He hath led me, and brought me into darkness
Surely against me is he turned
He turneth his hand against me
My flesh and my skin hath he made old
He hath broken my bones
Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer
He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone
He hath made my paths crooked
He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces
He hath made me desolate
He hath filled me with bitterness
He hath broken my teeth with gravel stones
He hath covered me with ashes
Their heart cried unto the Lord,
let tears run down like a river day and night:
Arise, cry out in the night:
lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever;
thy throne from generation to generation.
Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever,
and forsake us so long time?
Composer Justin Merritt was the youngest-ever winner of the ASCAP Foundation Rudolph Nissim Award. He is also the winner of a host of other awards including the McKnight Fellowship, the Copland Award, and the Polyphonos Prize. His music has been played by the Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, and on A Prairie Home Companion.
His evening length cantata, The Path, was premiered at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis in April 2018. The work is a setting of a collection of Buddhist Pali scriptures translated by the composer and set for multiple choirs, soloists, and large orchestra.
He received his Bachelors from Trinity University and his Masters and Doctorate from Indiana University. He studied composition with Samuel Adler, Sven-David Sandstrom, Claude Baker, Timothy Kramer, Don Freund, and electronic and computer music with Jeffrey Hass. He is currently Professor and Chair of Music at St. Olaf College. He resides in Northfield, Minnesota with his wife Faye and their children Cullen Fang Ouxiang and Molly Fang Qinghe.