Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing music for the musicians of Los Angeles. Successful in both film and television, and the concert hall, he is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audience and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art. Eleven of these musicians are featured in this collection of chamber, vocal, and choral music. Five of the pieces on this album were commissions and two were winners in international competitions.
Babcock holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). While at CSUN, Bruce's Impasse was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. Copland's comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, include "an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed ... a convincing sense of an overall mood ... knows what he wants ... sure of what he's doing." Babcock's mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass,and Earle Hagen. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a ten-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI. He has also collaborated as an orchestrator and conductor with some of the biggest names in film scoring, including James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, and Christopher Young.
Playful! If you had to pick a single word to describe Louis Babin’s approach to composing music, ‘playful’ would be the one. Because for this composer creation is a form of play. Indeed, Babin’s early works are associated with the world of story and theatre: Les filles de l’amour divin, as performed at Montreal’s Salle Fred-Barry, the intimate character of L’amiral blanc at Les fleurs du mal cafe theatre, and in larger productions, such as his contributions to Le bossu de Notre-Dame, presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and La légende du roi Arthus at Usine C in Montréal.
Louis Babin’s 30 years of creating music are intrinsically linked to his career as a working instrumentalist – first on the viola in his early twenties, then forty years as a trumpeter. Result: a seasoned artist who puts an emphasis on instrumental play. Thanks to his vast experience on stage, Babin is at home with all styles of music: classical, jazz, contemporary, experimental and popular. He has played in New York, Paris, Basel, Zurich and Toronto.
Louis Babin’s musical palette is rich in eclectic vocabulary, providing him with all the tools he needs to compose colourful cinematic scores for short, feature length, documentary and animated productions. His score for the short film Zie 37e Stagen was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award in the Best Original Music category. A brief stint in the world of advertizing and corporate public relations saw him creating music for such prestigious names as Arthur Andersen, Hydro-Québec, Kodak and several others.
Babin’s abiding interest in concert music pushed him to return to academia, where he sourced the talents and knowledge of Michel Longtin and Alan Belkin at the University of Montreal. Following this return to musical study, he received several important commissions. He composed a piece for brass quintet celebrating the 40th anniversary of Expo 67. His creation L’Homme exposé was presented by the musicians of l’Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2007. In 2010 Babin was appointed Composer in Residence at Montreal’s FACE School for its 35th anniversary year.
Babin’s musical vocabulary was honed and refined in his works for piano - Qui suis-je?, Vains sont les jours and finally Duel, which garnered a Special Mention at the BLA Grand Prize World Music Competition, held in Italy in the summer of 2010. La suite du promeneur, his suite for string orchestra created under the direction of Boris Brott in 1992, was presented by the FACE School string orchestra at the Eurochestries Festival in Vienne, France in the summer of 2009, and reprised by the Montreal Chamber Orchestra in 2010.
For the last few years Babin’s involvement in musical creation in schools in the Montreal region has been a priority, teaching students at FACE School, Pointe-de-l’Ile school board and St. Dorothy elementary school. He has published in Musique et pédagogie and Canadian Music Educator reviews. His articles may also be found at the French website L’Éducation musicale. Louis Babin is currently working with the Molinari Quartet and is involved with the Fédération des Festivals Eurochestries.
Robert A. Baker (born 1970, Toronto, Canada) is a composer, theorist, pianist and conductor of new music. His compositions have been performed at concerts and at festivals and conferences in North America and Europe including: the St. Magnus and York Spring New Music Festivals (UK); Jihlava International Choral Festival (Czech Republic); Festival "Giuseppe Rosetta" (Italy); New Music North (Canada); Miami New Music ISCM Festival (USA).
His research focuses on 20th-century analysis, particularly the music of Wolfgang Rihm, as well as issues of temporality and the perception of musical form. Baker's writing has been presented at numerous conferences across North America, and published in Circuit musique contemporaines. He received a Ph.D in Composition from McGill University in 2009, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC
After he had finished his studies in piano, church organ and choral conducting in Utrecht, Drs. Hans Bakker (b. 1945) began teaching piano at music schools in two places in the Netherlands. Apart from his teaching practice, he conducted two choirs and was active in the improvisational music scene. His career in music was followed by the study of Sanskrit. After his successful graduation from the University of Amsterdam, he returned to music, becoming completely occupied by teaching at the Globe Center for Art and Culture in the city of Hilversum.
Initially, composing was only a minor occupation next to Bakker's other work. However, in 1997 it became a daily routine; he wrote a great number of chamber music works and many choir compositions, including the cycle of choirs Prasasti. He also composed works for orchestra and pieces for carillon. http://www.beiaardcentrum.com/webshop/category/originele-beiaardmuziek His first Enhanced album THE UNNAMED SOURCE features moving performances by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Vit Micka and an astounding array of its instrumentalists. Later compilation releases include SLICES, namely his DUO voor viool en klarinet, and SEEKING & FINDING with seven choral works performed by the Kuhn Choir Prague.
Featured on the following compilation album DANCES OF ETERNITY are Bakker's orchestral works Canzona L'altra Persona and Canzona II: Tribute to the Sun; alongside works of Mark Dal Porto, Michael J. Evans, Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy, and Anthony Iannaccone.
"....I have heard some things by Netherlander Hans Bakker before and have enjoyed his direct and compelling style. The two canzoni heard here: Canzona L'altra Persona and Canzona II Tribute to the Sun are both absorbing works and offer some nice contrast. The 'L'altra Persona' is a very brooding, introspective work that sounds a little bit like film music in places (perhaps John Barry) and tension-filled throughout but his 'Tribute to the Sun' is a work that starts dark and gets "brighter" (if you will) and really does exude a sunrise feel to it. I thought these two works work very well separately but also pair very well, as heard here...." Audiophile Audition, DANCES OF ETERNITY, June 11, 2013 - by Daniel Coombs
About his compositions Bakker says: "More than 17 years ago the source of my music started to flow after I became acquainted with the writings of the German painter and writer Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken, better known as Bo Yin Ra. The resulting music is sometimes expansive and outward, with expression of state of mind or emotion, such as in Canzona L'Altra Persona and Canzona II Tribute to the Sun for orchestra. Sometimes my music is more personal and inward, such as in Gott and Canto 33 for choir".
Hans Bakker lives in the old city of Amersfoort. He publishes and sells the majority of scores and parts of his works via his website.
