Raised in the Bronx, Grill has been obsessed with music since the age of six, when his mother took him to Carnegie Hall and he was astonished and awestruck by a performance of “La Mer.” While that obsession first took the form of playing piano at every possible moment (when not otherwise engaged in activities typical of a kid growing up in the Bronx of the 1950’s and ‘60s), it was Stan’s music theory studies at the Manhattan School of Music that converted that obsession to writing music – and to finding his own musical voice.
He learned the craft from extraordinary musicians: among others - Robert Helps, Leon Kushner, Ursula Mamlok and Joseph Prostakoff. Stan's passion for medieval and Renaissance music has greatly influenced his writing - a contemporary expression of ageless techniques based on melody, modal harmonies, and contrapuntal, extended, interweaving lines. Two main themes permeate many of his works - music composed in an attempt to translate something about the nature of the physical world, and music composed to inspire and promote world peace.
Stan’s music has been performed the world over – from Ecuador to Poland; Toulouse to Tokyo; Brooklyn to Vienna – by such artists as Camerata Philadelphia, Camerata Arkos, Englewinds, the Pandolfis Consort, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, One World Symphony, violists Brett Deubner and Ralph Farris, and violinist Jorge Avila.
Other recordings of Stan’s music, also available on Innova Recordings: At the Center of All Things, with string quartets performed by the Diderot String Quartet; Rustling Flights of Wings, with songs performed by soprano Nancy Allen Lundy, pianist Stephen Gosling and violinist Ralph Farris; Afterwards..., with string quartets performed by Camerata Philadelphia; and “I paint stars with wings” with Camerata Philadelphia, Stephen Framil, Brett Douglas Deubner and Peggy (Pei-ju) Yu.
“As I see it, as much as we strive to find reason and purpose in our having been born into this amazing, mysterious and awe-inspiring universe, that attempt is largely futile. It is however, the best part of our nature that obliges us to make the attempt, though the most we can hope for is to gain some small degree of understanding of the world around us, and, more importantly, of ourselves. To achieve this, we each approach the problem in our own way, uniquely shaped by our cultural background, innate talents and abilities, education and so on. For some, science may be the window through which they best perceive and interpret the world, for others, religion. For those to whom the world seems to express itself most clearly and beautifully through sound, music is the voice that speaks to us and through which we, in turn, most effectively express ourselves. The best of my music has arrived, rather inexplicably, as part of a personal effort to understand the world and myself. It is, in a way, an act of translation. The world says something, I try to understand it, and then translate it into musical language. The particular musical language which I speak, is, of course, a product of my conservatory training and personal musical tastes, but hopefully, the outcome, imperfect a translation as it may be, will convey to others something of its original intent.” — Stanley Grill
Brett Deubner, one of this generation’s most accomplished violists, has inspired worldwide critical acclaim for his powerful intensity and sumptuous tone. Since his debut with the Grammy award-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra where he gave the world premiere of a concerto written for him by multiple Grammy award-winning composer Lalo Schifrin, the American violist has gone on to perform world wide as soloist with over 70 orchestras in 12 countries on 5 continents to unanimous approval for “the warmth and sparkling” quality of his playing. (Doblinger Press, Vienna) Since then, he has received 43 viola concerti dedicated to him and over 100 works for viola, more than any living violist. Recent performances as soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, the Missoula Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Heredia in Costa Rica, the National Symphony of Ecuador, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Loja, the State Symphony of Medelin in Venezuela, the Thuringer Symphoniker of Germany, the Orchestre Bell’Arte of Paris, France and the Kiev Camerata of Ukraine have garnered universal praise for his rare ability to communicate with audiences.As a chamber music collaborator, Deubner has performed with Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Kalichstein, Andre Michel-Schub, the Tokyo Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, Colorado Quartet as well as clarinetists Guy Deplus, Alexander Fiterstein and flutists Ransom Wilson and Carol Wincenc. He was the founder of the Elements Quartet based in New York City which premiered new works by Lucas Foss, David Del Tredici, and David Sampson. These collaborations have taken him to the Kent-Blossom Festival, Norfolk, the Round Top Festival, as well as festivals throughout Europe, North and South America. In 2015, the United States House of Representatives awarded Deubner the “Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his commitment to cultural and musical exchange. Brett Douglas Deubner currently serves on the string faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City as well as a viola artist at the Round Top Festival Institute in Texas. He is a regular guest appearances at festivals worldwide.
Thomas Steigerwald, Prize-winning pianist and native Texan, has been a Piano Fellow at the New World Symphony since 2018. He is a medal winner in the Wideman, New York, Dallas Chamber Symphony, and San Jose International Piano Competitions, and holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Matti Raekallio. He also received a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Douglas Humpherys. Mr. Steigerwald has pursued a multifaceted career of solo performance, chamber music, and orchestral piano. He made his orchestral debut at age eighteen, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the San Antonio Symphony. He performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado during their 2019 summer festival. In September 2019, he collaborated with violist Brett Deubner for twenty concerts in their second tour of China. Mr. Steigerwald premiered Cosme McMoon’s newly discovered piano concerto Rondo Espagnol in 2018, giving performances with both the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio and the New World Symphony. Summer music festival fellowships include the National Repertory Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, Round Top Festival Institute, and Aspen Music Festival.
below: Brett Deubner (left), Thomas Steigerwald (right)
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