s, fl, vla, perc), with text by Lyn Hejinian. Commissioned and premiered by the Soundscape Festival, Cesena, Italy, July 13, 2019
  • Connectome (2019), for three chamber ensembles. Composed for Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble Dal Niente, and Ensemble Distractfold. Premiered July 21, 2019, Radialsystem, Berlin, Germany.
  • Memory/Mutation (2019), for two violins and live electronics.Commissioned and premiered by the violin duo String Noise, Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, NY, June 6, 2019. 18 minutes in one movement.

  • Soundlines: A Dreaming Track (2019), for percussionist-speaker and chamber ensemble with live electronics, with libretto by George Lewis, adapted from a text by Steven Schick.  Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the International Contemporary Ensemble, with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. Premiered at Walt Disney Concert Hall, June 1, 2019. 22 minutes in one movement.

  • Apis (2019), for quartet. Commissioned and premiered by Loadbang,  Opera America, New York City, April 18, 2019. 10 minutes in one movement.

  • Remains of the Sky (2018), interactive, weather-driven installation with multichannel spatialized sound and light, composed for the James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University in Houston, Texas, as a forty-minute nightly sequel to Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany.  The work summarizes, in light and sound, the previous fifteen hours of weather around the university for that day.Software by Damon Holzborn.

  • Timelike Weave (2018), for harpsichord. Commissioned by Miller Theatre.  Written for Mahan Esfahani, and premiered by him at Miller Theatre, New York City, November 7, 2018. 15 minutes in one movement.

  • P. Multitudinis (2018), for multiple ensembles with situational form and flexible instrumentation. Written for Ensemble Evolution, and commissioned by Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity 2018, with support from the Gay Mitchell and Archie McIntosh Creation Endowment Fund.  Premiered at Rolston Recital Hall, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, CA, June 29, 2018. Variable duration and number of movements.

  • float, sting (2018), commissioned by the Bang On A Can All-Stars (cl/bcl, vc, drumset, pf, e-gtr, cb.  Premiered at Abraham Merkin Hall, New York City, February 15, 2018. 9 minutes in one movement.

  • Dreams of the Traveller (2017), for Korean gugak orchestra (Sogeum, 3 Daegeums, 3 Hyang-piris, Dae-piri, 5 Gayageums, 5 Geomungos, Janggu, Bak, Jing, Jegeum (large, medium), Daego, Buk (high, middle, low), Jwago, Timpani, Yanggeum, Haegeum I, Haegeum II, So-ajaeng, 3 Dae-ajaengs).  Premiered by the Korea National Gugak Center Creative Traditional Orchestra, conducted by Jeong Chi-Yong. Pacific Rim Music Festival 2017, October 28 (Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley) and October 29 (Music Center, University of California, Santa Cruz). 11 minutes in one movement

  • As We May Feel (2017), for chamber ensemble (vl, vc, cb, pno, fl, asax, tpt, tbn, drumset), 24 minutes in one movement. Commissioned and premiered by Studio Dan, October 5, 2017, Musikprotokoll Festival, Graz, Austria.
  • Seismologic (2017), for bassoon and computer sound processing, 24 minutes in one movement. Commissioned by Dana Jessen. Premiered April 25, 2017, Bohemian National Hall, New York City, under the auspices of the S.E.M. Ensemble, directed by Petr Kotik. 24 minutes in one movement.

