school music – Allan Pettersson http://allanpettersson.org/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 09:28:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://allanpettersson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-19-120x120.png school music – Allan Pettersson http://allanpettersson.org/ 32 32 Pasadena Chorale Presents Student Composer Concert LISTENING TOT HE FUTURE April 2 https://allanpettersson.org/pasadena-chorale-presents-student-composer-concert-listening-tot-he-future-april-2/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 00:37:50 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/pasadena-chorale-presents-student-composer-concert-listening-tot-he-future-april-2/ Pasadena Chorale will announce that tickets are now available for its next performance, “Listening to the Future,” Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena. Spectators will discover 17 new pieces composed for the choir by 9 student composers. The tracks, all written within the last two years, have never […]]]>

Pasadena Chorale will announce that tickets are now available for its next performance, “Listening to the Future,” Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena.

Spectators will discover 17 new pieces composed for the choir by 9 student composers. The tracks, all written within the last two years, have never been heard before! Tickets will be offered for $0 on a “listen first, then give” basis and can be reserved at pasadenachorale.org.

Established in 2015, the annual Listening to the Future program pairs Pasadena-area high school students with professional mentor composers and culminates in the performance of selected pieces in concert. This relatively new concept has already seen the creation of 62 choral pieces by 24 student composers who have worked with 6 professional composer mentors.

While the Pasadena Choral was unable to gather, rehearse or perform during a 16-month period of the Covid-19 pandemic, “Listening to the Future” continued its schedule, with student composers meeting on Zoom to continue. to write the music that the public will finally hear this April.

• Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, Arian Cazares, contributed a new arrangement of Munequita Linda as well as the original composition The Old Green King. Cazares began his musical studies playing the viola at the age of 9 and continues to play in his high school symphony orchestra and string ensembles. In 2021, Cazares won second place at the American Viola Society Solo Competition in Los Angeles and also competed in statewide competitions.

• Yoni Fogelman, 19, currently works with the nonprofit Musicians at Play and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles to promote music education in Southern California. He studied composition with award-winning composer Juan-Pablo Contreras and big band arranging with famed Hollywood bandleader and orchestrator Ladd McIntosh. Fogelman’s pieces include an arrangement of American Spiritual All My Trials and an original composition To a Rose with text by Eli Staub.

• Hyomin Kim is currently studying at KyungHee University in Seoul, South Korea and continues to practice piano, cello, drums and songwriting. Kim composed the original music Once Again, with lyrics written by Hyomin Kim and Rachel Yun.

• A multi-talented composer, Olivia Marie is a singer, dancer, actress, composer, lyricist, librettist, trumpeter, pianist and conductor. Marie has written the book, music and lyrics for four award-winning musicals and is currently studying composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Pieces performed by Marie include the original composition A Minor Bird with text by Robert Frost, as well as a new arrangement by Wayfarin’ Stranger.

• Prince Takano, a student at Princeton University, is currently studying politics and music composition. His background includes both classical and jazz. Takano’s area of ​​musical interest is composing music for video games and movies. His contributions include a rearrangement of Battle Hymn of the Republic and the original composition Laudate Dominum.

Saunder Choi, a Filipino composer and backing vocalist based in Los Angeles, mentored student composers during these two years. His works have been performed by the Phillipine Madrigal Singers, Crossing Choir, LA Master Chorale Chamber Singers, Sacra Profana, Toality, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, World Youth Choir, Asia Pacific Youth Choir and many others. As a tenor and SAF-AFTRA session vocalist, he sang in the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King live-action remake (2019), Disney’s Mulan live-action remake (2020), and ‘others. He is currently director of music at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

“Listening to the Future” premieres Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at the Neighborhood Universalist Unitarian Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103.

Pasadena Chorale’s “Listening to the Future” performance was funded by a grant from the City of Pasadena. Additional support was provided by the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. For more information on Listening to the Future, visit pasadenachorale.org.

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Violinist, composer and conductor Jaakko Kuusisto has died | News https://allanpettersson.org/violinist-composer-and-conductor-jaakko-kuusisto-has-died-news/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 10:41:59 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/violinist-composer-and-conductor-jaakko-kuusisto-has-died-news/ Finnish musician Jaakko Kuusisto died on February 23, 2022. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2020, his condition deteriorated earlier this year and he was hospitalized. Kuusisto was born on January 17, 1974 into a family of musicians; his grandfather, Taneli Kuusisto, and his father, Ilkka Kuusisto, working as composers. He and […]]]>

Finnish musician Jaakko Kuusisto died on February 23, 2022. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2020, his condition deteriorated earlier this year and he was hospitalized.

Kuusisto was born on January 17, 1974 into a family of musicians; his grandfather, Taneli Kuusisto, and his father, Ilkka Kuusisto, working as composers. He and his younger brother Pekka started playing the violin at a young age, enjoying national success. Kuusisto won joint first prize at the Kuopio Violin Competition in 1989 and was a finalist at the Sibelius International Violin Competition in 1990.

The family moved to the United States in the early 1990s to allow the boys to study at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, where they studied with Miriam Fried. During a visit to Finland in 1998, Fried said of the siblings: “Pekka plays more instinctively, while Jaakko is more intellectual and exploratory”.

