Release Date: July 14, 2017

Catalog #: NV6111





Michael Kurek Composer


Serenade for Violoncello and Harp

Ovidiu Marinescu violoncello   Rita Costanzi harp


2 Moon Canticle

Soledad Yaya harp


3 Savannah Shadows

The Atlantic Ensemble   |  Wei Tsun Chang violin

Seanad Dunigan Chang viola   Kirsten Cassel Greer violoncello


4 Sonata for Viola and Harp

Duo Portinari   |   Peter Pas viola   Soledad Yaya harp


5 The Sea Knows

The Vanderbilt Strings   |   Robin Fountain conductor

Ovidiu Marinescu solo violoncello





Serenade for Violoncello and Harp

Recorded November 13, 2016, Madeline Wing Adler Theater, West Chester PA

Producer and Engineer Michael Kurek


Moon Canticle

Recorded June 20, 2016, Portinari Studio, São Paulo, Brazil

Producer and Engineer Michael Kurek


Savannah Shadows

Recorded March 5, 2017, Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Producer and Engineer Michael Kurek

Engineer Kevin Edlin


Sonata for Viola and Harp

Recorded January 31, 2017, School of Music of Indiana University,

Bloomington, IN

Producer and Engineer Michael Kurek


The Sea Knows

Recorded February 23, 2017, Ingram Center for the Performing Arts,

Nashville, TN

Producer and Engineer Michael Kurek

Engineer Kevin Edlin


Mastered by Jamey Lamar at Art Music Recording, LLC.  All selections BMI.


Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Alex Bourne

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell

Design Emily Roulo

Marketing Samantha Granville


Michael Kurek


"Kurek is a rare talent who can evoke a universe of human emotion in one piece... I strongly recommend adding this CD to your catalogue."

-C.F. Kip Winger




Michael Kurek’s PARMA Recordings debut, THE SEA KNOWS, is a charming collection of works written with an emphasis on that which is beautiful and emotive.  Composing in a tonal idiom reminiscent of the great melodists of the early 20th century, Kurek creates music that tugs at the heartstrings without ever pandering, that is rich in emotive content without feeling sugary.  The works on THE SEA KNOWS plumb the depths of musical sensitivity and will appeal to anyone who listens to music seeking intimacy and an emotionally-grounded experience.


In today’s contemporary musical world, composers are often all too aware that a piece may be premiered and then performed again rarely, if ever.  These pieces seem likely to defy that cruel cycle.  Thoroughly “road-tested,” and listener-approved, the works making up THE SEA KNOWS have been performed before many audiences and seem likely to be enjoyed by many more to come.


The expansive opening Serenade for Violoncello and Harp is constituted by a single sweeping movement.  Melodic materials presented by the cello are built around the expansion of two central themes.  These themes, described by the composer as “simple,” are explored and transformed until they become anything but.  This melodic transformation, rendered here by Ovidiu Marinescu, exists atop a virtuosic harp tapestry of harmonic filigree admirably played by Rita Costanzi.


Also featuring cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, a PARMA labelmate, the album title track is a tour de force for cello soloist and string orchestra.  The work unfolds in sonata form and was written as a programmatic depiction of a poem of the same name written by the composer.  In both music and poem, vastness is a central theme, and the emotive lines played by the cello sometimes crash against the waves of the orchestra and sometimes allow the musical tides to pull them along.



In 2006, I attended a concert of orchestral music and heard a piece of music that floored me. In the audience was the composer of the that piece, Michael Kurek. I promptly introduced myself and asked to study with him.  The following year of working with Michael completely changed my approach to music forever.


Kurek is a rare talent who can evoke a universe of human emotion is one piece. His latest CD, The Sea Knows, is an epic, elegant recording. I strongly recommend adding this CD to your catalogue.


-C.F. Kip Winger





The works on THE SEA KNOWS are a highly representative sampling of Michael Kurek’s tonal compositional language.  The composer strives to connect his music to an audible narrative and engage audience on an emotional level.


Michael Kurek is on the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.  For several years he served as Chair of the Department of Composition before giving up administrative responsibilities to focus more completely on composing and teaching.


Among other awards and recognitions, Kurek has received an Academy Award in Music for “lifetime achievement” in composition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a MacDowell Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, and a Fromm Fellowship in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center.


Kurek studied under Hans Werner Henze, Eugene Kurtz, Leslie Bassett, and William Bolcom and received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.





Deems Taylor



Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

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