Eric Ewazen was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1954. He studied at Eastman and Juilliard under such noted composers as Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Gunther Schuller, and Joseph Schwantner. He has won a number of awards, including the BMI Award, the George Gershwin Prize, the Howard Hanson Prize, and the Bernard Rogers Award. A trombonist, Ewazen has composed a number of works for solo brass instruments, brass ensembles, and band. He was commissioned to write a symphony for wind ensemble to commemorate the bicentennial of West Point.