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Composer by character and performer by temperament, James Scott Balentine is as complex as his music; that is, moderately enigmatic yet engaging. His compositions are fun and interesting to play, intriguing to the listener, and crafted in a personal language influenced by ethnic dance, jazz and folk idioms, tonal as well as atonal and serial techniques.
His catalog includes music written for soloists and ensembles from many parts of the United States, Belgium, France, and the UK, all incorporating the personality, technique, and musical character of the performers in some way. Balentine’s fondness for wordplay and poetry finds its way into many of his works as phonetic motifs, alliterative program notes, a poetic prologue, or formal musical structures designed around names, prosody, and other linguistic elements that infuse a sense of theater into all of his music.
Awards, grants and commissions for his music have come from the Barlow Endowment, the Opera Guild of San Antonio, ASCAP, the American Music Center, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and many chamber ensembles and soloists. A prolific arranger as well as composer, Balentine’s arrangements have been performed by the San Antonio Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and others, and his big band charts are included in the libraries of professional and university big bands across the United States.
Balentine is Professor of Music at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and teaches courses in music theory, composition, and jazz studies. He received bachelor and master degrees from the University of South Carolina and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin. His composition teachers included Hunter Johnson, Gordon (Dick) Goodwin, Samuel Douglas, Eugene Kurtz, Barton McLean and Karl Korte. He has also been directly involved with the retail music business as founder and owner of One Music Square, a full line music store in Huntsville TX.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1947, the son of a career Air Force officer, Balentine was raised in Paris, France; Montgomery, Alabama; Tachikawa, Japan, and has since lived in such diverse locations as Winnipeg (Canada), Edinburgh (Scotland), and Zurich (Switzerland); Midwest City (Oklahoma), San Francisco (California), and Houston, Austin, and Huntsville (Texas). He currently resides in the hill country near San Antonio.
Lawrence Ball is a composer with over 150 scored compositions and 3,000 recorded piano improvisations. Lawrence has composed in a wide range of kidioms and genres, including Turkish sax music, music for Sufi meditation groups, piano improvisations, symphonies, multimedia installations, and auto-generated music. He has performed in the U.S., Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the UK.
In 1993, he began collaborating with quantum physicist Michael Tusch and programmer Dave Snowdon. Together, they created the "Visual Harmony" software, which integrates audio and visual images.
Lawrence and Dave went on to collaborate with Pete Townshend on the Lifehouse Method web site, based on Townshend's Lifehouse concept. Users were invited to "sit" and enter information about themselves, which would be analyzed by the software and transformed into a unique piece of music. The website launched in 2007 and resulted in over ten thousand portraits before going into temporary stasis in 2008.
The result of Lawrence's research work into the Lifehouse Method was the creation of this collection, combining Townshend's concept with his own Harmonic Maths language. Here, the "sitters" are imagined by Lawrence and are used as a means to further explore computer-based composition techniques.
Other collaborators include healer/counselor Isobel McGilvray, choreographers Sheila Styles and Rebecca Ham, pianist Yonty Solomon, and string chamber gropu The Smith Quartet. He has also accompanied the international painting group Collective Phenomena with extended keyboard improvisations. In 1996, Lawrence Ball founded the Planet Tree Music Festival, which features contemporary music along with other artistic media.
"In my musical creation I am reinforcing directness, expressing something simple yet affecting, and using the mind as an instrument," writes Lawrence. "Music for me is an ocean of exploration, the communication of internal realities through airwaves."Lawrence is also a renowned mathematician, and has worked as a private mathematics tutor for 35 years. He lives in North London.
Composer Jason V. Barabba’s (b. 1970) work has been called “deeply meditative” by Fanfare magazine, and his music has been performed by such diverse musicians as the Arneis Quartet, Janaki String Trio, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the California E.A.R. Unit, and Chicago’s Quintet Attacca. Reviews of the 2011 premiere of Barabba’s work Diddling: Considered as One of the Exact Sciences said it was “uproariously hilarious, Barabba’s ‘Diddling’ was plain evidence of this composer’s tremendous talent and ability to evoke laughter from the listener – not an easy task.”
Barabba is General Director of Synchromy, a Los Angeles composer’s collective, coming together with performers to present new music in collaboration with diverse artists in Southern California. The Crescenta Valley Weekly has called Synchromy “one of the most exciting new music projects in the Los Angeles area today.”
Barabba has frequently drawn on his love of literature for inspiration. He has created several works using texts by author Ursula K. Le Guin, including Say I Am Not Far Enough, and The Scarcity of Rhinos on the television, which set poems from her book Sixty Odd. His Three Meditations for Clarinet and Piano draws inspiration from her version of the Tao Te Ching. Of Barabba’s music, Le Guin said, “Some composers use words as raw material. Like Schubert or Vaughan-Williams, he collaborates with them...the texture of the music and the tension in it are wonderfully effective.”
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree at Occidental College, Barabba studied music composition at the University of Chicago, UC Irvine, and UCLA, studying under such teachers as Andrew Imbrie, John Eaton, David Lefkowitz, Richard Grayson, Christopher Dobrian and Alan Terricciano. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Recordings of Barabba’s music have been commercially released on the Yarlung Records, MMC Recordings and Navona Records labels.
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The music of American composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) has been lauded for its rich harmonies, lyricism, and rhythmic complexity. His romantic craftsmanship earned him numerous awards during his lifetime, including two Pulitzer Prizes, the American Prix de Rome, and inclusion in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Barber was born into a comfortable and musical family, and he composed his first piece when he was seven years old, continuing on to the Curtis Institute, where he began his formal studies of composotion, piano and voice. He went on to compose works for a variety of genres, including orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. During his twenties, Barber composed a variety of successful pieces, catapulting him into the spotlight of classical music.
His Adagio for Strings is widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music, and has become an easily recognizable piece at both performances and in the media, having been used extensively in modern cinema.
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Barber, Adler, Van der Roost, Seroff, Gillett, Lach Lau, CrosbySculpting The Air: Modern Works For Wind Instruments
Stephen Barber is an influential American voice with over 30 years of professional experience as a composer of concert and film music and an arranger, performer and producer for jazz, classical, popular and world music. From early beginnings in Abilene, Texas, his musical contributions encompass a varied list of the world's leading musicians and ensembles, including Joe Zawinul, Joe Henry, Keith Richards, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Ornette Coleman, T. Bone Burnett, Trakia (Bulgaria) folk ensemble, London Symphony Orchestra, Chamber players from the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Boys Choir and Czech Radio Orchestra, to name a few.
