Drew Schnurr

Lecturer--Electronic Music


Drew Schnurr is a composer, sound artist, and performer based in Los Angeles. He composes and performs a broad range of work blurring traditional lines in media and musical genre. Schnurr’s wide-ranging experience in classical music, rock, electronic music, jazz, Latin music and other international music forms combined with his expertise in modern sound design, music production and audio technology, informs his diverse approach.

Over the past decade, his works have been performed nationally and internationally at various festivals and venues including the Ford Amphitheater, Harris Hall in Aspen, CO, the Forge, London, UK, and as a featured composer at the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and the highSCORE Music Festival in Pavia, Italy, while his scoring and sound design work has been featured on various television networks, and internationally on film screens and in galleries. Schnurr is acclaimed as an innovative solo performer playing traditional stringed instruments mixed with electronic sounds in live improvisation. His current creative work engages multiple levels of visual, music, and social culture.


Recent projects include a commission and composer feature concert with the London-based RIOT ENSEMBLE in 2014 and a new work presented by Providence New Music Premieres in 2013. Past commissions include works composed for performances at the Ford Amphitheater, Harris Hall, the Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, members of the Hysterica Dance Company, the International Design Conference Aspen, and the music for a highly successful multi-media event in downtown Los Angeles entitled Persee: Orchestrated Perception, which he also produced. 2015 projects include a commission by African-American Metropolitan Opera soprano Karen Slack to compose song cycle based on lives of African warrior queens, a concert commission by St. Louis Orchestra principal harpist Allegra Lilly, a commission by Los Angeles Opera librettist and director Richard Sparks, and a concert commission by renowned Dutch harpsichordist Goska Isphording to premiere in the Netherlands during the 2015-16 concert season.

Schnurr's composition work in film has been featured at international film festivals including Cannes, Raindance, Berlin, Feratum, Festival Internacional de Cine de Pasto, Rodando, Nocturna, Destival De Cine Acapulco, Santa Barbara, Honolulu, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Los Angeles, and New York. Schnurr's composing and sound design clients include the Los Angeles Philharmonic (designing the sound for the CELEBRATE: SALONEN website commemorating Esa-Pekka Salonen’s tenure with the orchestra), Sony Ericsson, Dodge, Yamaha Music Corporation, Wieden + Kennedy, Nike, Hyundai, Google, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Entertainment, Live Earth, and Much Music USA. Schnurr’s electronic sound compositions composed in collaboration with artist Rebeca Mendez have been presented internationally including exhibits at the Beal Center for Art and Technology, the ARCO Madrid 29th International Contemporary Art Fair, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO). On the double bass, Schnurr has performed extensively across the US, Europe, and Japan, and with symphony orchestras including the Los Angeles Camarata Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, and Kalamazoo Symphony.

Schnurr was on faculty at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts from 2005 to 2011 where he taught Sound and Sonic-Visual Aesthetics. In 2013, he completed his PhD in composition from UCLA. He has since returned to UCLA, serving on faculty at the Herb Alpert School of Music, teaching Electronic Music and Sonic Arts. He previously studied Bass performance and Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University and was recipient of a Masters in Double Bass Performance from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.