About Ethan


Ethan Boxley is a native of Fort Collins, CO, and a third year music composition student at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University. His goal is to compose music which is beautiful and accessible, and also incorporates the complexity of earlier forms. His compositional interests include the use of early forms in modern contexts, and the use of pitches and rhythms made by water and other natural sounds in combination with more tonal musical elements.  His works have been performed by the Spektral Quartet, Fort Collins Symphony, Northwestern’s Renaissance singers, Denver’s Playground Ensemble and NoCo Artists. 

Ethan is currently studying composition with Hans Thomalla at the Bienen School with a focus of study on: vocal writing, 19th century chromaticism. He has studied composition previously Christopher Mercer, Northwestern University, Juan Campoverde, Northwestern University, Cherise Leiter, Metropolitan State University of Denver and RJ Miller, Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Despite his young age Ethan has already won a number of composition competitions with a varied portfolio. In 2009 his piano quintet Wayfarer won the Colorado MTNA Junior Division and placed second in the region. It was performed at the MTNA winners’ recital. In 2010 his wind quartet Character Suite won the Colorado MTNA Junior Division and took third-place in the National MTNA Junior Division. In 2011 Ethan’s Fanfare for Home won the Fort Collins Symphony’s statewide, young composers(age 25 and under) fanfare competition and was premiered and recorded by the Fort Collins Symphony at the Fort Collins Symphony Youth Education Series. In 2013 his Crisis in the Hallway for piano, clarinet, flute and violoncello was performed at the 2013 Colorado Composers’ Concert. His double-bass quintet won honorable mention for the Colorado MTNA Senior Division also in 2013.

Ethan has won honors with his piano performance. He was selected to play in the final recital of the Loveland Friends of Chamber Music piano competition in 2010 with a performance of Minuet I, II and the Gigue from Bach’s Partita in Bb. In 2012 he was invited by the Loveland Friends of Chamber Music to perform The Harmonious Blacksmith by Handel for their Midwinter concert where the chamber players played the Ludwig Spoehr Octet in E minor, based in part on the Blacksmith theme. He also performed original underscore piano improvisation for the Fossil Ridge High School production of Metamorphosis by Mary Zimmerman in November 2013.

More recently Ethan and Bassoonist Vincent Disantishe performed Rain and Roles Reversals, the 1st movement from his Suite for Bassoon and Piano as part of Fulcrum Point’s Merit Discovery series. Northwestern University’s Renaissance Singers performed his commissioned motet “Estans Assis”, which served as the center piece of their spring concert and the Spektral Quartet performed his Supplication, a work for string quartet.

He graduated from Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Collins, CO.  Ethan likes to make music with friends, write, play video games, hike and is an Eagle Scout.