Donald Crockett: BMOP CD Review, Fall 2015 Updates

Blue Earth CD

“Blue Earth,” recorded on BMOP Sound (1042)

Donald Crocket’s new CD Blue Earth was released in May on BMOP/sound (#1042).  With performances by violist Kate Vincent, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project directed by Gil Rose, the recording has been well reviewed by “Gramophone” in their September 2015 issue.  Additionally, on July 8th, 2015, he was interviewed by Jim Svejda on KUSC Classical about his new CD, how he comes up with the perfect title and why he thinks the viola gets a bad rap. The album contains Crockett’s works Wedge, Viola Concerto, and Blue Earth, all published by Keiser Classical.

Donald Crockett will make two stops in a trip to Ohio this fall, first at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) from Oct 29th – Nov 2nd, with performances by the CIM New Music Ensemble of Whistling in the Dark, to be sung on the water, and to airy thinness beat with CIM faculty member, viola soloist Kirsten Doctor.  Then from Nov 2nd – 3rd he visits Oberlin Conservatory, working with composition students and presenting his new CD’s music to Stephen Hartke’s Composition Studio Class.

On Nov 19th and 21st, Don will be in New York City as vocal ensemble C4 performs his choral piece Daglarym/My Mountains on two concerts.  These performances will be followed by a recording session of the piece for C4’s upcoming second CD.  The work is available from your favorite retailer or through Hal Leonard.

2015 Birthdays and Anniversaries

BalloonsComposer milestone dates we honor and celebrate this year include~

Bruce Adolphe’s 60th birthday Jun. 1

Donald Crockett’s 60th birthday Apr. 1

Robert Dick’s 65th birthday Jan. 4

Bernhard Heiden’s 15th anniversary of death Apr. 30

Michael Schelle’s 65th birthday Jan. 22

David Schiff’s 70th birthday Aug. 30

Judith Lang Zaimont’s 70th birthday Nov. 8

Donald Crockett – MOMA premiere, Bennington

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), NYC

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), NYC

July 6 – to airy thinness beat for viola and six instruments at the opening concert of the Museum of Modern Art Summer Garden series in New York. Joel Sachs leads members of the New Juilliard Ensemble. Materials for this work can be obtained from our rental department.

July 24 – August 17 – he will again be at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College as Senior Composer in Residence. On July 26, the CMC’s Faculty Artist Concert Series will present Crockett’s  Celestial Mechanics for oboe and string quartet. Additionally, he will conduct Resident Composer Ted Hearne’s piece, crispy gentlemen, on the August 2 concert.

Fall/Spring 2014/15 – performances are lining up for the Dance Concerto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, commissioned by a consortium of 22 college and university wind ensembles. For more information on Donald Crockett’s works, please contact Keiser Classical.

Donald Crockett Spring 2014 update

Composer Donald CrockettDonald Crockett’s Blue Earth for orchestra will be performed by The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose conductor at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall on March 28. A recording session follows on April 2 for an all-Crockett disc to be released on the BMOP Sound label. Crockett will be the visiting composer in residence at NEC during the same week.

The version of Dance Concerto for clarinet/bass clarinet and wind ensemble has begun its run with the premiere performance by the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble, H. Robert Reynolds, conductor and Stefan Van Sant, soloist on February 9. Commissioned by a consortium of 22 wind ensembles nationwide, the premiere run will continue through the 2014/15 season at schools such as Eastman, University of Michigan, University of Texas, Hartt School, University of Maryland, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Michigan State, Arizona State and many others. For more information on Donald Crockett’s music, contact Keiser Classical.

Recent Contemporary Works by Composer

For more information about any of these works, please write to Lauren Keiser Music.

Composer Bruce AdolpheBRUCE ADOLPHE

    Do You Dream in Color? (2009) 20′
Mezzo-Soprano, Piano
Composed to a poem by blind Mezzo-Soprano Laurie Rubin, “Do You Dream in Color” is both a personal memoir and a celebration of the human spirit.

    Emma and the Blue Baku (2012) 40′
3 Child Sopranos, 2 Child Altos, 2 Sopranos, Baritone: Vibraphone, Marimba, Piano, Harpsichord, Harp
In her sleep, an eight year old girl named Emma encounters a blue dream-eating monster called the Baku. The story by James Bradburne relates the sometimes frightening challenges of growing up and the power a child’s dreams can give them to overcome their own fears and doubt.

    Farmony (2006) 5′
String Quartet with kids’ audience participation
A short interactive string quartet especially for youth concerts where kids in the audience pretend to be farm animals. Written for Sharon Roffman and the Stone Barns Quartet.

