Suspend Your Disbelief

Eric Moe


Composer and pianist Eric Moe has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including the Lakond Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His sit-trag/one-woman opera Tri-Stan was hailed by the New York Times in 2005 as “a blockbuster” and “a tour de force,” a work of “inspired weight” that “subversively inscribe[s] classical music into pop culture.” His recorded works include Kicking and Screaming, Up & At ‘Em, Siren SongsOn the Tip of My Tongue, and the forthcoming Strange Exclaiming Music. The fine arts journalThe Sienese Shredder includes an all-Moe CD as part of its third issue. Moe has premiered and performed works by composers from Anthony Davis to Stefan Wolpe, and he recently recorded The Waltz Project Revisited – New Waltzes for Piano, performing works by two generations of American composers. A founding member of the San Francisco-based EARPLAY ensemble, he currently co-directs the Music on the Edge new music concert series in Pittsburgh. Moe studied composition at Princeton University (A.B.) and at the University of California at Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.). He is currently Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh. Visit his website at


Essays |

DFW + Me = An ‘Arranged’ Marriage of Music and Fiction

What happens when a composer falls in love with a David Foster Wallace short story? Eric Moe describes the genesis of his “sit-trag /concert monodrama” Tri-Stan, his correspondence with DFW about the project, the challenges of translating a short story to a one-woman vocal piece, and why “making art is a lot more exciting when big risks are being taken.”