Dennis Eberhard (b. 1943 in Cleveland) received his musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Kent State University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the Warsaw Conservatory of Music in Poland. He has studied composition with Marie Martin, Frederick Coulter, Salvatore Martirano, and Wlodzimierz Kotonski, and electronics, computer techniques, and programming with Gordon Mumma and Herbert Brün. Mr. Eberhard has received numerous grants and awards, including a Fulbright Grant, a Rome Prize Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, five grants from the Ohio Arts Council, three MacDowell Residency Grants, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the 1990 Award of Achievement in Classical Music from Northern Ohio Live Magazine, and the 1993 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Kent State University.
While working in the Experimental Music Studio of the University of Illinois from 1969 to 1972, composing both concert music and music for film and theater, Mr. Eberhard also worked with John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, participating in the realization of their compositions Music Circus and HPSCHD. In 1973, he traveled to Poland under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State; residing there for two years, he composed six works and participated in several concerts of American music throughout Poland, culminating in a concert of his own music. At the close of his stay in Poland, his Dialogues II was performed at the Nineteenth International Festival for Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn." In 1977, Mr. Eberhard participated in the International Gaudeamus Music Week in Hilversum, Holland, where his Marginals received its first performance and was awarded Third Prize. A year later, the work was performed during the twenty-second "Warsaw Autumn." That same year, he won the Prix de Rome which allowed him a year's residency at the American Academy in Rome. Since returning to the United States in 1980, Mr. Eberhard has written a variety of works, several of which have been performed internationally. They include Janus Music (RAI Symphony Orchestra, Rome, 1981), Ephrata ( São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Brazil, 1982), "Especially..." for solo harp (Alice Giles, Cleveland, 1983), Voix Célestes , Elegies, Berceuse (Cleveland Chamber Symphony., 1984, 1985, 1989), Endgame (Cleveland Octet , 1988), The Bells of Elsinore (commissioned and premiered by The Cleveland Orchestra, 1989), O Sing a New Song to God, a choral and instrumental work commissioned by the American Guild of Organists (June, 1989), Encontros (Cadenzas & Interludes) performed at the Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament International Festival of Music and the Arts in Finland, June, 1990, and To the End of the Dreamtime, a concerto for harp and orchestra (commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts for harpist Alice Giles, 1991). His Suite for solo cello was premiered at The Cleveland Museum of Art, July, 1992. Recent orchestra premieres include The Bird of Four Hundred Voices with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, assisted by solo violinist, Martin Chalifour (January, 1995), and For the Musicians of the Queen with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jesùs López-Cobos (January, 1996). Crooked River Oracle, which was commissioned by Chrisoph von Dohnányi and The Cleveland Orchestra on the occasion of Cleveland's Bicentennial Celebration, was premiered in May, 1996.
Having served as Associate Director of the Reconnaissance Contemporary Music Ensemble and President of the Cleveland Composers Guild, Mr. Eberhard is a member of the board of Epicycle (contemporary music ensemble) and is a permanent member of the board of advisors of The Bascom Little Fund for Music. He has taught at the University of Illinois, Western Illinois University, the University of Nebraska, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Cleveland State University, while lecturing widely on his own music at such institutions as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cornell University, Penn State, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the University of New Mexico, and the São Paulo State University (Brazil). His music is published by C. F. Peters, Media Press and Margun Music. Currently, Mr. Eberhard is on the composition-theory faculty at Kent State University.