John Eaton


Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., Princeton, 1970


John Eaton, Professor Emeritus, is a composer with special interest in opera. Called "the most interesting opera composer writing in America today" by Andrew Porter in the London Financial Times, Eaton has penned over fifteen operas and garnered international acclaim as a composer and performer of electronic and microtonal music. Notable works include his television opera, Myshkin; and the operas The Cry of Clytaemnestra and The Tempest. In 1993 he formed the Pocket Opera Players, which has presented Pinocchio, Peer Gynt, Let's Get This Show on the Road, Don Quixote, Golk, Traveling with Gulliver, Antigone, Youth, Salome's Flea Circus, and "inasmuch..." Eaton is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award in 1990. His music was chosen to represent the United States at the International Rostrum of Composers a quarter-century ago; since then, he has received a citation and award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, three Prix de Rome Grants, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and commissions from the Fromm and Koussevitsky Foundations and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Eaton was Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome and taught at Indiana University Bloomington for twenty years and the University of Chicago for ten.