Eli Tamar's compositions have been recognized for their high emotional intensity and personal expression. His multi-cultural background (Russian-born Israeli-American) contributed greatly to his ability to explore and synthesize different elements of styles while transcending spiritual barriers between various musical, literary, and religious traditions.
His works were featured in such venues as "De Boni Arte" Foundation sacred series and "Великие Имена Исскуства" [Great Names in Art] Foundation in Russia, Prokofiev Museum and Jurgenson Hall in Moscow, and Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, to name a few.
He has composed for such artists as countertenor Andrey Nemzer (Metropolitan Opera soloist); Yekaterina Scherbachenko (soloist of The Bolshoi Theatre); Pavel Bykov and Svetlana Polianskaia (soloists of The Moscow State Philharmonia); Bulgarian-American bass, Guenko Guyechev; and American soprano Charlene Canty.
English-born composer David Tanner (b. 1950) emigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 3 and grew up in Ottawa. His formal music education includes a year at the Berklee College of Music (1968–69) and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto, which he received in 1974 and 1977. From then, he became best known as a saxophone and woodwind player through most of his career, including his membership in Lighthouse, the Canadian rock group who penned international hits “Sunny Days” and “One Fine Morning.”
Tanner went on to work on many concert, opera, and ballet performances with orchestras in the Toronto area, as well as every kind of work in jazz, shows, and studios. He served as a librarian for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1989–91, taught saxophone at the Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto 1979–97, wrote articles for professional journals, and produced records, including his own classical saxophone LP, The Eloquent Saxophone, in 1988. His Excalibur overture for band was published by Belwin Mills in 1981. After a hiatus from composing, he returned to the craft with Tango of the Lemons in 2007.
Tanner is now retired and living in Cobourg, just east of Toronto. He is a passionate supporter of community music-making, and he composes prolifically for local musical groups.
Tapestry is a chamber group weaving together four unique performers working with six versatile composers. Each of these accomplished musicians brings a distinct thread of musical and cultural experiences to this project, resulting in an exciting recording of new repertoire. While there have been a handful of recordings in the past devoted to the earliest repertoire for the oboe, clarinet and piano trio by composers such as Edouard Destenay and Jean Gabriel Marie, this recording is remarkable in that it comprises all newly composed works for trio and quartet, driven by the combination and contrasts of the performers rather than a specific instrumentation. The manner in which each of these composers has captured the individual strengths and personalities of these four musicians is evident as a constant thread woven through each of these compositions, much like characters in a novel.
The genesis of Tapestry has its roots in the desire of clarinetist Julia Heinen and oboist Richard Kravchak to perform new music together. Having commissioned and premiered a number of duo concertos, including works by Daniel Kessner, Max Lifchitz, and modern performance editions of 18th and 19th century concertos by Joseph Fiala and Carlo Pässler, they wished to perform in a chamber music context as well. Heinen and Kravchak enjoyed playing the small number of trios for oboe, clarinet, and piano, but wished to add a lower voice to the ensemble to provide an even wider variety of colors. The duo joined forces with friends and virtuoso instrumentalists Dmitry Rachmanov and Ovidiu Marinescu, and thus not only a new ensemble, Tapestry, was born, but a new genre of oboe, clarinet, cello, and piano was created.
Tapestry’s first commission was to noted film and concert music composer Gernot Wolfgang. The resultant work, New York Moments, is an exciting jazz-infused work that has become one of the centerpieces of their repertoire. The debut concert of Tapestry took place on New York’s prestigious “Bargemusic” series. Much of the program of that concert is included on this recording.
The name Tapestry was chosen because of the seeming endless color combinations and wonderfully varied textures that an ensemble like this could produce. Their repertoire is extremely varied and they perform works from throughout music history. The new works they have commissioned have explored new territories of sounds including jazz-influenced styles.
- Anthony J. Costa
Born in the Boston MA area, Karen A. Tarlow now lives in Western Massachusetts and composes music on commission. She has written for a wide range of vocal and instrumental forces, including ballets, solo and chamber works, choral music and music for orchestra. Most recently (2011), she composed a new work for Mak’hela: The Jewish Chorus of Western Massachusetts; new music for the Da Camera Singers; and completed music for a series of multi-media ballets and puppet shows for children for Picture Book Theatre and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Tarlow is retired from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was Assistant Professor of Music Theory. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Composition from Boston University, and is a member of ASCAP, from which she has received multiple awards. Her mentors and teachers include Robert L. Stern, Gardner Read and David del Tredici. Tarlow’s music is currently published by E.C. Schirmer (Boston MA), Subito Music/Seesaw Press (Verona NJ), and Hal Leonard/Treble Clef Music Press (Chapel Hill NC). She is a volunteer for several non-profit organizations.
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Deems Taylor One of the best-known musical figures of the first half of the twentieth century, Deems Taylor was a composer, radio commentator, music critic, and author. He was the composer of The King’s Henchman, the first American opera ever commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, with libretto by Edna St. Vincent Millay. His second opera, Peter Ibbetson, was performed 22 times at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, landing Taylor on the cover of Time magazine, and was in the repertoire for several years. Both operas actually made money for the Met. He wrote two other operas, a number of orchestral pieces, including the often played Through the Looking Glass Suite, and hundreds of chorale pieces.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1965, Alfonso Tenreiro entered the world of music studying organ. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in composition.
Tenreiro's works have received awards and recognition from ASCAP, Indiana University, Contemporary Record Society, New York Youth Symphony Orchestra, the World Harp Congress, Bowling Green University and the American Composers Orchestra. His composition Sacred Symphony won the Venezuelan National Composition Award in 1998 and the Utah Music Art Festival Award in 1999.
