Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Craig Madden Morris
The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra began almost twenty years ago as a single movement. Over time, it was expanded into a full concerto, with multiple revisions occurring during the intervening years. The first movement retained most of its original form but the other two movements evolved over time. as did the orchestrations. The concerto was composed for performance by a virtuoso violinist. The piano reduction was recorded by Christine Kwak (violin), for whom it was composed, with Eduard Laurel (piano) as accompanist. It was released by Parma Records on the Dreams CD. Following further revisions, the completed concerto was performed in October 2015 by the Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, Paul John Stanbery (Music Director) and Franc Restesan (Violin). The concerto is composed for standard orchestra with the addition of piano, celeste, alto saxophone and full percussion. The titles of the movements--By the River, Breezes and Dance--describe the flow of the music. As the concerto is abstract and not program music, it evokes a personal response that differs for every listener.
Craig Madden Morris Composer
Craig Morris has composed music since the age of eleven. He studied composition with Shirley Bloom, Kevin Scott and Joelle Wallach and also studied violin, piano, and voice. He played violin with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra for over forty years and presently plays with the Ridgewood Symphony. He has sung professionally as a cantor for over thirty years. His music has been performed by the Bronx Symphony Orchestra, the CETA Orchestra of New York, the North Jersey Symphony, the Fifth International Music Festival of Buenos Aires, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the Chamber Music Society of Formosa, the Amasi Trio, the Gregg Smith Singers and the Nyack College Chorale.
His compositions include three piano sonatas, piano suites, orchestral suites, a clarinet concerto, a cello rhapsody for cello and orchestra, a concert duet for soprano and tenor, choral compositions and a sacred service for the Sabbath (published in the Journal of Synagogue Music). Arise My Love and The Rubaiyat were chosen as finalists in the 2010 Meistersingers Choral Competition. Nine choral works were recorded by the Composer’s Choir in Hamden CT. His album Dreams consisting of chamber music for piano, violin and cello, was released by Ravello Records in 2011 to critical acclaim. His music has been hailed as “extremely intelligent, complex and powerful” by Daniel Shaw, artistic director of the Composer’s Choir, and “beautiful, lively and moving” by Jennifer Whiting, conductor of the DeKalb Festival Chorus.
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review commented, “There are times when music may not be ultra-advanced categorically yet be so captivating that one doesn’t care. The composer Craig Madden Morris and his chamber music on the album Dreams (Ravello 7813) gives us such a time. There is lyricism, formal heft, beautifully played parts and an idiomatic craftsmanship/inspiration that makes it all a joy to hear.” His orchestral overture, Lullaby was selected as a winner in the international Ablaze Records Orchestral Masters Competition and was released on December 1, 2013 as part of a album recorded by the Brno Philharmonic, Mikel Toms, conductor. It has been described as “fetchingly beautiful, redolent of Bernstein and Copland, and driven with a sure melodic and harmonic hand, this deeply American score paints a lovely and melodic world that is very effectively orchestrated and affectively captivating despite its brevity.” His Benjamin Overture for concert band was recently recorded by the West Point Band, Lt. Col. Jim Keene, conductor, and was premiered by the SUNY Orange Symphonic Band, Kevin Scott, conductor, on December 14, 2013. His violin concerto was premiered by the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra on October 18, 2014, with Francisc Restesan, soloist and Paul John Stanbery, music director, and recorded by PARMA Recordings for release.
Morris is a child psychiatrist and an assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A native New Yorker, he has lived in New York City for many years with his wife, Nancy. Their children and grandchildren live in Massachusetts.
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