His diverse compositions have inspired musicians and audiences alike. The New York Times has praised his music for its "vigorous, high-energy ... that varies from the sparkling to the explosive." And, in his recent role as Artistic Director of the Barbwire Music Project, he directs a top-tier ensemble of musicians and much-needed wellspring for new music and youth education.
A protégé of Academy Award-winning composer John Corigliano, Barber has received concert commissions and grants from Concert Artists Guild, Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent composition, Wind, Water and Stone, received a spring 2004 premiere by Austin and San Antonio principal clarinetist Steven Girko and acclaimed new music pianist Michelle Schumann. His chamber piece La Cana de Pulcinella, performed by Terry Bozzio and the Tosca Strings, premiered in 2004 at One World Theatre in Austin, TX. In March 2005, Master Musicians Collective released a Czech Radio Orchestra recording of XYZ (terra incognita) for large orchestra. Additionally, Mauro Refosco, percussionist for David Byrne, commissioned a piece for percussion, string quartet and piano.
Barber's recent commission for wind band, Catch-as-Catch-Can, received an October 2004 premiere by the Banda Nacionale at the Festival de la Habana. The Meridian Arts Ensemble opened the 2004 Festival of Contemporary Music at Seiji Ozawa Hall the Turkish inspired Semehane (Whirling Wall). A UT Austin commission, Bellytones, for marimbist Thomas Burritt and the So Percussion Group, received its premiere at the 2003 International Percussive Arts Society convention. His piece Orpheus and Eurydice for trumpet and piano, commissioned by Jon Nelson, premiered in New York City in spring 2003. Barber has written several pieces for his Barbwire Music Project ensemble, including a large-scale, awe-inspiring 9/11 commission for chamber orchestra and choir entitled The Fallen Sisters, and lighter dance pieces for chamber group entitled Entos, Pelo and Reflections of an Emerald Eye. Two recent violin and piano pieces, Tango and Duo, received their premieres at the 2003 Barbwire El Dia De Los Muertos Concert.
Barber has also lent his talents as an arranger and performer to musicians of all types. His string arrangements are featured on musician/artist David Byrne's current album Grown Backwards, and on Bryne's DVD Live Union Chapel London on BBC Video/Nonsuch records. His arrangements can be heard on recordings of Harry Belafonte with London Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver String Orchestra, Betty Buckley with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Loudon Wainwright, Meshell Ndegecello, Jennifer Warnes, Daniella Mercury, Arto Lindsay, Alejandro Escovedo, Jubilant Sykes, Marisa Monte, Ute Lemper, Natalie Merchant, Cyrius, Eric Johnson, Ana Torroja, Ely Guerra, Chris Whitley, Stephen Bruton, Charlie Sexton, Jim Lauderdale and Shawn Colvin. He wrote for Ornette Coleman on a critically acclaimed Joe Henry record entitled Scar, and has worked with producers Andres Levin, John Leventhal, T. Bone Burnett and Craig Street.
His work in film and television has received high acclaim and honors. As the composer for Shelly Duvall's Showtime Network production "Faerie Tale Theater," he worked with notable directors Peter Medak (The Ruling Class), Ivan Passer (Carlito's Way), Roger Vadim (And God Created Women), and Michael Lindsay Hogg (Let it Be) on the HBO Nightmare Classic "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." His score for "The Three Little Pigs" received an ACE nomination for best score, and the series was honored with a 1985 Peabody Award. He worked with BBC producers Mike Salisbury and Michael de Gruy on the documentary Sharks on Their Best Behavior. He received a 1984 BBC Wild Screen Award for best score for Islands of the Fire Goddess, produced by the BBC/National Geographic series "The Natural World" and the PBS series “Nature.”
His recent work with can be heard on several cues of David Torn’s score for Brian Helgeland’s 20th Century Fox film The Order, and on an orchestral arrangement of T. Bone Burnett's title song for Warner Brother's The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Barber also scored the PBS documentary Rendezvous to Freedom, a true WWII story of escape, evasion and remembrance that aired in late 2005. He also scored a Polish short film by Dan Polsby entitled Midway through the Journey, as well as Liz Lambert's documentary The Last Days of the San Jose. He collaborated with singer/songwriter Stephen Bruton for the Mitchell Johnson film World without Waves, which won an award for best Southwestern film at the 2003 Santa Fe Film Festival.
As a performer, he has shared a stage or recording studio with Arto Lindsay, Yerba Buena, Christopher Cross, Stephen Bruton, Terry Bozzio, Alejandro Escovedo, Josef Zawinul, Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Jubilant Sykes, Eric Johnson, Salif Keita, ZZ Top, Bob Malach, Todd Rundgren and others. His recording "Same Time Next Year" with The Nightmayors (Bob Malach, saxes; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Rodney Holmes, drums; Mike Richmond, bass; Eric Johnson, guitar; Stephen Barber, keyboards), was released on Sunken Gong records in Fall 2005.
Also an accomplished producer and engineer, Barber acted as assistant to Louise de la Fuente and producer Andy Kasdin on the 1988 New York Philharmonic tour of Russia. Barber also acted as assistant creative director for a recording of the music of Joe Zawinul with the Vienna Philharmonic.
Barber first studied formal composition with Russell Riepe at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. While in college, he was a founding member of the Electromagnets, a legendary Austin experimental jazz/rock group that Frank Zappa once described as "a Mahavishnu Orchestra with a sense of humor." After a move to New York City, he had the opportunity be a private student of the renowned composer John Corigliano. In many ways, Barber's music springs from the same musical passions and shared appreciations as Corigliano's. Barber's compositions are accessible without being simplistic and, although often influenced by both ethnic and cultural diversity, are fundamentally and uniquely American.
Barber is the founder and artistic director of the Barbwire Music Project (www.barbwire.org) an Austin, TX based non-profit commissioning, presenting and educational organization for contemporary American music. His direction of Barbwire is an ongoing endeavor and an expression of his passionate devotion to music, audience development and education.
For more information, visit www.stephenbarber.com .
Carol Barnett’s music has been called audacious and engaging. Barnett's varied catalog includes works for solo voice, piano, chorus, diverse chamber ensembles, orchestra, and wind ensemble. She was awarded the 2003 Nancy Van de Vate International Prize for Opera for her chamber opera Snow, and her music theater work Meeting at Seneca Falls was featured at the 2006 Diversity Festival in Red Wing MN. Recent works include American Kaleidoscope, for the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra; Angelus ad Virginem, for the National Lutheran Choir; Remember the Ladies, for the Minnesota All-State Women’s Choir; Bega, for the 2011 Ithaca College Choral Festival; and Stars, Stones, Water, for the Minnesota Boychoir.
