Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile Announced for Cedille Release

Cedille Records announced the release of Meanwhile by Stephen Hartke on an upcoming Eighth Blackbird album scheduled for 2012. The 17-minute work for flute, clarinet; viola, cello, percussion and piano incorporates various forms of Asian court and theater music from Japanese Bunraku, to Vietnamese water puppets, both Indonesian and Turkish shadow puppets, to classic Burmese court theater. Eighth Blackbird commissioned Meanwhile and has programmed the work frequently in concerts since its composition in 2007. Their new recording will represent the first commercial release. For more information regarding this or other compositions by Stephen Hartke, email Keiser Classical.

Petrushka Birthday Dance Celebrates Milestone Project

Last month, virtuoso composer and pianist Peng-Peng Gong enjoyed the debut of his new piano work Petrushka Birthday Dance, dedicated to Schott Chairman and Owner Peter Hanser-Strecher on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Gong was chosen among composers worldwide to contribute to the Petrushka Project, an unprecedented international live concert and commissioning initiative presented by Schott Music. The project boasts the premieres of 70 new solo piano pieces by a wide range of composers across the globe, affording a rare and unique opportunity for a wholesale international infusion of a huge variety of new piano music into the repertoire. Composers from 26 countries took part in the Petrushka Project 2012, which will be continued in the next years. For more information on the complete works of Peng-Peng Gong, contact Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.

Street Song Marks Fourth Major Release for El Muro

The fourth major release for Ricardo Lorenz’s El Muro (“The Wall”) for Wind Ensemble was announced on Wind Band Today. This latest recording from Naxos titled Street Song features the formidable University of Georgia Wind Ensemble led by conductor John Lynch. The album finds itself in the elite company of other top U.S. band conductors and ensembles which have recorded El Muro since its debut in 2009, including Michigan State/ Kevin Sedatole, University of Florida/ David Waybright, and the legendary North Texas Wind Symphony led by Eugene Corporon.

In his program notes, Lorenz writes: “El Muro humanizes those people that walls keep away by connecting them to their longstanding cultural traditions. As an adult I learned that these traditions breed soulful, exciting and sometimes even influential music capable of making even the most sturdy looking wall tumble down.” If the sheer talent and interest demonstrated by his impressive discography is any indication, Lorenz indeed has proven himself capable of toppling many walls to reach a wider audience. El Muro is published by Lauren Keiser Music.

YouTube-Freund describes “Sunscapes'” Musical Language

Award-winning composer and Indiana University Professor of Composition Don Freund presents a series of videos on various music composition topics. Here, Freund demonstrates the spectrum of fifths concept and their employment in his work Sunscapes for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra by exploring motifs from the first movement. The concerto was inspired by the scintillating brilliance and warmth of the sun at Hua Hin, Thailand’s royal beach resort, coinciding with plans to write a concerto for alto saxophone, which happens to be the beloved instrument of the King of Thailand. Sunscapes was written for David Effron, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and Saxophonist Joe Lulloff and is available from Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.

Meira Warshauer Album Review: Living, Breathing Earth

WHQR Radio’s Elise Seifert brings us this review of Meira Warshauer’s album Living, Breathing Earth, featuring two of the composer’s recent orchestral pieces. The recording is titled after her Symphony No. 1: Living, Breathing Earth, which we highlighted in our July 2011 announcement. For more information on Meira Warshauer’s symphony, email Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.