Gwyneth Walker “When the Spirit Sings” New Chamber Music Album

Composer Gwyneth WalkerA new album of Gwyneth Walker’s chamber music, When the Spirit Sings, is being released by Centaur Records in 2016.  Recorded by Musica Harmonia, it features many of Walker’s best-known string chamber works, including A Vision of Hills for piano trio, Letters to the World for piano quartet, and the title work When the Spirit Sings for piano trio.  A newly-composed piece for string trio and clarinet entitled The Peacemakers completes the album.

Gwyneth Walker is currently on several new compositions in 2016, including a symphonic work for the Holyoke Civic Orchestra in Massachusetts, to be premiered in October of 2016, and various string chamber and orchestral works.

Reza Vali Premieres, New CD Release, and Spring 2016 Update

Reza Vali Segah bow

Composer Reza Vali takes a bow at the premiere of his work Segah

Reza Vali has been busy with two world premieres as part of the 2016 Segâh Festival of Persian and Turkish Music in Pittsburgh.  The first, Segâh, Double Concerto for Persian Ney, Kamanche, and Orchestra, was premiered on January 15 at the Carnegie Hall by Khosrow Soltani on the Ney, Kian Soltani playing Kamanche, and the Segiah Festival Ensemble conducted by Daniel Curtis.  The second, Sornâ (Folk Songs, Set No. 17), received its world premiere performance on January 16 at the Alumni Concert Hall.  It was premiered by Ismail Lumanovski on solo clarinet and the Hoppa Project ensemble under the baton of Erberk Eryilmaz.  For more information on either of these works, please contact Keiser Classical.

Ashoob (Calligraphy No. 14) for Santoor (Persian hammer dulcimer) and string quartet will receive its world premiere on March 18 – 20, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  It will be performed by Dariush Saghafi on Persian Santoor and the Carpe Diem String Quartet.  For more information on this work, please contact Keiser Classical.

A new CD of Reza Vali’s chamber works, called The Book of Calligraphy, was released by Albany Records on December 1, 2015.

Adolphe “Einstein’s Light” and Spring Update

FollowinEinstein's Light front coverg the release of Imaginary Films’ documentary motion picture by Nicholas Barris Einstein’s Light in November 2015, the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s score took place on 11/25/2015 in Amsterdam.  Keiser Classical is releasing this month the exclusive violin and piano edition, with bowings and fingerings by Joshua Bell. For more information on the new issue, please write to us.

Einstein was a violinist all his life. In the motion picture “Einstein’s Light”, filmmaker Nickolas Barris and composer Bruce Adolphe set out to communicate Einstein’s dedication to the violin and his particular love for the music of Mozart and Bach.

This collection of music composed for the soundtrack is based on phrases from those two great masters that spin off into physics-inspired dreams and thoughts. It contains a poignant solo violin piece based on music by Bach and four pieces for violin and piano that are based on phrases from Mozart’s music. The composer includes one work in particular, the Mozart Violin Sonata K. 378, notable because the only extant recording of Einstein playing the violin contains the slow movement from this sonata. The soundtrack to “Einstein’s Light” was recorded by Joshua Bell and Marija Stroke on Sony Classical Records.

Additional recent and future performances of include: Off The Hook Arts in Colorado on 2/13/2016, 2/14/2016, and 2/16/2016, where violinist Clara Lyon played the first two dates, Emily Ondracek-Peterson (seen here playing “Einstein’s Light” courtesy of Colorado Public Radio) performed the third, and composer Bruce Adolphe accompanied on piano for all three.  The New York premiere is presented by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and will take place in Alice Tully Hall on 2/28/2016 in a program dedicated to introducing Einstein’s love of Mozart’s music to children and families.  And a performance will take place at the Museum of Mathematics in New York on 9/14/2016, featuring Mark Steinberg on violin and Marija Stroke on piano.  Available from Keiser Classical in mid-March; email us for details.

Bruce Adolphe is currently composing an opera in collaboration with the novelist Richard Powers, author of Orfeo and The Time of Our Singing, among many other novels. Scenes from the opera, called “The Origin”, will be previewed at the Off the Hook Arts Festival in Colorado in June, 2016, featuring soprano Christie Conover and tenor Joseph Gaines.

Bruce Adolphe has recently composed a work commissioned by violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv. The piece, called “Fantasia Krushelnytska”, is inspired by the life of Solomiya Krushelnytska, the great Ukrainian soprano whose career was cut short by the Soviet occupation.

Adolphe’s Suite for Pete, a solo guitar work in four movements dedicated to the memory of Pete Seeger and inspired by his work in civil rights, will be premiered by Eliot Fisk at the Off the Hook Arts Festival in Colorado in June 2016.

Bruce recently teamed up with Kal, the political cartoonist of The Economist and Baltimore Sun, for a series of improvisational interactions between Tunes and Cartoons, featuring Kal’s drawings and Bruce’s piano puzzlers, as well as spontaneous simultaneous improvisations based on audience suggestions. This took place in Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado, in January, 2016.  Piano Puzzlers is available through Keiser Classical.

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra performed both Tough Turkey in the Big City and Red Dogs and Pink Skies in the middle of last November, 2015.  Contact our rental department to inquire after performance materials.

Claude Baker Premieres and AGO Award

Claude BakerClaude Baker’s “Hor che’l ciel e la tera” for 24 voice chorus and four percusionists was premiered in January of 2015.  A “re-imagining” of the second work in Claudio Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals, masterpiece Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (Madrigals of War and Love), the piece was commissioned and premiered by the NOTUS, and elite contemporary vocal ensemble at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  A recording will be released on the IUMusic label.  Performance materials will be available this spring from Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.

