Pulse is 50% off for this week only. The sale ends on October 2 so make sure to get your copy today.
My new work for symphony orchestra, Hyperion, has won the University’s of Kansas’ biennial award, the Lawner Prize. Hyperion was selected after a reading session with the KU symphony. The work will be performed by the KU symphony sometime in the spring of 2015. Stay tuned for more details!
I wanted to quickly drop a list of up-coming performances in the next couple of months:
- On the Rocks – Thursday March 27 in Lawrence, KS – Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cellist
- …Then a Wind Blew… – Saturday April 5 in Winfield, KS
- Storm’s a’ Comin’ – Saturday April 12 in Lawrence, KS – Mickayla Chapman, clarinet
- Storm’s a’ Comin’ – Tuesday April 29 in Lawrence, KS – Helianthus New Music Ensemble – Mickayla Chapman, Clarinet
- Storm’s a’ Comin’ – Sunday August 3 in Baton Rouge, LA – Melissa Vaughan, ICA ClarinetFest
Anyone who happens to be in these areas is welcome to come by and see me!
I am very excited to announce that I will be receiving my New York Premier on May 19, 2013 at 1:00pm. My new work On the Rocks for solo cello was selected by Vox Novus for performance on their Composer’s Voice series. Craig Hultgren, long-time advocate of new music and purveyor of the avant guard, will be performing the work at Jan Hus Church, 351 East 74th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Avenues – Closest to 1st Ave.)
September 15, 2012 – In mid-November, New Orleans Fringe will present The Self-Portrait of Jonathan Jenkins, an operatic foray into the triumphs and tribulations of an idyllic artist. This never-before-seen opera will be premiered by a daring cast of New Orleanians proud of their cities heritage as America’s “First City of Opera.” Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at www.nofringe.org or at the performance location, Mardi Gras Zone.
The Self-Portrait of Jonathan Jenkins delves into the battle between the purity of art and success in business. Jonathan Jenkins is a young idealistic painter who is quickly swept off his feet by the art world. He is given publicity and acclaim for his work but realizes, perhaps too late, that there are other motives at work. One by one people claim his friendship, but do any of them have his best interests at heart? There’s the militaristic agent Raymond Richter who will make Jonathan a star no matter what the cost, the sensuous and manipulative Regine LaRoux who’s primary goal is her art gallery’s success, the over-eager reporter Alita Allegra who is more concerned with covering a good story than reporting the truth, and finally, the conniving lawyer Saxon Spellmeyer who has more stock in his paycheck than in Jonathan’s artistic merit.
Chris D Burton, the opera’s composer, is heavily involved in the production. Burton teaches Composition at UNO and his works have been featured in the Society of Composers, Inc (SCI) conferences and by Cultures in Harmony’s international outreaches. “Artistic purity is a topic that many of us have to wrestle with at some point in time,” admits the composer. “Every artist has to discover his or her own identity and figure out how to deal with the business side of their art. Now I’ve put it in an opera where everything is dramatic and fantastically over-the-top; isn’t that the perfect way to depict this? When an artist puts that much of themself on display, an impersonal business becomes very personal.”
The premiere is directed by Frances Rabalais, a young woman who has previously worked with New Orleans Opera Association, LSU Opera, Loyola New Orleans Opera, and Brevard Music Center among others. Rabalais remarks “I’m excited to be presenting this work and local opera singers in an unconventional setting. For many years, opera in New Orleans has been limited to large houses performing the standard repertoire. We will create a smaller, but equally meaningful opera for Fringe Fest. The Self-Portrait of Jonathan Jenkins is a work focusing on the often uneasy bedfellows of art and business, a relationship that holds greats personal meaning for New Orleans. We’ll have no trouble creating a fantastic, unusual, evening of opera.”
The Self-Portrait of Jonathan Jenkins is portrayed by a relatively small cast of performers. There are five lead roles that share the stage with a small battalion of supporting roles accompanied by musicians from the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra (NOVO). This is an intimate setting not often found in the large houses that dominate the opera world. The performers and audience are able to make a connection, making this premiere a perfect introductory opera for the curious and a reinforcement of opera’s relevance to the well-versed patron.
The Self Portrait of Jonathan Jenkins will be performed at Mardi Gras Zone Thursday November 15th at 7pm, Friday the 16th at 5pm, Saturday the 17th at 9pm, and Sunday the 18th at 11pm.
Two pieces will be performed at this year’s Society of Composers Region VI conference in Canyon, Texas. The pieces to be performed are my Trombone Choir “Reflections” and my Percussion Ensemble “Circus Suite.” The conference will take place at the West Texas A&M University campus in Canyon, Texas on October 5 and 6, 2012. Hope to see you there!
The current semester’s reading session for UNO students is focused on Brass instruments. Many of the students are working on Brass quintets at the moment and are looking forward to having them read through.
The reading will be held on the NOCCA campus on April 22nd from 2:00-3:30.
The University of Central Missouri hosted a New Pieces Project where composers were asked to write for young players to give them new repertoire and a chance to learn how to analyze and practice new music. The Mild Conundrum of Mr. Fliverty Chase, telling the story of the adventures of mysterious individual, was chosen for this project. It will be prepared by one of their students and recorded for an April recital.
I’ll tell you a little bit about the piece: I wanted to give the younger player something to use their imagination on. This piece actually has no set story line and, as you can see, a lot of story (or maybe just a little story) can be inferred from the title. I want the students who play the piece to figure out what they think Mr. Chase’s conundrum might be. I plan to continue the “Fliverty Chase” story-line at some point, so more keep an eye out for that.
String Quartet (2009) was recently chosen as a finalist selection for the Red Note Music Festival at Illinois State University. Though I did not win the contest, I was among the top 18 choices of 285 total entries. Congrats to Joseph Turrin:
The winning work is “Riffs and Fanfares,” by Joseph Turrin of Clifton, New Jersey. Mr. Turrin will receive the $750 prize, and a performance of his work by Fulcrum Point New Music Project during the RED NOTE New Music Festival in March 2012.
“String Quartet No. 1,” by Stylianos Dimou, of Rochester, NY, was named Runner-Up.
Honorable Mentions were awarded to:
“Ten Variations,” by Gilad Cohen of Princeton, NJ
“Parachute Dance,” by Stephen Feigenbaum of Winchester, MA
“Credo,” by Heeyoung Yang, of West Lafayette, IN