Remembering Steven Stucky : Gentle yet powerful influence

“One kind of artist is always striving to annihilate the past,” composer Steven Stucky once wrote, “to make the world anew in each new work, and so to triumph over the dead weight of routine. I am the other kind . . . who only sees his way forward by standing on the shoulders of those who … Continue reading Remembering Steven Stucky : Gentle yet powerful influence

Three Birthdays Today : Mississippi Fred McDowell; Jay McShann; Morton Feldman

When Mississippi Fred McDowell proclaimed on one of his last albums, "I do not play no rock & roll," it was less a boast by an aging musician swept aside by the big beat than a mere statement of fact. As a stylist and purveyor of the original Delta blues, he was superb, equal parts Charley … Continue reading Three Birthdays Today : Mississippi Fred McDowell; Jay McShann; Morton Feldman

Francis Poulenc : Born today in 1899

Today is the birthday of French composer Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, born in 1899. Poulenc has always had a special place in my heart ever since I first heard his music my first year at music school.  Prior to my formal music studies my background had been in jazz and R&B.  While I had a … Continue reading Francis Poulenc : Born today in 1899

Silvestre Revueltas: Mexican composer and conductor born today in 1899

"The music evokes pre-Columbian landscapes and images with a cinematic grandeur, sweep and colorfulness that go beyond the merely picturesque. The suite reaches its climax (in more ways than one) in the fourth section, "Night of Sorcery," featuring no fewer than a dozen percussion instruments--drums, gourds, rasps, even a conch shell--leading a Mayan sacrificial dance. … Continue reading Silvestre Revueltas: Mexican composer and conductor born today in 1899

#ElliottCarter : String Trio (2011)

A German pre-Romantic philosopher, Johann Georg Hamman, held that the sense of music was given to man to make it possible to measure time. The composer Elliott Carter’s fame comes partly from a reconception of time in music that fits the world of today (although there are many other aspects of his music to enjoy). … Continue reading #ElliottCarter : String Trio (2011)

Pet Sound : Doina Rotaru

Born in 1951, composer Doina Rotaru has a B.A. and a M.A in composition at the National University of Music in  Bucharest. She studied here between 1970 and 1975  with Tiberiu Olah.  Since 1996 she has been a professor of composition and, since 2008, the head of the composition department at the same University. She … Continue reading Pet Sound : Doina Rotaru

Composer Profile: Gráinne Mulvey

Website Gráinne Mulvey's music has been performed and broadcast across the globe. She has been the recipient of many awards, commissions and honours, including the "RTE Young musician of the Future Competition", Ireland (Composers Class) in 1994, the Macaulay Fellowship (Arts Council Of Ireland), Arklow Music Festival, New Music for Sligo in 1999 and St. John’s University … Continue reading Composer Profile: Gráinne Mulvey

Composer Profile: Lei Liang

Website Chinese-born American composer Lei Liang (梁雷, b. Nov. 28, 1972, Tianjin) is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. He received his first piano lessons at the age of four, and began composing at age six. His piano teacher Zhou Guang-ren encouraged him to compose without formal training. He received … Continue reading Composer Profile: Lei Liang

Composer Profile: Tamar Diesendruck

Soundcloud Tamar Diesendruck's favored compositional medium for many years has been virtuosic chamber music; in recent years however her focus has shifted and opportunities to compose for larger ensembles are embraced. In addition to mixed chamber ensemble, string quartet, duos and trios she has also composed solo, orchestral, choral, wind ensemble and vocal works. Her … Continue reading Composer Profile: Tamar Diesendruck

Composer Profile: Sophie Lacaze

Website | Mezzo Compo Feature Unsubdued but attentive to musical trends and schools, French composer Sophie Lacaze has developed an original aesthetics that takes into account the current research on sound while looking to restore music its primary functions, i.e. ritual, incantation, dance, and its links with nature. Sophie Lacaze studied music at the Conservatoire National de … Continue reading Composer Profile: Sophie Lacaze