  • String Quartet 2.5, “Playing With Seeds” (2017). Written for the Mivos Quartet. Commissioned by Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart. Premiered February 5, 2017, Eclat Festival, Stuttgart, Germany. 20 minutes in one movement.
  • Spinner (2016-17), for cello solo. Commissioned by Mariel Roberts, and premiered by her, National Sawdust, New York City, May 19, 2017. 14 minutes in one movement.
  • Oraculum (2016), for trombone solo. Commissioned by Musikfabrik, and premiered by Bruce Collings, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), November 18, 2016. 12 minutes in one movement.
  • String Quartet 1.5, “Experiments in Living” (2016). Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for the Spektral Quartet. Premiered October 7, 2016, Harris Theatre, Chicago IL. 15 minutes in one movement.
  • Tales of the Traveler (2016), for chamber ensemble with soloist (fl, cl, tpt, e-gtr, e-bs, pc, pf, vln, vla, vc).  Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta.  Premiered April 3, 2016, Coronet Theatre, London, UK, by the London Sinfonietta, with Fred Frith, electric guitar soloist. 23 minutes in one movement.
  • In The Breach (2015), for two percussionists, two pianists, and violin.  Premiered December 4, 2015, National Sawdust, Brooklyn, New York, by Yarn/Wire (percussion-piano quartet) and Miranda Cuckson (violin). 15 minutes in one movement.
  • Calder (2015), for trombones, piano, and percussion. Premiered October 23, 2015, AACM Concert Series, Community Church of New York. Performers:  Thurman Barker, Eli Fountain, percussion; Tyshawn Sorey, trombone, piano, percussion; George Lewis, trombone. 20 to 40 minutes in one or more movements.
  • Creative Construction SetTM (2015), open-form/instrumentation work.  Commissioned and premiered by Berlin Splitter (large electroacoustic improvisation ensemble), Berlin Jazz Festival, November 5 2015. 20 to 50 minutes in one movement.
  • Not Alone (2014-15), for cello and computer sound processing, 18 minutes in one movement.  Written for Seth Parker Woods. Premiered November 10, 2015, New York University.
  • Afterword, an opera (2015), with libretto by George Lewis.  Premiered October 16-17, 2015, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, by the International Contemporary Ensemble, David Fulmer, conductor; Sean Griffin, director, in collaboration with Catherine Sullivan. Approximately two hours in duration.
  • Whispering Bayou (2015), multi-channel videosonic installation, in collaboration with Carroll Parrott Blue and Jean-Baptiste Barriere.  Shown August 1-November 1, 2015, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
  • The Ancient World (2015), for sixteen solo voices (SSSSAAAATTTTBBBB), with text by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, 13 minutes in one movement.  Written for the Helsinki Chamber Choir, conducted by Nils Schweckendiek. Premiered July 3, 2015, Time of Music Festival, Viitasaari, Finland (Viitasaaren Musiikin aika).
  • Memorial (2015), for voice and fixed electronic sound media, with text by Keorapetse Kgositsile, 12 minutes in one movement. Written for Elaine Mitchener. Premiered June 1, 2015, OVADA (Oxford Contemporary Music), The Warehouse, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • A Recital For Terry Adkins (2014), for quintet, video, and computer sound processing.  Written for Ensemble Pamplemousse with the support of the Homer in Harlem Project, Columbia University.  Premiered December 2, 2014, St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, New York City.  Approximately one hour in duration.
  • The Mangle of Practice (2014), for violin and piano.  Written for violinist MingXuan Xu and pianist Winston Choi of Ensemble Dal Niente, 14 minutes in one movement. Commissioned by the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress. Premiered October 30, 2014, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • Emergent (2014), for flute and computer sound processing.  Written for Claire Chase and commissioned by the Pnea Foundation, 15 minutes in one movement.  Premiered October 2 and 3, 2014, The Kitchen Center, New York City.
