Release Date: February 10, 2015
Catalog #: NV5987
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental


Striking Works For Solo Piano

Matthew Durrant composer
Rachel Lee Guthrie composer
Amir Zaheri composer
Richard Pressley composer
Byron Petty composer
Ron Nagorcka composer
Robert A. Baker composer

Karolina Rojahn, J. Bradley Baker, Robert A. Baker piano

FELT, a compilation for solo piano offered by Navona Records, presents an array of techniques and themes to illustrate the piano’s dexterous capacity for limitless expression and tonal colors.

In Three Excursions for Piano, Matthew Durrant explores various angles of contemporary composition – 12-tone rows, bitonality and modality, and repetition and rhythmic propulsion. Rachel Lee Guthrie’s Winter is an impressionistic piece inspired by the sublimity of mid-western winter landscapes, depicting the imagery of northern winds blowing across the countryside and gently falling snow blanketing the chilling earth. In Prelude to the Holy Dark, Amir Zaheri illustrates the idea of welcoming a return to the time before electricity, while expressing the angst and frustration found in the act of regression. Written for the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, in memoriam by Richard Pressley focuses on the struggle and ultimate collapse of the musical material toward an elusive goal. The two-movement work by Byron Petty, Propuntal Displays, references the standard teaching literature of J.S. Bach, displaying episodes of increasing difficulty and counterpoint techniques. Anything by Ron Nagorcka is a work refined by ear rather than theory, developing from a random application of notes in a rhythmic structure. Robert A. Baker presents two works, Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?, a line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65 which Baker considers to “appropriately reflect a near exact narrative of the musical discourse” and Valence I, whose meaning is left to the interpretation of the listener.


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Artist Information

Matthew Durant


Matthew Durrant's music has been performed throughout the United States at festivals, conferences, and recitals. His style is very melodic and can be thought of as neo-tonal. While his music is generally triadic in nature, its richness is expanded by borrowing from beyond the diatonic realm and employing tonality in unconventional ways.

Rachel Lee Guthrie


Rachel Lee Guthrie was born on November 3, 1979 in Des Moines IA. From an early age, she played the piano by ear and resisted formal lessons until the age of fourteen when she began studying with various college-level instructors. In 2004, Guthrie earned a degree in piano pedagogy from Drake University, graduating cum laude. Her passion has always been for Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Impressionist masters, and she has composed a number of new pieces in the classical tradition as well as works in a contemporary style.

Amir Zaheri


Dr. Amir Zaheri (b. 1979) is the musical director and conductor of the University of Alabama Contemporary Ensemble, which is committed to performing music of the 20th and 21st centuries, including masterworks by established composers, music by emerging composers, and the music of University of Alabama student and faculty composers. He also serves as full time instructor of composition and theory, maintaining a full studio of student composers. Immediately prior to his appointment, Zaheri held the distinguished Narramore Fellowship at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition in 2013. At UA, Zaheri studied under the primary tutelage of C.P. First and received additional instruction from Peter Westergaard.

Richard Pressley


Richard Pressley (b. 1970) has enjoyed performances of his music at festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe, even Brazil and Australia, by such performers and ensembles as the JACK Quartet, the Minnesota Orchestra, Claire Edwardes, thingNY, Patrick Crossland, ensemble platypus, Richard Ratliff, the dissonArt ensemble, the Moran Quintet, the Definiens Project, and counter)induction, among others.

Byron Petty


Flutist, pianist, composer, and conductor Byron W. Petty holds a BM in flute performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with the noted flutist Britton Johnson. He has served as Instructor of Piano at Roanoke College and Instructor of Flute and Piano at Southern Virginia University. He is a Lecturer in Music and has taught courses in Composition and Musical Analysis as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Washington and Lee University. From 1995-2002, Petty was the Conductor/Music Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke and subsequently, the Artistic Director from 2002 through 2003.

Ron Nagorcka


Ron Nagorcka (born 1948) composes in his hand-built solar-powered studio in a remote forest in Tasmania (the island state off Australia's south coast) where the natural world provides him with much of his inspiration. He has been exploring both music and nature since his childhood on an Australian sheep farm and studied music - including pipe organ, harpsichord, and composition - at the University of Melbourne and the University of California, San Diego. In the 1970s he was a prominent and influential figure in Melbourne as an innovative composer, teacher, keyboard performer and improviser with electronics. He was also one of the first non-indigenous musicians to master the didjeridu and pioneered its use in classical composition.

Robert A. Baker


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).

Karolina Rojahn


Karolina Rojahn is a Los Angeles based pianist who has dedicated the last decade of her career to premiering and recording contemporary music repertoire. She has premiered over a hundred new works and collaborated with various classical music labels, most notably Naxos, having released over 43 recordings of chamber and solo piano music, including 5 piano concertos written specifically for her.