Tenreiro's music has developed as a personal response to the conflict of styles that took place during the 20th Century. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Tenreiro synthesized atonal, polyrhythmic and polytonal techniques with romantic and classical elements.
In the mid 90s, his musical creation evolved, and he elected to write in a harmonic language rooted in Romanticism. This decision has allowed him to discover vast areas of tonality that were not explored in his earlier works.
For more information please visit www.alfonsotenrieiro.com
Virgil Thomson was born in Kansas City MO in 1896 in what was then still an agricultural society. Early years in the Midwest exposed him to the folk music, hymn tunes and popular songs that would figure so prominently in his compositions.
He began musical studies at five with his cousin and continued with local teachers. In 1916, Thomson enlisted in the National Guard, and three years later entered Harvard. A Naumberg Fellowship brought him to Paris and further study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. There, in 1920s, he fell under the influence of Satie, Stravinsky, Cocteau, members of “les six”, Picasso, and perhaps most importantly, Gertrude Stein. After setting some of her poems in Capital Capitals for chorus, he collaborated with her on two operas, Four Saints in Three Acts (1928) and The Master of Us All (1947).
During the Depression, he wrote music for the Federal Theatre Project and Orson Wells. Scores for several films followed and in 1940, Thomson assumed the powerful position of music critic for the New York Herald Tribune, a post he held for many years. His musical output is wide, encompassing chamber, vocal, piano, choral, opera and film scores. In addition, he is the author of several books of music reviews, criticism and autobiography. He died in New York City in 1989.
Thomson composed his first String Quartet in Paris in 1931. The piece had its premiere on June 15 of the following year with Quatuor Krettly, on an all Thomson program. It is dedicated to John Latouche.
At that concert, composer and critic Henri Sauger wrote: “Voluntarily, (Thomson) uses a language of extreme purity that could easily be inexpressive, white and savorless. But he uses it with such intelligence, such tact and his musical sensitivity is so alert that this surprising idiom actually gives depth.”
To an audience almost 70 years later, Thomson’s idiom still sounds surprising. A blend of vocal exercises, waltzes, church hymn tunes and French chanson, the quartet is in four movements, Allegro moderato, Adagio, Tempo di valzer and Lento leading to the final Presto.
Thomson’s method of composition manipulates small elements, combining them to form melodies, which are constantly being transformed. These materials are often very simple, such as scales or ascending or descending thirds. Thus, the same “tune,” at least in the first three movements, never appears more than once, even though elements of it recur again and again. This gives the work its coherence and the impression of forward motion. Only in the final Presto, which is a rondo, do we hear literal repetition of material.
The work is also full of unexpected and surprising harmonic twists. False cadences and “wrong sounding” notes and modulations add to its humor, so that the listener never knows what is coming next, making it almost a kind of “musical joke.” Despite these unorthodox compositional practices, the piece bears the unmistakable stamp of a composer thoroughly at home with the long history of the form.
Although Thomson revised the piece in 1957, the Boston Composers String Quartet plays the original version of 1931. Currently, this is the only commercial recording of the piece available. An old LP by the New Music Strings Quartet has been gone from the catalogue for years.
–David L. Post
Neil Thornock was born in Washington State — the rural, agricultural side — in 1977. He received degrees in organ performance and composition from Brigham Young University and a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University.
Current projects include a full opera about the Biblical figure Enoch, a work for seven trumpets, narrator, and orchestra, an all-saxophone CD for Innova Records, an accordion trio for Eric Bradler. Recently completed works include Plutoids for orchestra, Fractured Compound for the U.S. Coast Guard Saxophone Quartet, and movements for piano with electronics.
Neil Thornock is assistant professor of music composition and theory at Brigham Young University. He and his wife Tammy are the parents of five children. He is also a recently recovered unicyclist turned bicyclist.
For more informaion about Neil Thornock visit neilthornock.net
Composer James Tribble has been writing and playing music for about 30 years, gradually learning his craft. He taught himself piano at 14, creating a lot of bad habits, and he has performed and taught piano, violin and viola since then while improving his own technique.
Tribble went to college in London at the Kingston Polytechnic. There he was inspired by the instrument cupboard to enter the world of early music. He did this professionally until 1999, then moved to Scotland to bring up a family. Tribble currently works in Scotland teaching violin, viola and piano. He also composes pieces for his own amusement and performance by some of his pupils.
You can learn more at www.thewrittennote.co.uk.
Maestra Barbara Day Turner is the founder and Music Director of the San José Chamber Orchestra. An ardent advocate for new music, she has premiered more than 130 works just with SJCO. Named the 2012 Silicon Valley Arts Council “On Stage” Artist Laureate, Maestra Day Turner is also Music Administrator and Conductor of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, where she has led critically acclaimed productions of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa, Puccini’s La bohème, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Verdi’s Otello, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Showboat and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She has conducted opera in Berlin, and the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra in Germany as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Mexico. Maestra Day Turner’s discography includes fi ve recordings with SJCO, the PBS award-winning DVD of George Roumanis’ opera Phaedra, the Naxos release of Alva Henderson’s opera Nosferatu (world premiere), and in 2014 released recorded works by Howard Hersh entitled Angels and Watermarks. In her many years with Opera San José she led the premieres of Henry Mollicone’s Hotel Eden, Alva Henderson’s West of Washington Square, Craig Bohmler and Daniel Helfgot’s The Tale of the Nutcracker and George Roumanis’ Phaedra in addition to the standard repertoire. She has conducted a staged workshop performance of Paul Davies’ Carlota, Portland Opera’s Nixon In China, and concerts with the Silicon Valley, Redwood, South Valley and Billings symphonies, and the North Fayetteville orchestra. Barbara Day Turner is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions and annual judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, in addition to serving on the advisory boards of Opera NEO and the Delphi Trio, and on the board of directors of the National Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy group.