  • Flux (2014), for sixteen players (fl, cl, ob, bsn, hn, tpt, tbn, 2 pc, hp, pf, 2 vln, vla, vc, cb). Written for the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, 12 minutes in one movement.  Premiered May 7, 2014, Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin, Ohio.
  • Memex (2014), for symphonic orchestra. Written for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, 17 minutes in one movement.  Premiered February 22, 2014, City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Assemblage (2013), for nine musicians (fl, cl/bcl, ss/ts, pc, hp, pf, vl, vla, vc). Written for Ensemble Dal Niente, 16 minutes in one movement.  Premiered October 18, 2013, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
  • Born Obbligato (2013), for septet (cl, bsn, hn, vl, vla, vc, with optional percussion and electronics movement). Written for the International Contemporary Ensemble, 25 minutes in six movements, premiered August 22, 2013, Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center, New York City.
  • Last Words (2013), for chorus (SATB), text by Charles Bernstein.  Sections premiered at the Walden School, Dublin, New Hampshire, August 2, 2013. Full work is 5 minutes in one movement.
  • Hexis (2013), for sextet. Written for the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players (fl/bfl/picc, cl/bcl, perc, pf, vl, vc). 12 minutes in one movement, premiered February 24, 2013.
  • Impromptu (2012), for ensemble with improvisation.  Written for Ensemble Pamplemousse (fl/picc, perc, pf, soprano, vl, vc,.  Variable duration, around 10 minutes in one movement, premiered December 9, 2012, Brecht Forum, New York City.
  • Tractatus (2012), for ensemble with improvisation.  Written for Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (variable instrumentation: nominally picc, 2 fl, ob, a.sax, t.sax, b.sax, horn, tp, 2 tbn, drumset, elec gtr, acoustic gtr, hp, pf, d, perc, , 2 soprano, vc, 3 cb, electronics).  Variable duration, around 25 minutes in one movement, premiered December 1, 2012, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.
  • Mnemosis (2012), for septet.  Written for the Talea Ensemble (fl/bfl/picc, cl/bcl, perc, pf, vl, vla, vc). 14 minutes in one movement, premiered December 14, 2012, Mannes College of Music.
  • Pots (2012), for ensemble with improvisation.  Written for Orkestra Futura (t.sax, tp, tb, elec gtr, a.sax, b.sax, drumset, pf, vl, cb, electronics).  Variable duration, around 16 minutes in one movement, to be premiered November 23, 2012.
  • Merce and Baby (2012), for quartet. Written for the John Cage 2012 Centennial Festival, Washington DC (fl, vl, vc, perc/drumset), 9 min in one movement. Premiered September 9, 2012, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. 9 minutes in one movement.
  • Thistledown (2012), piano trio with percussion.  Written for Ensemble Either/Or (vl, vc, perc, pf), 11 min in one movement. Premiered April 27, 2012, The Kitchen, New York City
  • The Will To Adorn (2011), composition for large chamber ensemble.  Written for the International Contemporary Ensemble; premiered November 12, 2011, Miller Theatre, New York City. 16 minutes in one movement.
  • Anthem (2011), composition for voice, chamber ensemble, and  electronics.  Written for the Wet Ink Band. 11 minutes in one movement.
  • Les Exercices Spirituels for eight instruments and computer sound processing.  Forum de Blanc-Mesnil, Paris region. Commissioned by Banlieues Bleues Festival, Arnaud Petit (conductor).
