A native of Chicago with a degree in philosophy from Yale, GEORGE LEWIS began studying trombone in 1960. From 1971-75 he studied theory/composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at The School of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Lewis has concentrated upon his activity as a composer/constructor working in the field of computer-music. He is perhaps best known for his "software compositions"--that is, the construction of real-time composing and listening machines (computer programs) that interact with performing musicians in concerts.
Lewis has received a NEA Composers Grant and a Creative Artists Public Service Grant. In 1985-86 he constructed the video/sound work, The Empty Chair at the Studio voor Elektro-Instrumentale Muziek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and completed Kalimbascope, an interactive computer graphics/music installation for public use in collaboration with David Behrman which can be seen at La Villette Science Museum in Paris.
From 1980-82 he served as the music program director for The Kitchen Center in New York City. In 1990 he received a NEA Jazz Performance Grant and taught seminars in contemporary music, time arts, theory of improvisation and real-time computer installation construction at the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego.
In addition to his activities as a composer, Lewis is active as a trombonist in new music. Artists with whom he has collaborated include Laurie Anderson, Count Basie, John Zorn, Earl Howard, Blondell Cummings, Ushio Torikai and Phill Niblock.