Kuusisto was a finalist in the 1997 Queen Elisabeth Competition, after which conductor Osmo Vänskä offered him the post of concertmaster of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He remained in the role until 2012, often performing as a soloist with the ensemble, as well as leading the orchestra on several recordings. His recording output includes Uljas Pulkkis’ enchanted garden Violin Concerto with Susanna Mälk and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, as well as Bach’s Violin Concertos with his brother Pekka and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He also recorded early chamber works by Sibelius with pianist Folke Gräsbeck.



As a conductor, Kuusisto worked with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2009. He was the principal conductor of the Kuopio City Orchestra from 2018. He composed more than 40 works, including his own operas which he conducted at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, the Finnish National Opera and the Ilmajoki Music Festival. His last opera Jää created in 2019 and later revised for smaller forces due to the pandemic. Kuusisto was also artistic director of the Tuusulanjärvi Chamber Music Festival with his brother from 1999 to 2006 and of the Oulu Music Festival from 2013 to 2021.



A man of varied interests, he has also worked as a local politician, having been elected to the city council representing the Greens party in 2021. Together with his wife Maija Kuusisto they established a water taxi service in Savonlinna, where they transported guests attending the Savonlinna Opera Festival, while educating passengers about the opera they were about to see.

He is survived by his wife and two children from a previous marriage.

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OU School of Music welcomes a composer | News https://allanpettersson.org/ou-school-of-music-welcomes-a-composer-news/ Fri, 04 Feb 2022 21:35:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/ou-school-of-music-welcomes-a-composer-news/ Composer Lori Laitman is scheduled to visit the University of Oklahoma’s Normandy campus Tuesday through Friday to participate in the School of Music’s composition symposium with composition students, conduct a masterclass on her songs with vocal students and serve as a judge for the Benton-Schmidt Vocal Competition. His opera production “The Scarlet Letter” is scheduled […]]]>

Composer Lori Laitman is scheduled to visit the University of Oklahoma’s Normandy campus Tuesday through Friday to participate in the School of Music’s composition symposium with composition students, conduct a masterclass on her songs with vocal students and serve as a judge for the Benton-Schmidt Vocal Competition.

His opera production “The Scarlet Letter” is scheduled to perform at the University Theater from February 10-13.

Described by Fanfare Magazine as “one of the most talented and intriguing living composers”, Laitman has composed several operas and choral works, as well as hundreds of songs featuring texts by classical and contemporary poets, including those who perished in the Holocaust. His music is widely performed around the world and has garnered substantial critical acclaim.

Opera Colorado presented the world premiere of Laitman’s opera “The Scarlet Letter”, with libretto by David Mason, in May 2016. It was named a Critic’s Choice by Opera News and one of the top five CDs of 2018 by Fanfare Magazine.

Laitman continues to receive prestigious commissions from the BBC, Royal Philharmonic Society, Opera America, Opera Colorado, Seattle Opera, Grant Park Music Festival, Washington Master Chorale, Music of Remembrance and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

His works have been featured in Thomas Hampson’s Song of America radio and internet series and The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Laitman’s discography is extensive, with two upcoming CDs on “Are Women People?” from Acis Productions. and “The Ocean of Eternity”.

A magna cum laude graduate of Yale College, Laitman received her Masters of Music from the Yale School of Music, which later presented her with the Ian Mininberg Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in May 2018. For more information, visit artsongs.com /news.

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic, and healthcare needs of the state, region, and nation. For more information, visit ou.edu.

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Composer Green Knight Daniel Hart on the creation of “The Giant’s Call” and “Now I’m Ready, I’m Ready Now” [Interview] https://allanpettersson.org/composer-green-knight-daniel-hart-on-the-creation-of-the-giants-call-and-now-im-ready-im-ready-now-interview/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 18:40:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/composer-green-knight-daniel-hart-on-the-creation-of-the-giants-call-and-now-im-ready-im-ready-now-interview/ You also have to write Middle English lyrics, right? I wrote lyrics in Middle English. I’ve written a few lyrics in other languages, but most of them are in Middle English. As a songwriter, what’s it like to write in Middle English? It’s so much fun. It completely slips my mind because I have to […]]]>

You also have to write Middle English lyrics, right?

I wrote lyrics in Middle English. I’ve written a few lyrics in other languages, but most of them are in Middle English.

As a songwriter, what’s it like to write in Middle English?

It’s so much fun. It completely slips my mind because I have to think in another language. I don’t know, it’s a bit of a brain shaker. I like this. This required some research as I didn’t know anything about Middle English when I started. I made myself a little dictionary of words that I liked when I read and listened to poetry read in Middle English, words that I liked to sound or spell that were different from the way we say things today today. It was really fun to explore. I had no idea there was such a strong Scandinavian influence on Middle English that has essentially disappeared from Modern English. So instead of “nightingale”, it’s “nyghtyngale”. Instead of “treasure” it’s “treasure”, and instead of “blood” it’s “blud”. Made for an exciting new rhyme.

Did you continue to practice your average English? It sounds very good.