  • Ikons, sculptural-sonic installation by Eric Metcalfe and George Lewis, with associated composition for eight instruments by George Lewis, 13 minutes in one movement.  Premiere: January 27, 2010, Vancouver, BC Canada.  Commissioned by the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad. 
  • Sour Mash, composition for vinyl turntablists by George Lewis and Marina Rosenfeld.  Premiered at New York Electronic Art Festival, Frederick Loewe Theatre, New York University, October 26, 2009. Variable duration in one movement.
  • December 4th/Something Like Fred, composition for creative orchestra. Commissioned and presented by Millennium Park, City of Chicago.   Premiered August 2, 2009, AACM Great Black Music Ensemble. 11 minutes in one movement.
  • The Painted Bed, composition for tenor voice and viola, with text by Donald Hall. Commissioned and presented by Works and Process, Guggenheim Museum, New York City, May 10-11, 2009. 7 minutes in one movement.
  • Travelogue, sound installation.  Shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem, November 2008-March 2009.
  • Interactive Duo (version one, 2007), composition for interactive computer-driven piano and human instrumentalist. Variable duration in one movement.
  • Interactive Duo (version two, 2007), composition for two interactive computer-driven pianos. Variable duration in one movement.
  • Interactive Trio (2007), composition for interactive computer-driven piano, human pianist, and additional instrumentalist. Variable duration in one movement.
  • Artificial Life 2007, composition for improvisors with open instrumentation.  Commission, Scottish Arts Council, for the Glasgow Improvisors' Orchestra.  Premiered December 2007, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland. Variable duration in one movement.
  • Exhibition, Rio Negro II, robotic-acoustic sound installation, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, May 2007
  • Commission, Harvestworks, new work for robotic sound sculptures.  Premiere, 3-Legged Dog Art and Technology Center, New York City, May 2007
  • Hello Mary Lou (2007) for chamber ensemble and live electronics.  World premiere, Vancouver, BC, January 2007. 30 minutes in one movement.
  • Virtual Concerto (2004), for improvising computer piano soloist and orchestra.  World premiere, Carnegie Hall, April 2004, American Composers Orchestra. 16 minutes in one movement.
  • Crazy Quilt (2002), composition for infrared-controlled "virtual percussion" and four European-classically-trained percussionists. 
  • Information Station No. 1 (2000), multi-screen videosonic interactive installation for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, San Diego, Calif.  Commissioned by the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Ring Shout Ramble (1998), for saxophone quartet, commissioned by the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Commissioning program, and premiered in October 1998 by the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Spruce Street Forum, San Diego, CA.  Performances scheduled across the USA and Europe.
  • Signifying Riffs (1998), for string quartet and percussion.  New York premiere, November 2000, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians Concert Series.
  • North Star Boogaloo (1996), for percussionist and computer. Premiered February 1996, Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD. Steven Schick, percussion.  Numerous performances internationally. 15 minutes in one movement.
  • Collage (1995), for poet and chamber orchestra. Premiered November 1995, Society for Ethical Culture, New York City. Quincy Troupe, poet.
  • Endless Shout (1994), composition for piano, Premiered March 1994, De Ijsbreker, Amsterdam, Frederic Rzewski, pianist. 14 minutes in four movements.
  • Virtual Discourse (1993), composition for infrared-controlled "virtual percussion" and four European-classically-trained percussionists.  Premiered October 1993, Museum of Fine Arts, Bordeaux, France.