Barnett's The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass, commissioned in 2006 by VocalEssence and written with Marisha Chamberlain, has become a favorite across the country. Other commissions include works for the American Guild of Organists, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Harvard Glee Club, the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and the Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, the Inter-University Research Committee on Cyprus, and the McKnight Foundation.
A longtime presence on the Minnesota music scene, Barnett is a charter member of the American Composers Forum and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she studied Composition with Dominick Argento and Paul Fetler, piano with Bernard Weiser, and flute with Emil J. Niosi. She was composer-in-residence with the Dale Warland Singers from 1992 to 2001, and currently teaches at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
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The music of award-winning composer Greg Bartholomew is frequently performed across the United States and in Canada, Australia and Europe by such highly regarded instrumental ensembles as Third Angle New Music Ensemble, the Electrum Brass Trio, and the Spring Wind Quintet, as well as such acclaimed choral ensembles as Seattle Pro Musica, Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble, and Connecticut Choral Artists (CONCORA). NPR classical music reviewer Tom Manoff called Bartholomew “a fine composer not afraid of accessibility.”
Winner of the 2012 Cheryl A. Spector Prize (for the First Suite from Razumov), the Silver Platter Repertoire Award (for The Tree), and First Place in the 2006 Orpheus Music Composition Competition (for Beneath the Apple Tree), Bartholomew was also awarded the Masterworks Prize from ERM Media in 2005 and 2006. A Finalist for the 2012 American Prize in Choral Composition, Bartholomew has been named the 2012/2013 Composer in Residence for the Cascadian Chorale. Six commercial recordings of his works are available, including James Ackley's recording of Bartholomew's Summer Suite on his album New American Works for Trumpet.
Born in St. Paul MN in 1957, Bartholomew earned degrees from the College of William & Mary and the University of Washington. His music is published by Art of Sound Music, Ars Nova Press, Imagine Music, Orpheus Music and Burke & Bagley.
Jay C. Batzner (b. 1974, Dubuque IA) is currently on the faculty of Central Michigan University where he teaches music technology, electronic music composition, and music theory courses. Prior to this position Dr. Batzner was on the faculty of the University of Central Florida, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Metropolitan Community Colleges (Kansas City area), and Indiana University Southeast. He earned his doctorate in composition at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Louisville and the University of Kansas.
Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music. Dr. Batzner has received many honors for his compositional work, including awards or mentions from the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (2008), the Areon Flutes International Composition Competition (2009), the VI Concurso Internacional de Miniaturas Electroacusticas (2008), the London International Film Festival (2008), and the UK Percussion Ensemble Composition Contest (2007). His video collaboration with visual artist Carla Poindexter, Carnival Daring-Do, has been screened at over two dozen film festivals and multimedia venues including the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art, the Third Practice Festival, and the Raindance, Moondance, Palm Beach International, and Fresno Filmworks Film festivals. Jay's podcast of electroacoustic music, The Unsafe Bull podcast, was nominated for a Weblog award for Best Podcast of 2007.
Outside of his musical activities, Jay is a sci-fi geek, a burgeoning seamster, a home brewer, a claw hammer banjoist, and a former juggler.
For more information visit Jay's website: jaybatzner.com
Patrick Beckman received his B.M. and M.M. in piano from the University of Illinois – Urbana. After graduation he became Artist-in-Residence at Highland College in Illinois where he later headed the music department. He has also taught at Rockford College. Beckman's works for piano include the albums Songs for Piano (1981); Biscuit Alley (1984); Street Psalms (1985); and Spring Chants (1987). Past CDs include Earth Day Sonata (1992); Piano Pieces (1997); Tavern Tunes (2003); American Scenes Vol. 1 (2006); American Scenes Vol. II (2007) and Street Dance (2008, produced by Bob Lord).
His Homage to Franz Schubert was first performed at the New Music Chicago Festival in 1992. Choral works include the Mass in Memory of Thomas Merton (1994); Latin Trilogy (1995); Easter Mass (first performed at the Vatican in 1996); Song of the Earth (for the NEA/American Composer's Forum Continental Harmony in 2000); Fields in Winter (2000); and Vesper (2000); all of which were first performed by the Highland Chorale in the United States and Europe. Additional works include numerous shorter pieces for vocal solo, chorus, theatre, and dance.
Alan Beeler completed his graduate study in theory and composition at Washington University, where he received an M.A. and Ph. D. He studied composition with Robert Wykes, Robert Baker, and Harold Blumenfeld, theory with Leigh Gerdine, and musicology with Lincoln Bunce Spiess and Paul Amadeus Pisk.
Beeler has taught music theory, composition, and oboe at Washington University and Eastern Kentucky University, where he was Professor of Music Theory and Composition. His many compositions include works for solo piano, chorus, chamber ensemble, string orchestra, full orchestra, and voice.
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Yuriy Bekker, violinist and conductor, has led the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (South Carolina) as Concertmaster since 2007 and was named its Principal Pops Conductor in 2016. Additionally, Bekker served as the orchestra's Acting Artistic Director from 2010-2014 and Director of Chamber Orchestra from 2014-2015, playing a major role in the orchestra's successful resurgence.
Mr. Bekker has served on faculty as a violinist and conductor for the Miami Summer Music Festival in Miami, Florida since 2014. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the College of Charleston School of the Arts as a violin professor and as conductor of the College of Charleston Orchestra. He has been Artistic Advisor to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and was given the Outstanding Artistic Achievement award from the City of Charleston to honor his cultural contributions. Bekker has also held the position of concertmaster for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria, and has held additional positions with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras.
Bekker has performed worldwide as a celebrated guest concertmaster, avid chamber musician, and critically-acclaimed soloist. In addition to over a dozen concertos with the Charleston Symphony, he has performed with the Vancouver Symphony (British Columbia), Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Music Society, European Music Festival Stuttgart (Germany), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Spoleto Festival USA, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Aspen Music Festival, at the Kennedy Center, and in cities including: New York City, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Amarillo, Missoula, Asheville, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, and Graz, Austria. He has collaborated with Herbert Greenberg, Claudio Bohorquez, Alexander Kerr, Andrew Armstrong, Robert DeMaine, Sara Chang, Gil Shaham, Joshua Roman, JoAnn Falletta, and Andrew Litton.