No, I didn’t, except in interviews. I haven’t thought much about Middle English since I finished working on the film last year. I imagine he will stay in there. For example, one of the other languages ​​that is used a little is Hildegard’s Lingua Ignota. Hildegard was a German nun and lived in the 1100s, and she invented her own language. She called it Lingua Ignota. It is a combination of Latin and German and other less identifiable sounds. And where I had worked, Lingua Ignota, when I was working on the TV version of “The Exorcist” for Fox about five years ago. I did the music for Season 1 of this TV show, and the manager of that show, Rolin Jones, wanted some Hildegard-style music in a few scenes.

So I spent time reading about Lingua Ignota and then learning some of the vocabulary that has survived the past 900 years. So when I came to “The Green Knight” it should – we have witches, and it’s the 1400s. So they’ll definitely know about Hildegard, and they’ll love the fact that she invented her own language. So it should definitely be in there. I imagine in the future there will be a time when I’m like “Oh, English Middle. I should go back to that” for whatever I’m working on.

How did your classical training as a violinist come into play with “The Green Knight”?

Yes, I’m classically trained, but the music that really got me into being a musician was experimental rock and roll and jazz, and I love to improvise. So I feel like all of my musical experiences inform my film music, and that includes my classical training, but that also includes all the bands I played in the 2000s and 2010s, and a lot of jazz that I studied and played in small trios and restaurants when I was trying to pay the bills. The classical stuff, like this violin arpeggiando thing, comes straight out of my classical training. It’s a tool in my toolbox that I can call upon. And I played in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra when I was young. A lot of the music that we played in that orchestra, or stuff that I played in an all regions orchestra when I was in high school, is music that will stay in my brain forever. I borrow from these composers when I approach film music all the time, intentionally or not.

How were your days on tour?

I’ve been really, really lucky as a touring musician to play in bands that have opened for some of my heroes, like some of the best music that I think has ever been recorded.

David Bowie, right?

I was in the Polyphonic Spree when they opened for David Bowie. I was in this band called Other Lives, and we opened for Radiohead. And either way, a month on the road with David Bowie and a month on the road with Radiohead, I don’t know how it gets any better than that. These two artists probably look very glamorous, but it’s really just a job. It’s the best work, but it’s still work. And that wouldn’t be true for bands at that level, for Bowie or Radiohead, but for the opening bands I was in, we spend a lot of our time driving to get to the next place, then lifting a lot of heavy equipment, then performing for 45 minutes or an hour, which is the best experience, then lifting a bunch of heavy equipment and driving again.

It’s almost as if we were professional movers who had a hobby of playing music. That’s a lot of what I felt. But when I was on the road with other bands, like in the case of Gun for Rental, bands that weren’t mine, I wrote a lot in the van, like writing songs in the van. I have very fond memories of that time. It’s hard, these long journeys. It is not easy. It’s not easy on the body, but I have great memories of working on music on tour and making stuff up in the back of a van.

You also toured with St. Vincent for years, didn’t you?

I toured on the first two albums, then I played on the third album, but I didn’t tour on that one. Yes, it was my musical education. It was amazing. I mean, it was pretty messy at first. Nowhere near the level of popularity that St. Vincent has now. But towards the end of my tour, like on this second album, David Byrne really fell in love with St. Vincent. And so, we did some collaborations with David Byrne, and we did a gig in New York at Lincoln Center where David Byrne joined us for a song. There was a section of this song where I was singing harmonies with David Byrne. I doubt David Byrne knows my name or knows who I am, but it was very meaningful to me.

I feel like David Byrne knows everything about music, so I think he would know you.

It might be. It might be. Yes, I don’t know. I haven’t seen him since then, but he could very well know everything.

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MU Composer’s Bicentennial Piece Captures River Life, Music of Travelers | https://allanpettersson.org/mu-composers-bicentennial-piece-captures-river-life-music-of-travelers/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/mu-composers-bicentennial-piece-captures-river-life-music-of-travelers/ [ad_1] MU composer Stefan Freund is no longer interested in camping. “I always say I’m not going to camp because I work too hard to sleep on the floor,” he joked. But Freund has enough experience to know what it is like to wake up on a freezing morning because the fires have gone out. […]]]>


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MU composer Stefan Freund is no longer interested in camping.

“I always say I’m not going to camp because I work too hard to sleep on the floor,” he joked.

But Freund has enough experience to know what it is like to wake up on a freezing morning because the fires have gone out. These memories were useful to him when he conceived the opening of his last composition, “Voyageur Fantasy” for horn and orchestra.






Roger Kaza, center, and Stefan Freund discuss Freund’s composition “Voyageur Fantasy” on October 20 at the Sinquefield Music Center in Columbia. Freund wrote the piece for Kaza, which will premiere on Friday with the Orchester symphonique de Saint-Louis.



The Voyageurs were French Canadians who transported furs by river during the height of the North American fur trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. They spent their days on great rivers like the Missouri and Mississippi, paddling almost constantly from dawn to dusk and mostly singing at a pace that matched their paddling strokes.