  • Lewis, George E. “Toni Dove’s Nonmodern Ontologies.” In Toni Dove:  Embodied Machines, edited by Matthew McLendon, 31-41.  New York: Scala Arts Publishers & John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2018.

  • Lewis, George E. "Why Do We Want Our Computers To Improvise?" In The Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music, edited by Alex McLean and Roger T. Dean, 123-30. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Lewis, George E. "The Situation of a Creole.” In “Defining Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Music,” forum convened and edited by David Clarke. Twentieth Century Music14/3 (2017):442-46.

  • Lewis, George E. "The Sound of Terry Adkins.” In Terry Adkins: Recital, edited by Ian Berry. Saratoga Springs, New York: Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College; Munich, London, and New York: DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2017

  • Lewis, George E.  “From Network Bands to Ubiquitous Computing:  Rich Gold and the Social Aesthetics of Interactivity.”  In Improvisation and Social Aesthetics, edited by Georgina Born, Eric Lewis, and Will Straw, 91-109. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2017.
  • Lewis, George E. “Soprano Part for Impromptu.” In BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing, edited by Charles Bernstein and Tracie Morris, 106.  Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2017.

  • Lewis, George E.  “Foreword.”  In Christian Wolff, Occasional Pieces:  Writings and Interviews, 1952-2013, vii-xv.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Lewis, George E., and Benjamin Piekut.  "Introduction: On Critical Improvisation Studies." In The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, Volume I, edited by George E. Lewis and Benjamin Piekut, 1-36. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Lewis, George E. “Foreword:  Who is Jazz?” In Jazz Worlds/World Jazz, edited by Philip V. Bohlman and Goffredo Plastino, ix-xxiv.  Chicago and London:  University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Lewis, George E. “Gibt es Partituren für diese Art Musik, Herr Patterson?“ Musiktexte 151 (November 2016).
  • Lewis, George E. “Benjamin Patterson, 1934-2016.” Artforum (November 2016): 73-74, 204.
  • Lewis, George E. “Pierre Boulez, 1925-2016.” Artforum (May 2016): 77-78, 80.
  • Lewis, George E. “Clock Work:  Stockhausen’s Klang.” Artforum (March 2016): 135-36, 298.
  • Lewis, George E. “Foreword:” In Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music, edited by Renée Levine Packer and Mary Jane Leach, vii-xix.  Rochester:  University of Rochester Press, 2016.
  • Lewis, George E. "Die Unzeitlichkeit des Blues/The Timeless Blues" (revised bilingual version, German and English). In I Got Rhythm: Kunst und Jazz seit 1920, edited by Ulrike Groos, Sven Beckstette, and Markus Müller, Simpson. New York, 246-257 Munich, and London: Prestel, 2016.
  • Lewis, George E. “Jennie C. Jones: ‘Amazing Parallels.’” In Jennie C. Jones: Compilation, edited by Valerie Cassel Oliver, 18-23. Houston: Gregory R. Miller/Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2015.
  • Lewis, George E. “Expressive Awesomeness: New Music and Art in Chicago, 1965–75.”  In The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, edited by Naomi Beckwith and Dieter Roelstraete, 115-127. Chicago and London:  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in association with the University of Chicago Press, 2015.
  • Lewis, George E.  “What Is A Co-Author?”  Pew Center for Arts and Heritage (2014)
  • Lewis, George E. “enter open or closed space” (diagrammatic version of text score by Benjamin Patterson). In Patterson, Benjamin.  Sneak Review: a free enactment.  Edited by Petra Stegmann. Potsdam:  Down With Art!, 2014.
  • Lewis, George.  Review of “The Shadows Took Shape,” exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.  Artforum (Summer 2014): 359-60.
  • Adkins, Terry, and George Lewis.  “Event Scores:  Terry Adkins and George Lewis in Conversation.” Artforum (March 2014): 244-53.
  • Lewis, George E.  “Collaborative Improvisation as Critical Pedagogy.”  Nka:  Journal of Contemporary African Art 34 (Spring 2014):  40-47.
