Born March 2 in Sheffield, England, U.K.
Studied piano, organ, counterpoint and harmony with private teachers.
Entered the University of Wales to study music, philosophy, English and Celtic literatures.
Composition studies in Italy with Roman Vlad (1958–59) in Rome; and Luigi Dallapiccola (1959–60) in Florence.
Professor of Composition at the University of Wales.
Further studies in Italy with Luciano Berio.
First publications by U.E. Vienna and London.
Darmstadt Festival Premiere of "Actions for Six" by Kranischsteiner Ensemble, conducted by Bruno Maderna.
Studies at the Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, with Bruno Maderna and Pierre Boulez.
Darmstadt Festival Premiere of "Espressione IV" by Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky.
Premiere of "Formants I (Les Gestes)" – now titled "Memo 3" – by Francis Pierre, harp, at the Royan Festival, France.
Harkness International Fellowship in the United States. Composer-in-Residence for one year at Princeton University and for one year at University of Illinois, Urbana.
Professor of Composition at York University, England.
During this time, several works were commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation and premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez: "Mésalliance" for piano and orchestra, "Wildtrack 1" for orchestra, "Wildtrack 2" for soprano and orchestra, "Aum" for harp and orchestra
Creative Arts Fellow, Bresenose College, Oxford University
"Metalepsis II" for mezzo-soprano, six voices and 11 instruments premiered in London by Cathy Berberian, London Sinfonietta, conducted by Luciano Berio.
Emigrated to the United States.
Professor of Composition at the University of California, San Diego. Guest conductor of orchestras and ensembles in many countries.
Founder and Music Director of SONOR
"Madrigali" for chamber orchestra, commissioned and premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, DC, conducted by Rafael Druian.
Co-director of the Aspen Music Festival and School Composition Seminar.
"Canti Lunatici" for Soprano and Ensemble premiered by Carol Plantamura and SONOR, conducted by the composer.
"Canti Lunatici" for Soprano and Orchestra premiered by Dorothy Dorow, BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
Became a U.S. citizen.
"Canti del Sole" for Tenor and ensemble premiered by Paul Sperry and SONOR, conducted by the composer.
"Canti del Sole" for Tenor and orchestra premiered by Paul Sperry and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta.
"Canti del Sole" awarded the 1984 Pulitzer Prize.
"Le Tambourin Suites" for orchestra awarded Friedheim 1st Prize, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC.
"Ceremonial 2" for Orchestra commissioned by and premiered at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
Composer-in-Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University.
"Bells" for large chorus and orchestra commissioned and premiered by Northeastern Philharmonic, Pennsylvania.
"...body and shadow..." for orchestra commissioned and premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
"Ceremonial III" for orchestra commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 100th anniversary. Premiered by Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
"Tre Canzoni Senza Parole" commissioned and premiered by Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
"Canti dell’Eclisse" for Bass voice and orchestra commissioned and premiered by Thomas Paul and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Schwarz.
"where the murmurs die..." commissioned and premiered by New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
"Symphony" commissioned and premiered by Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
"Canzoni per orchestra" commissioned and premiered by Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Wolfgang Sawalisch.
"Trio" commissioned and premiered by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for Boulez 70th birthday celebration.)
"Interludium" for chorus and orchestra commissioned by the Internationale Bach Akademie, Stuttgart and premiered by the Israel Philharmonic, conducted by Helmut Rilling.
"Cello Concerto No. 1" commissioned for and premiered by Mstislav Rostropovich and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
Chamber opera "Belladonna" commissioned and premiered by the Aspen Music Festival, conducted by David Zinman.
"Canti d’Amor" for chamber chorus commissioned, premiered and recorded by Chanticleer; wins a Grammy Award.
"apókryphos" for soprano, large chorus and orchestra commissioned and premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"Walcott Songs" for Mezzo-soprano and cello, premiered at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
"now again" – fragments from "Sappho" commissioned and premiered by the Network for New Music, Philadelphia.
"12 Preludes" for piano commissioned by the Ruhr International Piano Festival and premiered by Robert Levin at the Essen Festival.
"chains like the sea" commissioned and premiered by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
Jonathan Biss premieres "Three Pieces" for Piano in Mainz, Germany on December 3 and performs the piece on tours throughout the US and Europe, which includes its Carnege Hall debut on January 21, 2011.
"Vincent", an opera in two acts commissioned by Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, premieres in Bloomington, IN, conducted by Arthur Fagen.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra premieres "Danza Petrificada" on May 5, 2011.
Bridge Records releases "Bernard Rands: Piano Music 1960-2010" with recordings of "Tre Espressioni", "Espressione IV", "Memo V" and "Impromptu" by Robert Levin and Ursula Oppens.
"Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" debuts on April 3, 2014 with soloist Jonathan Biss and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Robert Spano, in celebration of the composer's eightieth birthday. German premiere follows with Biss and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, led by Sir Andrew Davis, and the UK premiere at the BBC Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Markus Stenz.
"Folk Songs", for voice and chamber ensemble, commissioned by the Tanglewood Festival, premieres at Ozawa Hall in Lenox, MA.
Major portrait events at Miller Theatre (NY), Sheffield University (UK), June in Buffalo (NY), Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Thailand International Composition Festival, and London Festival of American Music in honor of the composer's 80th birthday year.
Named Recipient of 2014 Order of Lincoln
Rands's "Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra" premieres with soloist Robert Walters and The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Lionel Bringuier.
OPERA America presents concert performance of "Vincent" at Trinity Wall Street