“It was just this zone of Zen living that they were in to get the job done,” said Roger Kaza, principal horn of the Saint-Louis Symphony Orchestra. “Voyageur Fantasy” was commissioned by SLSO and written for Kaza, who will be the featured soloist at the play’s Friday premiere at the orchestra’s two New Years concerts at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

The start of the play invites the imagination: travelers wake up cold, groggy, and move slowly. Mist rises from the river. In the dreamy gray light before dawn, the men envision their day of nothing but paddling, singing, and smoking breaks – called pipes, Kaza said, as they have blown their pipes before relighting them. . He says he has been interested in the history of the fur trade for decades.






Roger Kaza grabs the bell of his French horn

Roger Kaza lays his hand on the bell of his horn on October 20 at the Sinquefield Music Center in Columbia. Even after decades of playing, Kaza is still thrilled with what the horn can do.



Momentum builds up steadily after this in “Voyageur Fantasy”. “I’ve always liked songs that work this way,” said Freund, professor of composition at the School of Music. “I like the idea that in music we can use time and growth to illustrate this idea of ​​things that emerge, come together, develop.”

The idea for the commission came when Kaza was visiting his girlfriend, children’s book author Kate Klise, at her home in the Ozarks. He picked up a little magazine published by his electric cooperative.

“That’s where I saw this article on the bicentennial. I said, ‘Well, that’s interesting.'” They started talking and Klise suggested an article on the bicentennial with Kaza in soloist.

He didn’t take it seriously at first, but Klise kept raising the idea, and eventually Kaza suggested it to the conductor. In his proposal, he exposed the many musical influences that shaped Missouri over time before and after it became state 24, in 1821: Native American music, Civil War tunes, ragtime, jazz, Ozark bluegrass. , rock ‘n’ roll – and the canoe songs of French-Canadian travelers.






Roger Kaza plays for the first time in

Roger Kaza performs for the first time on October 20 at the Sinquefield Music Center in Columbia, Stefan Freund’s “Voyageur Fantasy”. Kaza has been the principal horn player of the Orchester symphonique de Saint-Louis since 2009.



The commission to write the play went to Freund. He said that at the start of the process, he, Kaza and Stéphane Denève, musical director of the Orchester symphonique de Saint-Louis, noted that the songs of the travelers were probably one of the first Western music heard on the banks of the rivers. Mississippi and Missouri rivers and in the Territory.

He decided to build the piece around the canoe traveler’s song “C’est Aviron”, a French tune known in English as “Pull on the Oars”.

The river remains a constant character throughout the 12 minutes of “Voyageur Fantasy”, and that suits both the composer and the soloist. Freund grew up in Memphis, where the Mississippi River played an important role in the development of the city and its culture.

“Here in Missouri,” he said, “I believe we can feel the presence of the rivers around us and their impact on the history of our state.”

This is a theme that has returned to Freund’s previous works, including “con / influences”, which he wrote for the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, and a piece he wrote earlier. this year, “Waterways”, another bicentennial celebration.






Roger Kaza takes a pencil (diptych)

LEFT: Roger Kaza grabs a pencil stuck in the slide of his French horn on October 20. Kaza launched the idea of ​​a horn piece celebrating the bicentennial after a suggestion from his girlfriend. RIGHT: Kaza writes down his copy of “Voyageur Fantasy”. During this first attempt, Kaza and Freund gave each other their opinions and made rhythmic and dynamic changes to the composition.



Kaza, meanwhile, is from Oregon and is a whitewater rafter. He wrote in a comment recently submitted to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that during the pandemic: “I have spent more time on the Missouri waterways than I have had in the previous 24 years I have spent time on the waterways of Missouri. I lived here I explored the Ozark streams by kayak I rafted the Missouri River with a group of friends and fellow musicians I even swam in a spring-fed Ozark Pond.

“And every day, I played my French horn,” he concluded. “Water and music supported me, just like French travelers 200 years ago.

Kaza joined the Orchester symphonique de Saint-Louis as principal horn in 2009. Son of musicians, he wanted to be a pianist, but when he was in fifth grade, his parents took him to a music store to try out the horn. At the time, he didn’t know what it was.

“It was my mother’s idea. She was a huge Mahler fan,” Kaza said. Even after 50 years of playing the horn, he continues to be interested in the things the instrument can do.

In “Voyageur Fantasy”, Kaza particularly likes a “semi-stopped” passage, a muted effect created by the placement of the hand in the bell of the instrument.

The half-cut sound is hazy and distant, and in the way Freund marked it, few other instruments play it. “The audience will lean in and listen, and that’s what we want,” Kaza said.






Stefan Freund illustrates the desired energy

Stefan Freund illustrates the desired energy with a particular section of his composition “Voyageur Fantasy” on October 20 at the Sinquefield Music Center. Freund, who grew up in Memphis along the Mississippi River, expressed the impact of rivers on history and culture in several of his earlier works.



For Freund, this is the most personal part of the play. As the founding cellist of the new Alarm Will Sound musical ensemble, he performed with horn player Matt Marks for years.

They were good friends, and they had all kinds of jokes inside. One concerned Freund’s use – an overuse according to Marks – of the half-stopped technique in horn parts.

“He absolutely hated it, and he complained about it, and I always put it there just to drive him crazy,” Freund said.