  • Lewis, George E., and John Corbett.  "George E. Lewis in Conversation with John Corbett."  Nka:  Journal of Contemporary African Art 34 (Spring 2014):  52-54.
  • Lewis, George E. "Benjamin Patterson's Spiritual Exercises." In Tomorrow Is the Question:  New Directions in Experimental Music Studies, edited by Benjamin Piekut, 86-108. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014.
  • Lewis, George E. “Improvisation.”  In Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition, ed. Charles Hiroshi Garrett. Oxford and New York:  Oxford University Press (2014), 311-318.
  • Lewis, George E. 2013.  "Critical Responses to 'Theorizing Improvisation (Musically)." Music Theory Online 19, no. 2.  Available at
  • Lewis, George E. “Christian Wolff:  An Aesthetic of Suggestion.”  Liner notes to Christian Wolff: 8 Duos, New World 80734 (2 compact discs), 2012.
  • Lewis, George E. "The Timeless Blues." In Blues for Smoke, edited by Bennett Simpson. New York and London: Prestel/Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2012), 74-91.
  • Lewis, George E. "In Search of Benjamin Patterson: An Improvised Journey." In Benjamin Patterson:  Born in the State of FLUX/us, edited by Valerie Cassel Oliver.  Houston:  Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2012), 126-137. Reprinted in Callaloo, Vol. 35, No. 4, 979-991.
  • Lewis, George E.  Review of Robert R. Faulkner and Howard Becker, ’Do You Know...?’: The Jazz Repertoire in Action.  Cultural Sociology, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2011), 559-61.
  • Lewis, George E.  “Americanist Musicology and Nomadic Noise.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Fall 2011), pp. 691-695.
  • Lewis, George E.  When Improvisers Speak, Where Do Their Words Go?In Da Rin, Renate, ed. Silent Solos: Improvisers Speak. Cologne:  Buddy’s Knife, 2010, 11-13.
  • Lewis, George E.  Review of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa, by Ingrid Monson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007). Journal of the Society for American Music, Vol. 3, No. 3 (2009), pp. 365–369.
  • Lewis, George E.  Interactivity and Improvisation.  In Dean, Roger T., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009), 457-466.
  • Lewis, George E.  “Benjamin Patterson:  Paper Piece.”  Chamber Music, September-October 2009, 107.
  • Lewis, George E.  "The Virtual Discourses of Pamela Z."  In Hassan, Salah M., and Cheryl Finley, eds.  Diaspora, Memory, Place:  David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z.  Munich:  Prestel (2008), 266-281.
  • Lewis, George E., "Foreword: After Afrofuturism.” Journal of the Society for American Music, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 139–153  (2008).
  • Lewis, George E., "Improvisation and Pedagogy:  Background and Focus of Inquiry.”  Critical Studies in Improvisation, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2008), 1-5
  • Lewis, George E., "Stan Douglas's Suspiria:  Genealogies of Recombinant Narrativity."  In Stan Douglas--Past Imperfect:  Works 1986-2007.  Ostfildern, Germany:  Hatje Cantz Verlag, 42-53 (2008).
  • Lewis, George E., "Improvising Tomorrow's Bodies:  The Politics of Transduction."  E-misférica, Vol. 4.2, November 2007.  Available at
  • Lewis, George E., "Mobilitas Animi: Improvising Technologies, Intending Chance."  Parallax, Vol. 13, No. 4, (2007), 108–122.
  • Lewis, George E., "Living with Creative Machines: An Improvisor Reflects." In Anna Everett and Amber J. Wallace, eds. AfroGEEKS: Beyond the Digital Divide. Santa Barbara: Center for Black Studies Research, 2007, 83-99.
  • Lewis, George E.  "Live Algorithms and the Future of Music."  CT Watch Quarterly, May 2007.
  • Lewis, George E.  "Leroy Jenkins."  Chamber Music America, Vol. 24, No. 3, June 2007, 32-34.
  • Lewis, George E.  The Virtual Discourses of Pamela Z.  Journal of the Society for American Music, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2007), 57-77.
  • Lewis, George E.  Improvisation and the Orchestra: A Composer Reflects.  Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 25, Nos. 5/6, October/December 2006, pp. 429-434.