    Flutogram (2011) 10′
Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Alto Flute
Flutogram was written as a tribute to flutist Carol Wincenc, who was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Flute Association Convention 2011. The two movements for piccolo, 2 flutes and alto flute are both based on the letters of her name and total about 10 minutes performance time.

    Piano Concerto (2012) 20′
Piano Solo: 1+1.2+1.2.2: Timp: Str
Dedicated to John Kimura Parker. 3 movements, approx. 20 minutes. Complete performance materials available on rental. Full score and piano reduction available for sale from the publisher.

    Piano Puzzlers (2012)
Brand-new edition of Bruce Adolphe’s Piano Puzzlers as heard on Public Radio’s “Performance Today”. Includes 32 tunes with songs by Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Porter, Rodgers, Fats Waller, Lennon & McCartney, and others disguised in the styles of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Copland. Introduction by Fred Child, Host of American Public Media’s “Performance Today”.


    The Face (2012) 80′
Cast: Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Bass. Ensemble: Flute (dPicc, AFl, BFl), Horn, 1 Percussion, Guitar(dAGtr, EGtr-slide), Piano, Violin, Cello, Double Bass
A ficticious present-day poet living in Venice Beach struggles with the loss of his lover and the unraveling of his personal life while he participates in the filming of a documentary about his career. The opera combines musical theater, choreography, and an original silent film which is projected onto the stage as a key dramatic element in the story.


    Five Elizabethan Dances from “Romeo and Juliet” (2011) 6′
2+1.2.2+Eb Cl, BCl.2: AATB Saxes: Euph.2: Perc(5)
Five Elizabethan Dances is drawn from the music that sets the scene and provides the accompaniment for the Ballroom Scene from Don Freund’s Romeo and Juliet: A Shakespearean Music Drama for singing actors and piano. The style of the dances is freely drawn from dances found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (music from ca. 1562 to 1612), spiced up with changing meters and chromatic twists of melody and harmony reflecting a more recent musical language. Each of the dances represents a pivotal scene-within-a-scene.


    String Requiem (2011) 10′
String Orchestra (suggested
Peng-Peng Gong’s 10-minute requiem was composed in 2011, dedicated to the memory of the composer’s grandmother.


    Canzonetta (2011) 4′
Solo Trumpet: Perc(2): Str. Solo part may be divided among trumpet section.
Schiff’s Canzonetta is a four-minute jazz-style solo for trumpet with strings, four horns and two percussionists, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony in honor of conductor Gerard Schwarz’s farewell season. The solo part may optionally be divided among a full orchestral trumpet section.

    Class of 1915 (2011) 12′
Flute(dPicc), Clarinet(dBCl), Violin, Cello, Piano
“Class of 1915” was written in celebration of the dual centenaries of Reed College and Arnold Schoenberg’s celebrated work, “Pierrot Lunaire.” Though the work shares the same instrumentation, which has become popular among new music ensembles, Schiff’s work is a celebration of popular song and dance styles from themid-1910′s arranged in a suite that makes an ideal curtain-raiser for “Pierrot” concerts.


    A Conscious Stream (2011) 6′
Flute, Piano
Conscious Stream is a six-minute work for flute and piano, commissioned by Alberto Almarza

    Go for Two (2012) 8′
Alto Saxophone, Piano

Go for Two for alto saxophone and piano consists of two contrasting movements: “Warmly” is a lyrical andante followed by a fast rhythmic second movement titled “Driving”.

    Sizzle for Solo Percussion and 8 Winds (2011) 15′
Perc Solo: Flute(dPicc), Oboe, Clarinet(dEbCl), Soprano Sax(dAsax), Horn, C Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba
Sizzle is a five movement concerto for percussion with eight wind and brass players, 15 minutes.

    Taking Sides (2011) 22′
2 Violin Soli: Perc(2): Str
Taking Sides is a 22 minute concerto for two violins, strings and percussion, commissioned by the New Haven Symphony and the Erie Philharmonic for its 100th Anniversary.

    You Shall Have Nothing but Joy (2011) 2′
Mezzo-Soprano, Piano
Written for Mirit Shana Spilker in honor of her Bat Mitzvah, You Shall Have Nothing but Joy is an adaptation of Jewish Liturgical text. Duration ca. 2′.