Marks died in 2018 in Saint-Louis. “So this section, for me,” Freund said, “is a memorial to Matt.”

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First person: young composer Nicola Perikhanyan on a new immersive reality experience at the London Wall https://allanpettersson.org/first-person-young-composer-nicola-perikhanyan-on-a-new-immersive-reality-experience-at-the-london-wall/ Wed, 22 Dec 2021 08:54:23 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/first-person-young-composer-nicola-perikhanyan-on-a-new-immersive-reality-experience-at-the-london-wall/ [ad_1] There is something truly moving about standing in the center of the Roman ruins of the London Wall and looking at the city that has developed around it. Think about our past, present and future simultaneously. Over 2000 years have passed since the Romans created our city, and although a lot has changed, there […]]]>


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There is something truly moving about standing in the center of the Roman ruins of the London Wall and looking at the city that has developed around it. Think about our past, present and future simultaneously. Over 2000 years have passed since the Romans created our city, and although a lot has changed, there is still so much consistency in the way our society exists, both in beauty and in flaws.

As a civilization, how far have things really changed?

London is a city of contrasts, it is a city that we never tire of because it is constantly evolving and each layer of its history contributes to its character. It is impossible to draw a line between ancient, post-war and contemporary civilizations because they coexist. HARMONY is the latest statement in the history of London Wall Place, the largest collection of public gardens developed in the City of London from the Barbican Estate.

HARMONY at London Wall Place is an immersive music and augmented reality experience co-commissioned by real estate developer Brookfield Properties and the Culture Mile cultural district. The project saw students at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama – who are based a five-minute walk from the site in the City of London – develop venue-inspired compositions under the mentorship of musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra. These short pieces were then performed by the LSO and accompanied by augmented reality artwork delivered by Guildhall Live Events, under the creative direction of Dan Shorten, an award-winning director and designer. The finished and immersive works are accessible to visitors to London Wall Place via their devices.I was fortunate enough to be part of this cohort of young musicians and worked with Andy Harper, clarinetist at the London Symphony Orchestra on my new commission, for St. Alphage’s Ruins (where the Griffin AR visual is “based”) .

I wanted the music to celebrate the City of London awakening as we start to return to normal life after the pandemic (or has at the time of writing). I was inspired by the vertical composition of the buildings and the evolution of the landscape over time. The music consisted of 113 layers of recordings and manipulations, which continuously evolve, becoming more electronic towards the end of the piece.

I feel very privileged to have worked with Andy on this project, and not just musically; I loved hearing the stories of his life as a musician. With Andy’s help, I was able to discover the range of possibilities that can be considered when writing for the clarinet. The making of the piece was very organic and collaborative and I built it from the bottom up, like the tall buildings surrounding the ruins. I approached writing in an open-minded manner, letting myself be guided by and relying on the material captured in each session. I love working with instrumentalists and exploring the limitless possibilities of manipulating acoustic sounds and combining these textures with the sound of the raw instrument.

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The life of Dominick Argento, composer from Minnesota https://allanpettersson.org/the-life-of-dominick-argento-composer-from-minnesota/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 15:53:44 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/the-life-of-dominick-argento-composer-from-minnesota/ [ad_1] Dominick Argento, April 3, 2016. Although he originally hoped to take a job on the East or West Coast, American musician-composer Dominick Argento began his career in 1958 at the University of Minnesota, where he taught composition and theory. He spent the next sixty years as a resident composer in Minnesota, creating works for […]]]>


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Dominick Argento, April 3, 2016.

Although he originally hoped to take a job on the East or West Coast, American musician-composer Dominick Argento began his career in 1958 at the University of Minnesota, where he taught composition and theory. He spent the next sixty years as a resident composer in Minnesota, creating works for almost every band in Minnesota and achieving international acclaim.

Born in York, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 1927, to Sicilian immigrants, Dominick Argento showed an early interest in music. He regularly visited his local public library and read biographies and writings of famous musicians, such as George Gershwin, Igor Stravinsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He learned music theory and analysis himself and began taking piano lessons at age sixteen, a relatively late age for a young aspiring musician. However, he was progressing rapidly and hoped to become a professional pianist when he entered college a few years later. Enlisted in the military in 1945, Argento served in North Africa as a cryptographer. In 1947, he entered the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore on the GI Bill.

At Peabody Argento’s, harmony teacher Nicolas Nabokov suggested that he concentrate on composition rather than playing the piano. Worried that Nabokov would be a close friend of Stravinksy’s, Argento agreed and continued his studies with Nabokov. A few years later, Nabokov encouraged Argento to apply for a Fulbright scholarship to study in Florence, Italy. He received it in 1951.

As Argento completed his undergraduate studies at Peabody, he needed a soprano singer to perform in his senior recital of original works. A friend told him about a talented young soprano, Carolyn Bailey, from York, Argento’s hometown. She sang her cycle of songs Songs about spring, and he accompanied her on the piano. Three years later, in 1954, they married and for many years she sang the first of all he composed for soprano and advised him on vocal matters.