Bekker earned a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Herbert Greenberg. His bachelor's and master's degrees were acquired from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied violin with Nelli Shkolnikova and Ilya Kaler. Born in Minsk, Belarus, Bekker is now a United States citizen and is married to Jenny Glace Bekker.
Visit yuriybekker.com for more information.close
Donald Betts made his New York debut as a pianist and composer at the age of 21, playing his own music along with works by Prokofieff, Liszt, and Schumann. The New York Times called him "a pianist of imagination and poetic feeling". Musical America cited "his tremendous technique and bravura style". Soon after he won The Concert Artist Guild Award and presented two more New York recitals at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. While attending graduate school at Indiana University School of Music, he was the only piano student given a studio and a roster of music students to teach. Soon after as a Professor of Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, he cofounded The Macalester Trio. The trio's recording of Chamber Works By Women Composers was hailed in 1980 by Newsweek as one of ten of the most important recordings of the year.
Betts is also a composer of over 150 compositions. His works have been performed in Dublin, Ireland and Puebla San Miguel Allerde, Mexico. His works have also been performed in the Conservatory of Music in Siberia and Sarajevo, New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Pittsburg, Tallahassee, and various colleges and universities throughout the East and Midwest. His recording with the Centaur label, Soundings: Piano Works of Donald Betts, was called "seductively dreamlike and sensuous, filled with mystery and rapture" by American Record Guide. Composer Henry Brant said of his piano music, "In my view these compositions occupy a place of their own in the repertory of 20th century keyboard music." Betts has recorded for Vox, Centaur, CRI, Golden Crest, MMC, Ampria, and Inscape. He is a Professor Emeritus of Macalester College.
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John G. Bilotta was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, but has spent most his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, he entered the San Francisco Music & Arts Institute where he studied composition with Frederick Saunders. His works have been performed around the world by outstanding soloists and ensembles including Rarescale, Earplay, Chamber Mix, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, the Talea Ensemble, the Avenue Winds, the San Francisco Cabaret Opera Company, VocalWorks, the Oakland Civic Orchestra, and the Kiev Philharmonic, as well as dozens of university and conservatory ensembles. His recorded works have been released by Capstone Records, Beauport Classical, New Music North, Parma Recordings, Vox Novus, and ERM Media. His first chamber opera Aria da Capo was a finalist in a competition sponsored by the New York City Opera. His second chamber opera Quantum Mechanic won the 2007 Opera-in-a-Month Challenge resulting in eight performances in California, Oklahoma, and Utah with more performances scheduled around the country. He has received grants and awards from the American Composers Forum, the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, the Music Teachers National Association, the R. Ernest and Sylvia Shepherd Family Trust, the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, and the California State College Association. John is a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Composers, Inc., and is editor of SCION, the organization's opportunities newsletter. He is also music director of the San Francisco Chamber Wind Festival held every summer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and co-directs with Brian Bice the seven-year-running Festival of Contemporary Music.
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Steven Block was born in New York City on November 5, 1952. He is currently a professor at the University of New Mexico on the composition-theory faculty and has served that program of circa 400 majors and 60 faculty as Chair of the Department of Music for the past dozen years. He continues to build the music program through fundraising and the creation and support of innovative curricula in world music, arts-in-medicine, string pedagogy, and the building of community outreach through the Preparatory Division. Block has appeared in the various personae of composer, music theorist, music critic, pianist, and both classical radio and disco d.j., among others. His compositions have been performed worldwide including performances in Australia, Paris, and Poland. His articles as a music theorist and music critic have appeared in such journals and magazines as Perspectives of New Music, Integrales, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Music Library Notes, and High Fidelity.
Block has studied with some of the most innovative composers and theorists in the world including David Stock, a pioneer in the promotion of contemporary music; Robert Morris, one of the leading contemporary music theorists and composers; A. Wayne Slawson, who has led the exploration of timbre as a musical component; and the internationally known and important late composers Franco Donatoni and Luciano Berio.
William Zagorski of Fanfare writes of Block's orchestral movement Shadows: "His skillful use of tuned percussion gives several passages a gamelanlike quality reminiscent of Messaien. The long-note passages...and their harmonic suspensions are wonderful. I impatiently await the completion of this Symphony."
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Raymond Bokhour is a composer, actor, and playwright.
He has composed for over 70 theatrical productions over 30 years, with 10 years as Resident Composer for Albany's Actors Shakespeare Company. He composed for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company's productions of Winter's Tale, Much Ado, and Twelfth Night. The latter was televised on PBS and was the subject of the documentary Shakespeare on the Hudson. His non-theatrical orchestral compositions have been recorded by the London Symphony and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras. His quintet Sketches of an Actress was performed by the Thuringer Salonquintett at Carnegie Recital Hall.
He has a thriving acting career, including years on Broadway in Chicago as Amos Hart and in the world tour of Once as Da.
His play Fly South was produced at the 1991 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and won the Somerville MA Arts Council Award for Best New Work. His play American Mouth premiered at the Kraine Theater in New York in 2003. He co-authored a musical adaptation of Erdman's The Suicide, which received a concert reading at the Barrington Stage Company, directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando.
He is a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop and won BMI's Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 2007.
He has degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, English from Tufts University, and acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Bokhour lives in Cold Spring NY with his wife, actress Christine Brooks Bokhour and their daughter Phoebe.
A native of Manitowoc WI, distinguished composer and pianist Allen Bonde is Professor Emeritus of Music at Mount Holyoke College. A graduate of Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, he has both the Master of Music and (the first) Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has received many awards, honors, and commissions, notably a Festival Casals Scholarship, a Yale Graduate Fellowship, an American Composers Project, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, and was recognized for his outstanding contributions in music with Alumni Achievement Awards from Lawrence University and Catholic University. Additionally, Bonde was the first Composer-in-Residence at the Harmony Ridge Brass Center, a Fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, Composer-in-Residence at Kingston Polytechnic in London, and the first Musician-in-Residence at the Nanyang Technological University National Institute of Education in Singapore. As a contributing delegate, he was commissioned to compose a piece for Pipa, which was premiered by Wong Ching-Ping at the First International Seminar on Chinese Music held in London.
A prolific composer, his works demonstrate great diversity, and have been performed throughout the world by such notables as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic brass principals. Recently, Punsternation, featuring Philip Smith, Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, received its premiere at Symphony Space. Ballad In Blue, recorded by Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, was released on CD by the International Trombone Association on Summit Records.