  • Lewis, George E.  Interview with Amina Claudine Myers.  BOMB, No. 97, Fall 2006, 54-59.
  • Lewis, George E.. The Secret Love between Interactivity and Improvisation, or Missing in Interaction: A Prehistory of Computer Interactivity.  In Fähndrich, Walter, ed. Improvisation V:  14 Beiträge. Winterthur:  Amadeus (2005).
  • Lewis, George E.  Book review, Northern Sun, Southern Moon: Europe’s Reinvention of Jazz (Mike Heffley, Yale University Press 2005).  Current Musicology, No. 78 (Fall 2004), 7-21.
  • Lewis, George E.  2004.  The AACM In Paris.  Black Renaissance Noire, Vol. 5, No. 3, Spring/Summer 2004, 105-121.
  • Lewis, George E.  2004. Gittin' to Know Y'all: Improvised Music, Interculturalism and the Racial Imagination.  Critical Studies in Improvisation (peer-reviewed online journal), Vol. 1, No. 1, ISSN 1712-0624,
  • Lewis, George E.  2004. Leben mit kreativen Maschinen:  Reflexionen eines improvisierenden Musikers.  In Knauer, Wolfram, ed. Improvisieren: Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Band 8.  Hofheim:  Wolke Verlag, 123-144.
  • Lewis, George E.  ([1996] 2004).  Improvised Music After 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives.   In Fischlin, Daniel, and Ajay Heble, eds.  The Other Side of Nowhere:  Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue.  Middletown:  Wesleyan University Press, 131-162.
  • Lewis, George E.  2004.  Afterword to "Improvised Music After 1950":  The Changing Same.  In Fischlin, Daniel, and Ajay Heble, eds.  The Other Side of Nowhere:  Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue.  Middletown:  Wesleyan University Press, 163-172.
  • Lewis, George E. “Gittin’ to know y’all:  Von improvisierter Musik, vom Treffen der Kulturen und von der ‘racial imagination.’”  In Knauer. Wolfram, ed.  Jazz und Gesellschaft:  Sozialgeschichtliche Aspekte des Jazz.  Hofheim:  Wolke-Verlag (2002), 213-247.
  • Lewis, George E. "Experimental Music in Black and White:  The AACM in New York, 1970-1985.”  Current Musicology, Nos. 71-73, Spring 2001-Spring 2002, 100-157.  Reprinted in O'Meally, Robert G., Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin, eds.  2004.  Uptown Conversation:  The New Jazz Studies.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 50-101.
  • Lewis, George. “Discours virtuel” (in French).  Champs Culturel 11, June 2000.
  • Lewis, George E.. “Too Many Notes: Computers, complexity and culture in Voyager.” Leonardo Music Journal 10, 2000, 33-39.  Reprinted in Everett, Anna, and John T. Caldwell, eds. 2003.  New Media:  Theories and Practices of Intertextuality. New York and London:  Routledge, 93-106
  • Lewis, George. “Stan Douglas:  Hors-champs, toujours et pour toujours.”  In Jenny Lion, ed.  2000. Magnetic North:  Canadian Experimental Video.  Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press.
  • Lewis, George E., "Purposive Patterning:  Jeff Donaldson, Muhal Richard Abrams and the Multidominance of Consciousness." Lenox Avenue, vol. 5, 1999, 63-69.
  • Lewis, George E. “Interacting with latter-day musical automata.” Contemporary Music Review, Volume 18, Part 3, 1999, pp.99-112.
  • Lewis, George. ”Teaching Improvised Music:   An Ethnographic Memoir.”  In Zorn, John, ed.  Arcana: Musicians on music. New York:  Granary Books (2000), 78-109.
  • Lewis, George. ”The old people speak of sound:  Personality, empathy, community.”  In INSITE 97:  Private time in public spaces.  Sally Yard, ed.  1998.  San Diego:  Installation Gallery.
  • Lewis, George E. "Singing Omar’s Song:  A (re)construction of Great Black Music." Lenox Avenue, vol. 4, 1998, 69-92
  • Lewis, George E. "Improvised Music After 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives." Black Music Research Journal, vol. 16, No.1, Spring 1996, 91-122.  Reprinted in Vol. 22, Supplement (2002) for the journal's 20th Anniversary, as one of the twenty-one most cited articles published in the journal.  Excerpted in Cox, Christoph, and Daniel Warner.  2004.  Audio Culture:  Readings In Modern Music.  New York:  Contiuum, 272-286.
  • Lewis, George, "Singing the alternative interactivity blues." Front, Vol. 7, No. 2, November/December 1995, pp. 18-22.  Reprinted in Grantmakers in the Arts, Vol. 8, No, 1, Spring 1997.