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After earning his Bachelor of Music in 1951, Argento returned to Peabody for his Masters of Music, which he completed in 1954. For his doctoral work, he studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. , and graduated there. in 1957. Throughout his years at Peabody and Eastman and while abroad, he studied with a large roster of contemporary mid-twentieth-century composers, including Henry Cowell, Richard Rodgers, Alan Hovhaness, Howard Hanson and Luigi Dallapiccola.

After a year at university in Florence, this time thanks to a Guggenheim scholarship, Argento and Carolyn returned to the United States without a job. In September 1958 Argento received a call from the University of Minnesota; someone in Eastman had recommended him for an open position teaching music theory. He loaded his car that day and arrived in Minneapolis mid-afternoon on the first day of class.

Argento has moved to a metropolitan area with a vibrant art scene. He shared in his memoir that “I used to joke that we didn’t really unpack the first two years in Minnesota, hoping and praying that a position would come to fruition on the east coast or west, certain that staying in Minneapolis would be artistic suicide for a promising young composer. Gradually, this fear evaporated. Over time, it became clear that the community was very supportive of the arts. Argento recognized the high artistic quality of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (later called the Minnesota Orchestra) led by Antal Doráti, the Saint-Paul chamber orchestra, and the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra. the Walker Art Center hosted many modern music events and would soon help sponsor a small opera company (later the Minnesota Opera House).

In 1963 Sir Tyrone Guthrie established a theater (the Guthrie Theater), and Argento composed music for the first productions. Other supporters of Argento’s works included the Schubert Club, the Dale Warland Singers, the Fargo – Moorhead Symphony, the Plymouth Music Series by Philip Brunelle (later VocalEssence) and many more. He recognized from his fourth year in college that Minneapolis would be his home for the rest of his life. If other schools offered him positions, he decided he would turn them down – a resolution he kept.

Most of Argento’s compositions, mainly song cycles and operas, feature the human voice. When composing vocal works, he noted that words should come first in his process, believing that “the tone, texture, color and speed of music depend on the text”. His operas have been acclaimed nationally and internationally and have included Postcard from Morocco (1971), Edgar Allan Poe’s Journey (1976), The return of Casanova (1984), and Valentino’s dream (1993). Among many awards, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for his song cycle From Virginia Woolf’s diary and, in 2004, a Grammy Award for his song cycle Casa Guidi.

For more information on this topic, see the original entry on MNopedia.

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Inspiring concert with an extraordinary composer https://allanpettersson.org/inspiring-concert-with-an-extraordinary-composer/ Fri, 10 Dec 2021 13:45:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/inspiring-concert-with-an-extraordinary-composer/ [ad_1] Grace Fisher composes music for her foundation’s fourth annual concert COURTESY PHOTOSThe Bar-back Boys will perform at the Grace Fisher Foundation’s fourth annual Winter Music Showcase on Sunday at the Granada. Grace Fisher is delighted to see her foundation’s Winter Music Showcase return to the Granada stage for their first live concert with an […]]]>


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Grace Fisher composes music for her foundation’s fourth annual concert

COURTESY PHOTOS
The Bar-back Boys will perform at the Grace Fisher Foundation’s fourth annual Winter Music Showcase on Sunday at the Granada.

Grace Fisher is delighted to see her foundation’s Winter Music Showcase return to the Granada stage for their first live concert with an audience in two years.

“Every band is thrilled to be on this stage,” Ms. Fisher told News-Press, referring to a host of artists, including “Voice” semi-finalist Will Breman, “American Idol contestant. Jackson Gillies, Three For Joy string trio, the Madrigals and the Bar-back Boys.

“It will be one of Santa Barbara’s favorite talents,” she said.

And the concert, which was virtual last year due to the pandemic, is the main fundraiser for the Grace Fisher Foundation.

The program is set for 5 p.m. Sunday.

“This is how we make our money every year,” Ms. Fisher said. “I hope we win around $ 150,000. That’s what we earn every year, and every year it grows a little more.

It’s for a good cause. Since 2016, the association has offered free artistic programs for disabled children.

But Ms. Fisher prefers another term to describe the young people helped by her foundation. “We don’t say ‘disabled children’. We say “children with all abilities. “

“We bring the arts to children of all abilities,” she said. “We have adaptive art, adaptive dance, and adaptive drum circles.

“It’s really about including everyone,” she said, adding that the programs are aimed at K-12 students, as well as high school graduates.

Children helped by the foundation are part of the Winter Music Showcase. They created characters that inspired the animation that will be shown on screen as a 30-piece orchestra, which includes members of the Santa Barbara Symphony, performs Ms. Fisher’s original compositions.

The concert will feature the Three Strings for Joy trio.

The compositions are proof that Ms. Fisher didn’t let her own physical challenges interfere with her dreams.

She was 17 in Santa Barbara High School and an accomplished pianist, cellist and guitarist when she was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis in 2014. The rare disease of the spine left Ms Fisher, who had just been accepted to the prestigious Berklee School of Music, paralyzed from neck to toe.

Despite this challenge, Ms. Fisher has adapted. She learned to compose music with special technology, which included an adaptive mouse for her computer. She controls the mouse by blowing through a tube and using what she calls “sip and puff technology.”

“I use a lot of adapted equipment. I control the computer with my tongue, ”she said.