As pianist, Bonde has performed in many venues, including Carnegie Recital Hall, National Gallery of Art, Pan American Union, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Harvard Musical Association, and Severance Chamber Hall. His performances have been described as “brilliant” (Washington Post) and “solid” (New York Times). A profile of his life can be found in a Readers Digest article titled “A Song of Home,” from the September 1991 issue.
String Quartetview work
Since its formation 2004, the Boston String Quartet has been a creative leader in contemporary classical music in New England. Having made their professional debut at Weil Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, the quartet performs their own arrangements of classical chamber music, rock, jazz, world music and more, and is continually "exploring different ways of sparking musical interest" [Boston Globe]. This journey has allowed for collaboration with John Mayer, the Boston Ballet, Jennifer Holliday, Lisa Fisher, Tim Janis, Dave Fiucznyski, as well as opportunity to perform at such venues as the Los Angeles Music Awards, PBS, and the Yankee Homecoming Festival. Committed to music education in the Boston metro area, the members of the Boston String Quartet are currently ensemble in residence at contemporary music school, School of Groove. To date, the Boston String Quartet has released two independent albums — "Spectrum" and "On Christmas Eve" ["a lovely alternative sound for the holiday season" –Audiophile Audition] can be heard over the radio or may be found performing on local television stations — and is currently recording on Navona Recordings.
The Bowed Piano Ensemble, founded by composer Stephen Scott at Colorado College in 1977, has evolved into a small experimental-music orchestra whose ten players conjure, from one open grand piano, long, singing lines, sustained drones, chugging accordion-like figures, crisp staccato tones reminiscent of clarinets, deep drum tones and more, often simultaneously, to create a rich, contrapuntal new-chamber-music tapestry. Since its inception, the Ensemble has toured extensively throughout Europe, the Atlantic Islands, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Their unorthodox musical tools and techniques have surprised and enchanted audiences at world-renowned venues including Sydney Opera House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall New York, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the medieval Town Hall in Tallinn, Estonia, the Slovak National Radio Studio, Hamilton, Bermuda, and Jameos del Agua, a volcanic lava-tube-become-concert-hall in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. During their travels, the group has performed on many live radio and television broadcasts.
This remarkable undergraduate student troupe has played by invitation at many professional music festivals, such as the Berliner Festspiele, Canberra International Music Festival, Visual Music Festival (Lanzarote), Musica Nova Festival (Brisbane), ppIANISSIMO Festival (Sofia, Bulgaria), Stavanger Jazz Festival (Norway) NŸŸd Festival (Tallinn), and Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC). Their five previous recordings (two with soprano Victoria Hansen) are on the New Albion and Albany labels.
GREG BOWERS is active as a composer, performer, and director in a variety of genres. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the College of William and Mary. His creative work includes concert music, musical theater, multimedia, and
performance art and he is currently pursuing research in film music cognition and other
forms of interdisciplinary art.
Bowers has degrees from Yale University, University of Washington, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Lewis and Clark College. His work has received awards from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland OR, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
His concert music has been performed internationally by such diverse groups as Halcyon Trio Oregon, ad libitum (Budapest), soprano Christine Schadeberg, and the Sichuan Conservatory of Music (Cheng Du, PR China).
His multimedia work, which mixes film, theater, and music, has been seen at On The Boards (Seattle WA), Echo Theatre (Portland OR), and as a featured performance at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Additionally, he is Director of the William and Mary Hy-Per ARTS Ensemble, a student performance art group that tours regionally, most recently to the Yale School of Drama and Brooklyn's Monkeytown.
Recent musical theatre productions include: (Don't) Go Home for the Holidays, premiered in 2007 at New York City's June Havoc Theatre and, most recently, Lewis and Alice: A Story of Wonderland, commissioned by Children's Educational Theatre (Salem OR), premiered July 2009.
Roger Bourland (b. December 13, 1952, Evanston IL) received his education from the University of Wisconsin/Madison (B.Mus.),the New England Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and Harvard University (A.M., Ph.D.). His teachers have included Leon Kirchner, Gunther Schuller, Donald Martino, John Harbison, and Randall Thompson. He received the Koussevitzky Prize in Composition at Tanglewood, the John Knowles Paine Fellowship at Harvard, two ASCAP Grants to Young Composers, numerous Meet the Composers grants, and was a co-founder of the Boston-based consortium Composers in Red Sneakers. Bourland has composed over one hundred works for all media: solo, instrumental, chamber, vocal and choral music, electro-acoustic music, and music for orchestra, wind ensemble, and other large ensembles, which are published by Yelton Rhodes Music, ECS Publishing, Dorn Publications, Inc. and Associated Music Publishers, Inc. His works are recorded on Navona Records, Naxos, Northeastern Records, 1750 Arch, OpenLoop, Cambria, and GM Recordings. In 1993, Bourland established Yelton Rhodes Music, a publishing house for vocal and choral music.
Since 1983, Professor Bourland has taught composition, music theory, orchestration, electronic music, and other classes and seminars in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. As an administrator at UCLA, Bourland has served as the Chair of the Committee on Committees (1997-98, and 2001 - 2003), the Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee in the Arts (5 years), Chair of the Composition program (15 years), as the President of the UCLA Faculty Center (2004-2005), and as Chair of the Department of Music (2007-2011). Dr. Bourland was awarded the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award for 2005-6. In June 2013 Bourland will retire from UCLA to focus on composing.
Since 2007 Bourland's blog, rogerbourland.com, has been ranked among the top 50 classical blogs.
Bourland is currently (2012) finishing an opera with a libretto by Mitchell Morris entitled The Dove and the Nightingale scheduled for premieres at UCLA and at the Angela Peralta Theater in Mazatlán in 2013-14.
A complete bibliography, list of works, and CV can be found at rogerbourland.com
Pianist Kate Boyd is as a unique and versatile artist. She has performed as a soloist on many concert and concerto series and as a guest artist with established chamber music ensembles throughout the United States and beyond. Among many other performances, she has appeared on the Trinity Chapel Series in New York, the SOLO series in Sligo, Ireland, and performed Schubert in Schubert’s birth house in Vienna, Austria.
Boyd’s performances have been featured on CBC and NPR radio. A passionate advocate for new music, she has performed numerous world premieres, including James Woodward’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble. In Dublin, Ireland she was a featured soloist on the Bank of Ireland’s Mostly Modern Series, presenting a program of works by living women composers.