  • George Lewis: The Recombinant Trilogy, digital portrait release of three works by George Lewis for solo instrument and electronics, released February 5, 2021, New Focus Recordings,

  • George Lewis:  Emergent (2014), for flute and electronics.  On Claire Chase, Density 2036: parts i & ii (2013​-​2014), Corbett vs. Dempsey Records, December 18, 2020,

  • George Lewis: Rainbow Family, digital release of interactive computer music from 1984 by George Lewis, Carrier Records, October 30, 2020,

  • George Lewis / Oxana Omelchuk: Breaking News.  Compact disc release, Ensemble Studio Dan, Hat Hut Records, 2020.

  • George Lewis: String Quartet 1.5 (2015), digital release on Spektral Quartet: Experiments in Living, New Focus Recordings, August 28, 2020,
  • George Lewis, Harald Kimmig, Daniel Studer, Alfred Zimmerlin:  Kimmig-Studer-Zimmerlin and George Lewis.  Hat Hut ezz-thetics 1010, Basel, 2019.
  • George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell. Voyage and Homecoming (trombone, saxophones, interactive computer pianist). Recorded live at CTM Festival, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, February 2nd, 2018. Paris: Rogue Art (compact disc), 2019.
  • George Lewis.  Assemblage (with Ensemble Dal Niente) New World Records, New York, 2017.
  • Rob Burke-George Lewis-Paul Grabowsky:  Shift. FMR Records CD441-0217, 2017.
  • Lewis, George. Spinner (2016-17), for cello solo; Mariel Roberts, cello. On Mariel Roberts:  Cartography. Tundra/New Focus Recordings fcr185, 2017,
  • Lewis, George. Not Alone (2014), for cello and electronics; Seth Parker Woods, cello..  On Seth Parker Woods: asinglewordisnotenough. Confront Recordings, 2017,
  • George Lewis, The Will To Adorn (2011), with International Contemporary Ensemble.  Tundra/New Focus Recordings TUN005 (2017),
  • George Lewis and Splitter Orchester:  Creative Construction SetTM (2015). Mikroton Recordings, mikroton cd 50 (2016),
  • Lewis, George.  Afterword, an opera (2015, excerpt).  Track 12, accompanying compact disc to Gottschalk, Kurt, “The Creative Constructions of George Lewis,” Musicworks 124, Spring 2016.
  • Wadada Leo Smith-George Lewis-John Zorn:  Sonic Rivers (Tzadik 4001, 2014).
  • George Lewis and the Monash Art Ensemble: Hexis (Jazzhead HEAD199, 2014).
  • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and George Lewis, Artificial Life 2007.   FMR Records, 2013.
  • Lewis, George. Les Exercices Spirituels, Tzadik, 2011.
  • Lewis, George, and Marina Rosenfeld, Sour Mash, Innova Recordings, 2009.
  • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and George Lewis:  Metamorphic Rock (Iorram, 2009)
  • Lewis, George, and Joelle Leandre, Transatlantic Visions, Rogue Art, 2009.
  • Lewis, George, Roscoe Mitchell, and Muhal Richard Abrams.  Streaming.  PI Recordings, 2006.
  • Lev Manovich and Andreas Kratky, Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database.  DVD-video with 40 page color booklet, with “invited contributions from leaders in other cultural fields: DJ Spooky, Scanner, George Lewis and Jóhann Jóhannsson (music), servo and Andreas Angelidakis (architecture), Schoenerwissen/Office for Computational Design (data visualization), and Ross Cooper Studios (media design).” Cambridge:  MIT Press, 2005
  • Various Artists: From the Kitchen Archives: New Music New York 1979. Orange Mountain Music OMM 0015, 2004
  • Lewis, George, et al.  Audiology: Live In Berlin, Total Music Meeting 2001, ALL 002, 2002
  • Lewis, George.  The Shadowgraph Series: Compositions for Creative Orchestra (with the NOW Orchestra). Spool, 2001
  • Lewis, George.  Endless Shout. Tzadik, 2000.
  • Lewis, George, and Bertram Turetzky.  Conversations.  Incus, 1999.
  • Lewis, George, and Miya Masaoka. The Usual Turmoil.  Music and Arts, 1998.
  • Lewis, George, Vinny Golia, and Bertram Turetzky, Triangulations, Nine Winds, 1997.
  • Iyer, Vijay:  Memorophilia.  Asian Improv Records, 1995.
  • Slideride (Ray Anderson, Craig Harris, George Lewis, Gary Valente) Hat Hut, 1995
  • Braxton, Anthony:  Concert In Dortmund. hat Art, 1994
  • Lewis, George, and Anthony Braxton. Donaueschingen (Duo). Hat Hut, 1994.
  • Lewis, George. Voyager. Disk Union, Tokyo, 1993
  • Lewis, George.  Changing With The Times. New World, New York, 1992
  • Teitelbaum, Richard: Cyberband. Moers Music 03000 CD, 1993
  • Globe Unity Orchestra: 20th Anniversary. FMP, 1993.


Undergraduate Courses

  • Humanities W1123, Masterpieces of Western Music

  • Music V2015, Music In The United States
  • Music V3248, Interactive Music Composition
  • Music V3158, Music, Race, and Nation
  • Music V3163, Sonic Texts of the Black Atlantic
  • Music V3165, Jazz and Improvised Music After 1950
  • Music V3172, 20th Century Music
  • Music W4540, Histories of Jazz After 1960

Graduate Courses

  • Music G4601, Musical Interactivity
  • Music G6105, Proseminar in Historical Musicology
  • Music G6379, Music Since 1900
  • Music G8112, Seminar in Historical Musicology: Discourses of Experimentalism
  • Music G8231, Seminar in Music Composition
  • Music G8142, Seminar in Historical Musicology: Theorizing Improvisation
  • Music G8160, Sound Art and New Media