Gia Comolli was trained at Peabody Conservatory where she earned Bachelors degrees in both piano and composition under Fernando Laires and Morris Cotel, respectively. She continued her studies in composition at City College of New York on a Fellowship with David Del Tredici. After earning an M.F.A. in 1989, she went to Temple University where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition in 1996. Recipient of numerous prizes and awards, most notably the Charles Ives Prize from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1993, Dr. Comolli has also worked extensively with the DaPonte String Quartet (www.daponte.org) since its inception in 1990. During the summer of 1990, she wrote String Quartet No. 2, which the quartet recorded. Dr. Comolli’s association with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and conductor Toshi Shimada led to the performance of her Flight of Icarus on April 29, 2003. String Play, a recent composition and commission written for the DaPonte String Quartet, is an educational work with narration describing string instruments and string techniques. This work serves as not only a concert work, but also an educational tool for performance inschools.
In 2004, Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra was commissioned by the Bowdoin International Music Festival in celebration of its 40th anniversary. It was premiered in a wonderful performance by Lewis Kaplan, director and founder of the festival, and the festival chamber orchestra conducted by Simone Fontanelli.
Also completed in 2004 was a work for clarinet, violin, and piano for the Nordica Trio, a Maine-based group in residence at the University of Maine in Farmington. Gia received a grant from the Maine Arts Council through the Artists in Maine Communities program, which incorporated composition master classes and a student composer’s competition.
Most recent compositions include the Quintet for Harp and String Quartet, written for Jara Goodrich, for whom Comolli has written other pieces. In 2005, theDaPonte String Quartet, commissioned a song cycle of five songs for mezzo-soprano and String Quartet called Mourning Songs of Greek Women, Prose using modern and ancient Greek poems translated into English.
A recent large work for string quartet and chamber orchestra ultimately became a concerto for string quartet and orchestra. Three ensembles have copies of the score. and have expressed interest in performing the work.