Recent performances have included recitals on the Musical Arts Series at Firelands in Port Clinton, Ohio and in New York's Steinway Hall, and chamber music appearances at the Painted Sky Music Festival in Flagstaff, Arizona and on the HVG Concert Series in New York City.
Kate Boyd’s collaborations have led her to work with musicians across the United States and in Europe, where she was active as a concert artist and teacher for seven years. She is a founding member of the New York-based Oracle Trio, a piano trio that performs works from the eighteenth century to the present.
For more information about Kate Boyd, please visit her website.
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Kate BoydJohn Cage: Sonatas and Interludes / In A Landscape
Kate BoydMusic for the End of Winter
Various ArtistsVanguards Vol. 1
An international performer, coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse has appeared on stages in Italy, Austria, Estonia, Spain, Singapore, China, Canada, and the United States. Holding masters and doctoral degrees in vocal performance from Michigan State University, she is a professor of voice at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and has served as artist faculty at the Alion Baltic International Music Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. She is also an active adjudicator, judging for events such as the George Gershwin International Music Competition in New York.
Shudong has a passion for sharing the traditions of Western vocal music with her native China and sharing developments in Chinese concert music with audiences and students in America. She has given numerous master classes and recitals at universities and concert halls in China and has translated Complete Preparation: A Guide to Auditioning for Opera by Joan Dornemann and Basics of Vocal Pedagogy by Clifton Ware into Chinese. Both works are available from People's Music Publishing House in Beijing. Shudong's earlier album, Silvery Night, introduces American listeners to the songs of Yao Qi, a poet and composer from Singapore.
For more information about Shudong Braamse, please visit her website.
Margaret Brandman started out in music at a very young age, playing several instruments, including piano and accordion. Playing music was a part of the daily life of everyone in her extended family, who had immigrated to Australia from Berlin in 1939. Her parents owned and operated a music education and instrument business in Sydney - Brandman Music Studio. Margaret's mother, Else Brandman, taught both piano accordion and piano. The studio employed many instrumental teachers and teachers of voice. Consequently, Margaret grew up surrounded by music of many genres and exposed to the sounds of a variety of instruments. Quite early on, her parents were delighted to discover that Margaret had the gift of perfect pitch.
Margaret performed at her first concert at age 6, and then at the Brandman Music Studio annual concerts for at least 12 years from then. After completing studies at the music specialist high school at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, where she studied piano, clarinet, harmony and composition and performed in chamber music and orchestral settings, Margaret attended Sydney University, where she gained her Bachelor of Music, majoring in composition. Concurrent with the university course, from the age of 18, she began work as a professional pianist, performing either solo, or with various ensembles, or as accompanist for singers or other instrumentalists. www.margaretbrandman.com
For more information about Margaret Brandman, please visit his website.
Michael Boyd (b. 1978, Montgomery County MD) is a composer, scholar and experimental improviser who currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. His music, performed throughout the United States, attempts to (re)integrate performers into the creative process of music making through graphic notation and embraces experimental practices such as live electronics, improvisation, installation, multimedia and performance art. Boyd has published reviews in American Music, Computer Music Journal and Popular Music and Society, and his article "The Roger Reynolds Collection at the Library of Congress" recently appeared in MLA Notes. Boyd is the co-director and trombonist for the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective, and co-founder of Silent Editions, an online publisher of experimental music.
Gregers Brinch was born in Denmark to a Danish father and American mother, but spent a substantial part of his childhood and, since returning from Germany in 1994, adulthood in the small village of Row in East Sussex, Great Brittain. At age 20 he felt himself catapulted into a full-blown dedication to the pursuit of musical composition being especially inspired by Mozart and Beethoven in particular whose works he discovered for the first time at this age. Composition would be for him a means by which to penetrate ever deeper into the being of music.
He studied singing and composition with Cecil Cope and later piano with concert pianist Louis Demetrius Alvanis in London, who encouraged him to apply to study at the Royal College of Music. Instead, he chose to study composition in Germany with Elmar Lampson the current President of Music of Hamburg College of Music. He graduated in 1992 with diplomas in composition and piano. He has become versed in creating new works for for the fully accomplished international soloist, as well as for lay-musicians without reading-skills.
'The human Predicament' as a theme continues to challenge and stimulate Brinch. In 1994 Dr. Michael Moll, Hamburg approached him with a request to compose songs to poems written by victims of the Holocaust. That work led to the writing of further songs in 2005 a number of which were performed in Laatzen in Germany at a Holocaust Memorial event in Sept 2008.
This theme finds its latest expression in a more recently completed work, entitled ‘The Word - black 'n white' for Choir and Chamber-ensemble to texts by St. John the Evangelist, Martin Luther King Jr., Charles Darwin and Brinch, which will be performed in the Uk in August 2009. Brinch's works have been widely performed in the UK (including the Wigmore Hall) and Europe and the CD of his pianoworks ‘Blue Harmony', recorded by internationally acclaimed pianist Diana Baker, has been well received both locally and internationally. 2 CDs of chamber works are being released by Claudio Records in the fall of 2009.
New York pianist and composer Allen Brings has performed extensively both in the U.S. and abroad, especially in programs of music for four-hand piano with Genevieve Chinn, with whom he has recorded for Orion, CRI, and Centaur. His published compositions, which include works for orchestra, band, chorus, various chamber ensembles, piano, organ, harpsichord, guitar, and voice, have been recorded by Capstone, Centaur, Grenadilla, Contemporary Record Society, North/South Recordings, Arizona University Recordings, and Vienna Modern Masters. He is also coauthor of A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, published by W. W. Norton, and has contributed articles to College Music Symposium, Contemporary Music Newsletter, New Music Connoisseur, Society of Composers Newsletter, New Oxford Review, ComposerUSA, sounding board and Adoremus Bulletin.
He has twice served as chairman of the eastern region of the American Society of University Composers and is currently vice-president of Connecticut Composers. Each year since 1975 he has received an ASCAP Award. In 1988 he was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.
Brings graduated magna cum laude from Queens College in 1955 and earned his M.A. from Columbia University in 1957, where he was a Mosenthal Fellow and a student of Otto Luening. In 1962 he became a Naumburg Fellow at Princeton University, where he studied with Roger Sessions. In 1964 he received a doctorate in theory and composition from Boston University, where he was a student of Gardner Read.
Brings is Professor Emeritus of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York. He is a director of the Weston Music Center and School of the Performing Arts in Weston, Connecticut, where he has taught since 1960.
