John Eaton studied composition at Princeton University with Milton Babbitt, Edward Cone, and Roger Sessions. He has been honored for his compositions by three Prix de Rome and two Guggenheim Fellowships, and is currently a MacArthur Fellow. From 1970-1991 he was on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music.
Eaton has been commisioned by the Public Broadcasting Corporation (Myshkin—a television opera which won the Peabody Award), the New York New Music Ensemble, the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, and the North German Radio, among others. He has won a special award from the National Institute of Music Theater. His work is widely known and discussed in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Much of Eaton's music employs microtonal intervals, typically requiring half the ensemble to tune a quarter-tone above the rest. His oeuvre includes nine operas, song cycles, and works for solo piano, chamber ensembles, and orchestra. In addition he has composed extensively for electronic media and has successfully combined electronic instruments with more conventional forces.
- Aria and Scene from the The Cry of Clytaemnestra
- From the Cave of the Sybil: So nority Movement
- Ars Poetica
To Dorothy Wellesley
A Crazed Girl
Under Ben Bulben: IV
Under Ben Bulben: V
- Fantasy Romance
- A Greek Vision