The computer puts her notes on blank musical staves on the screen, and she asks the computer to read the music to hear how it would sound on various orchestral instruments.

“I’m in my senior year at UCSB studying music composition,” Fisher said, adding that she would be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in the field in June. “My teacher was very helpful.

“Before I became paralyzed and disabled, I wanted to be a studio musician. I’ve always loved music a lot, “she said.” I knew music was what I wanted to do as a career. It’s part of who I was and who I am now.

“Even though I can’t play my instruments, I am able to control an entire orchestra, which is certainly very rewarding,” she said.

Grace Fisher said her foundation offers adapted arts programs, adapted dances and adapted drum circles “for children of all skill levels.”

Using her sip and puff technology, Ms. Fisher painted the backdrops for the two animated films that will be shown while the orchestra plays. One is a playful piece called “Critter Fable”.

“This one is about a caterpillar who refused to become a butterfly, but who is still inspired by the colors and the world around it,” Ms. Fisher said. “Even though he cannot fly, he leads a happy life, just like worms and snails and other insects that cannot fly.

“It’s a metaphor for disability,” Ms. Fisher said. “I still live a very good life, even though I do things differently from the typical person. “
Ms. Fisher spoke about another composition she wrote for the Winter Music Showcase Orchestra.

“’The Waltz of the Waves’ is about the fact that each of us has invisible qualities,” she said, then explained the animation that will accompany the music. “We asked the children to create their spirit animals. I also created my spirit animal.

“It’s all about the fact that an individual is so much more than what you see on the outside,” Ms. Fisher said.

She described the music as calming. “It’s definitely a bit of a mystery too.

Her third composition, which makes its world premiere, is Madame Fisher’s Fantasy in G major: “Metamorphosis”.

“Everything comes from the tuning of the orchestra. It’s like the metamorphosis of the orchestra, ”said Ms. Fisher, who would love to write music for films. “It starts with a single note. At the end, all the instruments play together.

Ms. Fisher and her incredible abilities were showcased in “I Am My Power,” a film that recently screened at a Cottage Health event at West-Wind Drive-in in Goleta.

“I took rehabilitation therapy at Cottage. It was fun to be introduced as one of the people in this movie. It went really well, ”said Ms. Fisher, who lives with her parents, physiotherapists Bill and Debbie Fisher. (And she’s close to her sister, Emily, who this year is graduating with a public health degree from the University of California at Berkeley and is considering becoming a nurse practitioner.)

Ms. Fisher said she hopes her stories and those of others inspire people. She noted that everyone, including those who didn’t have obvious physical challenges, struggled to overcome anything.

“I did not understand everything,” said the composer and painter. “I still have day to day challenges.

“But I know things can get better if I just have an open mind. I think that’s a lesson a lot of people can sympathize with.

e-mail: dmason@newspress.com

for your information

The Grace Fisher Foundation will present its fourth annual Winter Music Showcase at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Granada, 1214 State St.

Tickets cost from $ 20 to $ 59. To buy, go to gracefisherfoundation.org Where grenadesb.org or call the Granada ticket office at 805-899-2222.

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UIC Music Teacher’s Classic Album Highlights Forgotten Works by Chicago-Linked Composer https://allanpettersson.org/uic-music-teachers-classic-album-highlights-forgotten-works-by-chicago-linked-composer/ Thu, 09 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/uic-music-teachers-classic-album-highlights-forgotten-works-by-chicago-linked-composer/ [ad_1] Andy Baker, UIC Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Theater and Music. When Andy Baker, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, came up with the idea to record Leo Sowerby’s early work, he never realized it would require him to undertake the expert sleuth. of a detective. While […]]]>


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Andy Baker, UIC Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Theater and Music.

When Andy Baker, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, came up with the idea to record Leo Sowerby’s early work, he never realized it would require him to undertake the expert sleuth. of a detective.

While Sowerby was a well-known composer for his mid-20th century church music when based at St. James’s Cathedral in Chicago, Baker was drawn to Sowerby’s unregistered classical pieces commissioned in the 1920s. to be performed by a jazz ensemble.

With partial funding from the UIC’s Awards for Creative Activity program, the Chicago conductor-trombonist got to work and formed the Andy Baker Orchestra, which included several colleagues and alumni of the UIC School of Music. , and recorded Sowerby’s “Synconata” and his Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, “Monotony”.

The resulting album, “Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions and Other Early Works,” was recently released by Chicago-based Cedille Records – which also helped fund the effort – with rave reviews, including its debut at No. 3 on the Billboard Traditional Albums chart. and # 10 on the Amazon Classical list.

“Sowerby is an important American composer, and these are major works of his early career that have never been recorded,” said Baker. “It was a bit of a detective job putting these scores and parts together and figuring out what was going on because the music had been played almost a hundred years ago and then put in a box.”

The pieces were originally commissioned by conductor Paul Whiteman to create a repertoire for his “Revolutionary Concerts” series whose commissions concurrently funded George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. Gershwin’s Classical and Synconata were both written in 1924, and Sowerby’s Four Movement Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, “Monotony,” followed in 1925.

