Forrest Pierce is an American composer, poet, and student of the mysticism of sound and music. Raised in eastern Washington State, his music often reflects the vast emptiness of that high desert landscape. Composer of many dozens of works for voices, he enjoys working with texts by the world's great mystical poets of all faith traditions. He serves as faculty at the University of Kansas, where he teaches composition and counterpoint, as well as at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Tuscany. He has been performed by renowned ensembles and soloists, as well as by small church choirs and enthusiastic amateurs. Winner of the Barlow Prize, among others, his long-ago teachers were Dominick Argento, Stephen Paulus, and Don Freund. At one time or another a student of piano, cello, tango, and Hindustani classical music, and still a student of Inayati Sufism, Pierce drinks espresso in Lawrence, Kansas.