Eric Whitacre is one of the most-performed composers of his generation. Born in 1970, he studied composition at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Juilliard School with notable composers including John Corigliano and David Diamond. His choral works and band works have rapidly become accepted in the repertoire due to their strong appeal to audiences and players alike. In addition to composing, Whitacre tours the world as a conductor of his own works.
Whitacre is quite web-savvy:
Eric Whitacre on WikiMusicGuide (better than Wikipedia in this case), including complete works list.
Whitacre even writes his own program notes! Here they are for October:
October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always make me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, patoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughan Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season. I’m quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn’t enough lush, beautiful music written for winds. October was premiered on May 14th, 2000, and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.
October is a wind band original. Here it is in its original version:
Whitacre has also turned October into an a cappella Alleluia: