Oct 03 2013

Contemporary Music Festival

poster_tab091613Next week’s Contemporary Music Festival at James Madison University will feature two premieres of mine: my piano trio Connotations and my mixed chamber ensemble piece Six Memos for the New Millennium. You may have seen a movement of this on the audio page, so how can it really be a premiere? I began the piece in 2007 for the New Millennium Ensemble, but only completed two movements. Only those two movements were performed back in 2007, and I didn’t come back to finish this piece until this year, when I had the great fortune to have the American Modern Ensemble offer to perform it. They have already played it once, in September at Lafayette College, so this performance will technically be only a Virginia premiere, but I’m calling it a “premiere” nevertheless.


Aug 15 2013

Upcoming performances

Staunton Music Festival - Blackfriars Playhouse

Staunton Music Festival – Blackfriars Playhouse

The Staunton Music Festival starts this weekend, and once again I am fortunate enough to have a piece on the program. This year, my solo flute piece Axis Mundi will be performed on a concert on Sunday, August 18. Best of all, it’s free, with a reception afterward.

Also, my piece for mixed sextet, Six Memos for the New Millennium, will be played by the American Modern Ensemble on October 8 at James Madison University. AME are the guest artists at our 33rd annual Contemporary Music Festival. The festival will also include a premiere of my piano trio, Connotations, on October 9. I’ll post a link to the full schedule of the festival when it goes up.

Nov 07 2012

Elliott Carter, 1908-2012

Many tributes and reflections on the significance of Carter have been penned already, including this remembrance in the New York Times. So I won’t try to do anything like that, but instead, I will just say that for me personally, Carter’s music serves as a constant reminder that uncompromising complexity has a place in art. It carves out a vast space where modernism is not only still permissible, but relevant. Carter was the last of the true modernists of this country, after Ives and Varèse. What role his aesthetic will play in the future is up to all the composers out there who hear and respond to it, which is to say, all of us.

Jul 06 2012

New Moon, End of October

The audio of Berliner Cappella’s performance of my new choral piece is now up at the audio page. Have a listen…

Apr 04 2012

Choral première

I was commissioned to write a choral piece for the Berliner Cappella recently, and they have just premièred it in Panama City. The choir is there also to perform the Brahms Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra of Panama. My piece will be performed again in Berlin on April 22–see the poster below for details. The piece is called New Moon, End of October, and it is a setting of a brief, vivid poem by Laurie Kutchins, who is on the English faculty at James Madison University. Check back here for a recording soon…

Mar 20 2012

Violin Sonata

Forbes Center Recital Hall

A recording of my new Violin Sonata, performed by Wanchi Huang and myself, is up at the audio page.

Feb 05 2012

Debussy at the Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center

CC licensed image by laura padgett

Some of my colleagues from James Madison University put on a wonderful program of Debussy’s music yesterday at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. You can watch the Kennedy Center’s own video of the performance here.

Jan 24 2012

Violin Sonata Première

CC licensed image by mitch98000

Violinist Wanchi Huang and I are giving a recital February 14 (yes, Valentine’s Day) at 8:00 pm in the Forbes Performing Arts Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The program features the première of my Violin Sonata, as well as Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Mozart’s oboe quartet.

Tickets are available here.

Jan 19 2012

John Cage would be proud

Bartholomäus Traubeck, who is primarily a visual artist, came up with a way of using a turntable to translate the rings of a tree-slice into music. The piece is called “Years.” I’m not sure how the algorithm works, but it appears to map everything onto a c-minor scale. (h/t BoingBoing)

Nov 20 2011

Axis Mundi

CC licensed image by ken2754@Yokohama

A recording of my solo flute piece Axis Mundi, played beautifully by my colleague Beth Chandler, has been posted on the audio page.

The title was inspired by a sculpture I saw at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, which reminded me of a flute stood on end. I can’t recall the artist’s name, and there are apparently a number of well-known sculptures with this title. If anyone knows the artist I’m talking about, please leave me a comment!

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