Recently, Claude Baker was selected as the winner of the inaugural Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Composition Competition sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.  The new work written as a result of the prize will be given its world premiere on the recently installed Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Organ at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on March 13, 2016.  The performer on that occasion will be Kola Owolabi, Professor of Organ at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Contact us for more information on this piece.

In other recent news, the European premiere of Baker’s piano concerto, From Noon to Starry Night was given at the Staatskapelle Halle in Germany on January 24 and 25 with Claire Huangci as the soloist and Mario Venzago conducting.

Stephen Hartke’s “Blue Studio” NYC Premiere, Spring Updates

Hartke and Cinny

The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble will give Stephen Hartke’s The Blue Studio its New York premiere on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  The world premiere was given by the Network for New Music in February 2015, performance video here. The work for violin, cello and piano is inspired by Matisse’s depiction of his own studio, called “Studio with goldfish”.  The music gives the sense to the listener that they are visiting the composer’s studio, leafing through each of the five movements as if they were a portfolio of drawings.  Available this Spring from Keiser Classical.

Keiser Classical is issuing new editions of the “Stephen Hartke Piano Album” in two volumes.  Vol. 1: Collected Works covers more than thirty years of the composer’s considerable output of shorter works for solo piano.  The second volume brings together two very distinctive sonatas: Sonata for Solo Piano (1998) composed for and recorded by Vicki Ray on CRI records, and Sonata for Piano Four-Hands (2014), which was written for the piano duet team of Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss.  Both volumes will be available from Keiser Classical in late March.

Stephen Harkte’s A Brandenburg Autumn (video of 2nd movement) was performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) on 1/22/2016 at Jordan Hall in Boston.  Contact our rental department to inquire after performance materials.

Additionally in January, Stephen Hartke completed a residency as Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at University of Miami.  Concerts on 1/30/2016 featured three works: Gradus, The Horse with the Lavender Eye and Wulfstan at the Millennium.  Please contact any preferred dealer or Hal Leonard to order Gradus and The Horse with the Lavender Eye.  Please contact our rental department for materials or more information about Wulfstan at the Millennium.

February 16- 18, Stephen Hartke served as Guest Composer with the Contemporary Music Festival taking place at James Madison University.  This festival included performances of Gradus, Sonata for Piano, Iglesia abandonada, Audistis quia dictum est, and Wulfstan at the Millennium.

On February 27th, conductor Raphael Jimenez conducted Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 at Oberlin Conservatory with soprano Amber Monroe and organist Jonathan Moyer as soloists.  This performance was also available on live webcast.  Contact our rental department for materials or more information.

Stephen will be the Visiting Composer at the University of Southern California March 23-25.  Then he will travel to the University of Utah to act as the Maurice Abravanel Visiting Composer in Residence from March 28-29.  The visit will include a performance of The King of the Sun, available from a preferred dealer or Hal Leonard.

Stephen Hartke is guest composer at the RED NOTE New Music Festival (link to festival website) in Illinois in the first weekend of April, 2016.  Aside from his work with the composition students, four of his works will be performed that weekend: Percolative Processes (link to video) for percussion ensemble, Wir küssen Ihnen tausendmal die Hände: Homage to Mozart for mixed sextet, Grammy award winning Meanwhile: Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays for mixed sextet, and Pacific Rim (link to video) for full orchestra.  Contact our rental department for more information or materials.

On April 14-15, Stephen will visit Cornell University as Guest Composer.  The event will include performances of “The Blue Studio and Sonata for Piano Four-Hands, both titles that will soon be available from Keiser Classical.

Over the summer, Stephen Hartke will serve as Composer/Mentor for American Composer Orchestra’s (ACO) Whitaker Readings from June 12-15.  He will also join the faculty at Aspen Music School in July/ August, dates to be announced.

On November 21, the Brentano String Quartet will give the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s From the Fifth Book at the Frankfurter Holzhausenschlosschen in Frankfurt, Germany.

David Schiff Two New Work Premieres

Composer David Schiff

Composer David Schiff

David Schiff enjoyed two premieres over Summer 2015 in Portand.  Five Pieces and a Ghost from Debussy’s Children’s Corner for clarinet and string quartet was premiered on July 2 at the Portland Art Museum as part of Chamber Music Northwest summer music, performed by the David Shifrin on clarinet with the Jasper String Quartet.  Also, Nonet No. 2 for Reed Quintet and String Quartet, also part of Chamber Music Northwest, was premiered on July 23, 2015 by the Dover String Quartet and Akropolis Reed Quintet.

Both titles available this Spring from Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.  Please contact the publisher for details.

Peng-Peng Gong Fifth Symphony Premiere

Gong 5th Symphony bowPeng-Peng Gong’s grand Fifth Symphony received its world premiere on 12/13/2015 with the Shanghai Philharmonic, Liang Zhang conducting.  Exploring the tragic, violent and ugly nature of war through World War II and the Second Sino-Japanese War, this large work combines virtually every genre of classical music- symphony, sonata, concerto, aria, art song, grand cantata, and chamber music.  Soloists for the premiere included Xiao Liu on violin, Chu Yi-bing on cello, the composer himself playing piano, soprano Lei Xu, and tenor Jingma Fan.  The Violin Sonata and Violin Concerto sections of the symphony will be available from Lauren Keiser Music Publishing this Spring; email us for details.