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Fred Broer (b.1942) is a native Oregonian. He received his Master of Music degree from Indiana University and his Doctorate from Boston University. Some of the composition teachers he studied with include Jack Goode, Bernard Heiden, and Joyce McKeel. He taught music in colleges for over 25 years, served in several churches as Music Director/Organist, performed as director of several community choruses, and was Director of the North Shore Conservatory of Music, a community music school at Endicott College in Beverly MA. Broer is author of the book Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Innovator of His Time (Cantilena Publishing Co.) and has edited and published several piano and chamber works by Hummel. His compositions, which number over 50 works, encompass a broad spectrum of solo, chamber and orchestra music. He currently resides in Gloucester MA.
Gregory W. Brown is a composer, conductor, scholar, and experimental musician living and working in Western Massachusetts, where he serves as founding artistic director for the Smith College Festival of Sound & Space. He has taught and conducted in various capacities at Smith College, The College of Wooster, Amherst College, the University of Georgia, the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and The Putney School. Brown earned degrees in conducting and composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music (University of Georgia), Westminster Choir College, and Amherst College, where he studied with Lewis Spratlan. His recent commissions for vocal ensemble New York Polyphony have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Minnesota Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, and Danish National Radio; his Missa Charles Darwin received its European debut in March 2013 at the Dinosaur Hall of Berlin's Museum für Naturkunde.
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Harlem NY-born Reynard Burns' (b. 1946) prolific career includes work as a composer, arranger, and educator, as well as a bassist and guest conductor for several orchestra festivals. His compositions for full and string orchestra, wind ensemble, concert band, jazz ensemble, improvising strings, and other combinations have been performed throughout the United States and abroad, with his orchestral works receiving national recognition, most notably Flying, which was performed by the Long Island Philharmonic in a program honoring American composers. His jazz string quarter, Rey Burns' Crossroad, has performed at various jazz festivals and has recorded two albums of Burns' music, featuring notable jazz violinist John Blake Jr.
Studying and performing on piano played a decisive role on his future as a musician. Learning to play double bass provided opportunities and experiences that brought about entry into New York's Music and Art High School.
His 34 years as a public school orchestra director provided the opportunity to compose and arrange music for various groups and styles. Keeping up to date with the changing music scene meant writing in multiple styles, including jazz and pop. Since retiring from public school teaching, Burns has continued composing and arranging for a wide variety of instrument combinations and styles. His efforts and achievements in such areas as jazz strings and string orchestra are representative of the focus of his publishing company, Reynard Burns Publishing, Inc. In addition, Burns often gives lectures and hosts workshops that focus on the classical music of composers of African descent.
Robert Burrell (b. 1956) composes music across a wide spectrum of genre and medium. Coming out of his foundational years in the improvisational genre of charismatic worship music, he has developed a distinctive voice across multiple disciplines. He began his formal composition studies with Clifford Abbott and then entered the Queensland Conservatorium studying with Allan Lane and Dr. Richard Mills.
Upon graduating he moved to northern Queensland and helped establish the regional campus of the Qld Conservatorium in Mackay. Here he directed the community brass band and local orchestra, as well as conducted and directed various oratorios, musicals, and concerts.
He then returned to study, gaining a Graduate degree in Education. For 20 years he was the head of the music departments of various private colleges and also served as a moderation and review panelist for the Queensland Department of Education. Burrell takes a deep interest in birdsong and has integrated the transcribed motifs of many avian species into his works. They also feature heavily in his electroacoustic music. This latter genre was developed whilst completing his Ph.D. from Griffith University, studying with Dr. Kim Cunio.
His compositional voice has three distinct qualities: the first is a vibrant, life affirming voice full of rhythmic complexity and fragmented motifs. The second is a contrasting introverted voice of stillness and reflection, evidencing Burrell's love of counterpoint and understated harmonics. The third is a light and whimsical voice with a joyful sense of humor. This latter comes to the fore in his settings of text for voice and choral works.
The Serenade for Strings has all these voices in it. The "Slow Movement" is full of poignant longing and rich harmonics flowing in an understated manner. The "Scherzo" is a lively dance of whimsy, and the outer movements are complex and rhythmically difficult works that exude veracity for life.
Burrell is a senior lecturer in the music faculty at UPSI.
Daniel Burwasser, a composer, percussionist and teacher, was born in New Brunswick NJ. Burwasser grew up in a musical family, his grandfather, Leo Burwasser, was an operatic basso, and sang on stage with the legendary Feodor Chailiapin in his native Russia. He began piano lessons at age five, and at eleven, he turned his interests to percussion instruments. Burwasser developed an interest in composition while working on his Bachelor of Music in percussion performance at Temple University. After graduating from Temple University, he went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in theory and composition from Rutgers University, where he studied with Charles Wuorinen, Robert Moevs, and Noel DaCosta. Burwasser went on to complete his Ph.D. in composition from the Graduate School of the City University of New York where he studied with David Olan and David Del Tredici.
Burwasser's compositions, which combine classical traditions with jazzy harmonies and lively rhythms, have been performed throughout the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Armenia, Slovakia, and Russia. He has composed numerous soundtracks for children's stories and arranged for television. Burwasser has been the recipient of numerous ASCAP composer awards in addition to grants from The American Music Center and Meet the Composer. He was commissioned by five-string electric violist Martha Mooke for Voila! which was premiered in early 2004. His orchestral music has been performed and recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concordia Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. His opera, One Night Together, with libretto by Ilsa Gilbert, received its world premiere in 2008 by the Downtown Chamber and Opera Players in New York.
Burwasser is on the faculty of Hunter College, and has also taught at Columbia Teachers College, New York City College of Technology, and Queens College. He is also Director of Instrumental Music at Talent Unlimited High School of the Performing Arts in New York City as well as Principal Conductor of the New York All-City High School Jazz Ensemble. In addition he has served as a panelist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Delaware Division of the Arts.
Brink Bush, a native of Georgia, began piano studies at the age of six and organ studies at the age of twelve. He studied organ at the Peabody Institute, the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music. His teachers included McNeil Robinson, Rosalyn Tureck, Paul Martin-Maki, David Craighead and Russell Saunders. Brink Bush is Organist and Director of Music at Saint Anne Church in Rochester, New York, and specializes in German Romantic organ music. He has been heard on the nationally syndicated radio programs With Heart and Voice and PipeDreams and has concertized widely throughout the United States. An entry by Bush on the life and works of Wilhelm Middelschulte appears in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Visit Brink Bush's homepage: http://www.brinkbush.us/