After the New York premiere of “Synconata”, which Baker notes that one reviewer hailed as a more important piece than “Rhapsody in Blue,” the larger “Monotony” followed with its world premiere in Chicago.

The impetus to unearth these forgotten works began for Baker shortly after he joined UIC in 2012 and began discussing Sowerby with Francis Crociata, president of the Sowerby Foundation, with whom he is linked by alliance. . While Sowerby was dubbed the “dean of American religious music,” had won a Pulitzer Prize for music in 1946, and whose music was often performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Baker’s interest was more jazz. esoteric and the classic Sowerby connection.

Baker, born and raised in London, appeared on recordings and television shows at the age of 18 and toured Europe with the Ray Gelato Giants before moving to Chicago, where he joined the Jon Faddis. ‘Chicago Jazz Ensemble from 2006 to 2012 and has been a principal member of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project since 2010. In the early 2000s, Baker joined the faculties of Northwestern University and Elmhurst College and co-founded the groups BakerzMillion and the New Standard Jazz Orchestra. Returning to school to pursue his interests in education and composition, Baker obtained a Masters degree from DePaul University and then joined the UIC faculty full time.

Andy Baker, UIC Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Theater and Music.
“Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions and Other Early Works”, by Chicago-based Cedille Records.

Once Baker decided on the project, he had to try to find the musical scores – not an easy task due to the lack of published editions, including a final interpretive edition.

“None of these works had ever been recorded or performed professionally outside of the Whiteman ensemble,” Baker said. “A lot of the decisions I had to make were about how much jazz phrasing would be involved, especially in terms of swing rhythms and idioms. “

He managed to find the scores for “Synconata” and “Monotony” at Northwestern University, which listed the parts that often conflicted with the scores. Sowerby then produced a “Synconata” version for two pianos.

While the orchestral version “Synconata” had not been professionally recorded, a student performance was recorded at Northwestern University, but this version lacked a key first trumpet because the student who was to play on the piece was involved in a car accident on the way to the performance, Baker found out.

“There were handwritten scores and handwritten parts of the original performances, but there were a lot of changes shown in the scores and different kinds of changes in the parts of the performance,” Baker said. “I just tried to put it all together and figure out how to make the music work and make it all line up and make sense, and then see how we could record it.”

Likewise, he struggled to find a full score for Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, “Monotony”. The original design of this symphony included sets that called out a 6 foot tall metronome on the stage while the music played. Other sets included by Sowerby called for costumes, bells, and women holding up signs with the names of the four movements and walking across the stage as if to announce different rounds of a boxing match. Baker rejected all of these instructions.

The piece was also designed with constant momentum from start to finish throughout the duration of the piece, hence its name “Monotony”.

“The idea of ​​having something with a constant pulse for 20 minutes just isn’t interesting musically. He needs to breathe,” Baker said. “Looking at the sheet music and thinking about the music, this one- he immediately went out the window. “

In January 2020, during the UIC winter break and before COVID-19 blocked the music and recording rooms, he formed the Andy Baker Orchestra and recorded the album, which included colleagues from UIC School of Theater and Music: Ivana Bukvich, Kelly Langenberg, John Gaudette and Reed Capshaw. He also brought in UIC students Ephraim Champion and Vicki Beck to perform on the recording.

While the original goal was to supplement the album with other unregistered works by Sowerby for large ensembles, those plans had to be scrapped when COVID-19 shut down the orchestra – which ranged from 38 to around 45 musicians. – to meet in complete safety. Instead, the rest of the album consisted of smaller string pieces performed by a quartet that had been in residence at Northern Illinois University.

With the success of this album, Baker plans to record other tracks with his orchestra when it is safe to do so.

“I am delighted that he has received such good reviews; it’s exciting. You never know how something will land, ”Baker said.

Buy or stream Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions and Other Early Works.

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Death of the famous composer Mārtiņš Brauns / Article https://allanpettersson.org/death-of-the-famous-composer-martins-brauns-article/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://allanpettersson.org/death-of-the-famous-composer-martins-brauns-article/ Brauns, one of Latvia’s most beloved musical figures, celebrated his 70th birthday in September. He was born in Riga into a family of doctors and studied at the Emīls Dārziņš High School of Music in piano, choir and choir conducting classes, and at the music theory department, where he also studied composition. In 1970 he […]]]>

Brauns, one of Latvia’s most beloved musical figures, celebrated his 70th birthday in September. He was born in Riga into a family of doctors and studied at the Emīls Dārziņš High School of Music in piano, choir and choir conducting classes, and at the music theory department, where he also studied composition.

In 1970 he began studying at the Latvian State Conservatory Jāzeps Vītols, graduating in 1975.

Mārtiņš Brauns became known to the general public as a member and leader of various musical ensembles and groups, but the most productive years of his work were connected with the group “Sīpoli” – considered one of the best bands Latvians of all times. He also held a position as head of the music department of the Latvian National Theater and composed numerous works for stage and cinema as well as concert hall and choir.

His best-known work is “Sun, Thunder, Daugava”, which was written for a production of Rainis’ poem “Daugava” at the Valmiera Theater. It has established itself as part of the national canon and is considered by many to be something of a second national anthem.

Our condolences to his many friends, family and colleagues.

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