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Van Tieghem, David

Van Tieghem, David

Van Tieghem, David, highly successful American composer, percussionist, and actor; b. Washington, D.C., April 21, 1955. He studied in N.Y. with Justin DiCioccio at the H.S. of Music and Art, and also attended the Manhattan School of Music (1973-76), where he studied with Paul Price. In 1977 he created a solo percussion theater piece using found objects and sophisticated technology; he then performed variations on this work throughout the U.S. and Europe as Message Received…Proceed Accordinglyor A Man and His Toys. He performed with Steve Reich and Musicians (1975-80), and recorded with Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, and Brian Eno, among others; also created scores for films, performance works, and dance pieces, including for Twyla Tharpe’s Fait Accompli (1983), later released on recording as These Things Happen (1984). In 1989 he wrote the music for and performed the lead role in the theater piece The Ghost Writerat N.Y.’s Dance Theater Workshop. His interesting variations on dance and percussion textures have led to his widespread popularity in the N.Y. commercial and avant-garde music communities. Throughout the 1990s he composed scores for numerous theater works on Broadway, including Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya,James Lapine’s The Moment When,Pirandello’s Naked,Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler,and Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone,for which he received a 1996 Drama Desk Award, the same year he was awarded an Obie for Sustained Excellence of Music. In 1997-98 he was resident sound designer for The Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., and designed their productions of She Stoops to Conquer, A Question of Mercy, Mystery School,and Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit. He also received a 1997 Theatre Crafts International Design Award. Other awards have come from the NEA, Meet The Composer, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Art Matters, Inc., the Jerome Foundation, and the N.Y. State Council on the Arts; in 1986 he received N.Y.’s Bessie Award for Music. His other recordings include Safety in Numbers (1987) and Strange Cargo (1989), as well as Galaxy (1987), a popular music video utilizing sophisticated digital video technology and computer animation.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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