    The Darkness of Fury (2012) 5′
2(2dPicc).2(1dEH).2.2: 4(+opt Hn5).3.3.1: Timp.Perc(2): Str
The Darkness of Fury is a contemplation of the brutality of war, especially the wars of the Middle East since 1948. Following a brief and violent introduction, a terse chromatic “Fugue from Hell” ensues–demons chasing demons. A romantic transition played by the strings is a fleeting ray of hope for peace. But this is short lived as the Fugue returns bringing the piece to its brutal and violent end.


    Let America Be America Again (2012) 11′
Narrator: 2+ Timp.Perc(1): Str
Let America Be America Again is a powerful orchestral setting with narration of the famous poem by African-American poet/playwright, Langston Hughes.


    Time is a Two-Way Street (2004) 13′
2 Flutes
A richly expressive and evocative flute duo, “Time is a Two-Way Street” is an audience favorite, dialoguing the contrasting elements of Japanese-inspired flute music with very futuristic multiphonic sections. Within the technical grasp of flutists with an elementary multiphonic technique, the duo was commissioned by Jun Kubo in 2004 and premiered by Robert Dick and Jun Kubo at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York.


    Cello Concerto (2012) 20′
Cello Solo: Timp: Str
Written for Cellist Nick Jones, Peter Liewen’s Cello Concerto was premiered by the Orion Orchestra at Musicfest 2012 in Wales.

    Overland Dream for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (2011) 14′
Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano
Described by the San Antonio Current as “a stirring single movement piece,” Overland Dream was premiered at the Texas Music Teachers Association Conference by the SOLI Chamber Ensemble. Length approx. 14 min.


    Celebration (2011) 8′ Timp.Perc(3).Pno: Str
A companion piece to Resolution to celebrate the composer’s wife of reaching the five year mark of being cancer free. Duration ca. 8′; composed 2011. Premiered May 2012 with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The Great Divide (2009) 15′ Perc(2).Pno: Str
Two-movement piece based on C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. Premiered by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Peter Stafford Wilson, Music Director. Duration ca. 15′; composed 2009.


The Face is a new and innovative opera by Donald Crockett with libretto by David St. John that enjoyed recent staged premiere and concert performances on both coasts. We’d like to share these reviews offered by journalists attending the performances, brought to us by The Face’s publicist Helane Anderson. For more information on performances or perusal materials, please contact Keiser Classical.

October 2012 Performances

October 2012
4          David Stock – Taking Sides
New Haven Symphony Orchestra – World Premiere, 2 perf. Ani and Ida Kavafian, Violins; William Boughton, Conductor
5          Lalo Schifrin – Sinfonia Concertante (Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra)
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra – 4 performances. Angel Romero, Guitar; Stephen Gunzenhauser
6          George Walker – Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra
Sinfonia da Camera – Performance/ Recording Session. Ian Hobson, Conductor
7          Claude Baker – Märchenbilder
Indiana University – Arthur Fagen, Conductor
9          Eric Ewazen – Concerto for Tuba or Bass Trombone and Orchestra
Drake University – Grady McGrannahan, Bass Tbn; Akira Mori, Conductor
11        George Walker – Lyric for Strings
Fort Wayne Philharmonic – Sameer Patel, Conductor
14        Donald Crockett – Night Scenes
            Ensemble X – Barnes Hall, Cornell University
17        George Walker – Lyric for Strings
National Symphony Orchestra – 14 performances. Ankush Bahl, Conductor
18        David Ott – Concerto for Two Cellos and Orchestra
UMKC Conservatory – Carter Enyeart, Wesley Baldwin, Cellos; Robert Olson, Conductor
20        Emma Lou Diemer – Santa Barbara Overture
Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra – 2 perf. Nir Kabaretti, Conductor
20        Michael Schelle – Samurai
Bradley University – Andrew King, Conductor
20        George Walker – Lyric for Strings
Symphony of Southeast Texas – Chelsea Tipton, Conductor
23        Donald Crockett – The Cinnamon Peeler
Sequitur – Mary Nessinger, Soloist
23        David Stock – Into the Whirlwind for Flute, Cello, Vibes and Percussion
            Frostburg State University – Pamela Murchison, Fl; Barney Culver, Vc; Scott Christian, Perc
27        Eric Ewazen – Shadowcatcher for Brass Quintet and Band
West Liberty University – American Brass Quintet; Matthew Inkster, Conductor
27        Adolphus Hailstork – American Guernica
Interlochen Arts Academy – Matthew Schlomer, Conductor
28        David Rimelis – The Cool Ghoul
Oklahoma City Philharmonic – Matt Troy, Conductor
30        David Ott – Concerto for Two Cellos and Orchestra
            Portland, Maine Symphony Orchestra – Joel Noyes, Brian Thornton, Celli; Robert Moody, Conductor