About The Composer

James Beckel graduated from the Indiana University School of Music and has been the Principal Trombonist with the Indianapolis Symphony since 1969.  He is also on the music faculty at DePauw University and the University of Indianapolis.  In addition to these responsibilities he has been a very active composer and arranger.  Mr. Beckel was born in Marion, Ohio in 1948.

Many original works have been performed by several professional orchestras such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Rochester, Charlotte, Fort Wayne, Rhode Island, Springfield, Evansville, Tampa, Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Terre Haute, South Bend, Omaha, Knoxville, Delaware, West Virginia, Chautauqua, and New Mexico, etc.

Mr. Beckel has received many composition grants. He has been an Individual Arts Fellow through the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, and recently was one of 50 composers chosen nationwide to be part of the Continental Harmony Project. “Liberty for All” was written for that commission from Composers Forum.   "The Glass Bead Game" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  "The Glass Bead Game: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra" was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on November 10, 1997.  Kent Leslie was the horn soloist.  “The Glass Bead Game” is now available with orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber ensemble written for piano, harp, and percussion, and a version with piano which is published by Hal Leonard Music.  Mr. Beckel has also written several works for brass choir and brass quintet.  In 2004 the Indianapolis Symphony premiered and commissioned "Fantasy after Schubert" dedicated to their Music Director, Mario Venzago, for the opening subscription concerts in celebration of their 75th season.   Other works written by the composer can be viewed by clicking on the 'Pieces' menu link.

To view Mr. Beckel's resume in Adobe format, click the following link.  Then click your browser's back button to continue viewing this site.

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Photos for Programs