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.

David Stock – A Thanksgiving Memorial

David Stock

Composer David Stock (1939-2015)

In this season of Thanksgiving, we honor the life and music of David Stock, who was a leading composer and champion of contemporary music for more than five decades. Stock passed away much too soon from complications arising from a stroke on November 2, 2015 at the age of 76. With his family, friends, and colleagues, we mourn the loss of his formidable voice with sorrow. We offer this humble remembrance, rejoicing that his bright spirit remains among us, embodied in his music.

David Stock (b. June 3, 1939, Pittsburgh) was  Professor Emeritus, Duquesne University, where he conducted the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. He was a graduate of the Carnegie Institue (now Carnegie-Mellon University) were he met fellow composer and lifelong colleague Tom McKinley. Stock has been Composer‑in‑Residence of the Pittsburgh Symphony,  the Seattle Symphony and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and is Conductor Laureate of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME), which he founded in 1976. His catalog of works containing over 170 titles includes six symphonies, 13 string quartets, a dozen concerti for various instruments, much chamber  solo, and orchestral music, and work for  dance, theater, TV and film. Stock served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and as a host of Da Capo, a weekly series on WQED‑FM in Pittsburgh. In 1992 he was honored with the Creative Achievement Award for Outstanding Artist by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

David Stock was well known as a mentor to young composers through his roles at PNME and Duquesne in addition to his work as a composer. Always generous with his time giving support and advice to up and coming talent, he remained humble and charmed all who knew him with an intelligence and self-deprecating sense of humor despite his many accomplishments. “His willingness to commission the works of young composers made an indelible mark on the new music world,” said his former student Reza Vali, who received his first commission from Mr. Stock in 1984.

David Stock remained prolific throughout his career including this year, when he completed his Thirteenth String Quartet; Wind Power for Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Bassoon; Four of a Kind for Saxophone Quartet; and his Second Chamber Concerto for Trumpet, Two Pianos and Two Percussion.

This December, Louisiana State University will premiere his work Double Take for Alto Saxophone, Percussion and Wind Ensemble featuring saxophonist Griffin Campbell and percussionist Brett Dietz, one of Stock’s former students and longtime friends. The concert will be conducted by Damon Talley and will include a memorial given by Mr. Dietz. David Stock had made plans to attend  this important event before his health began to decline.

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) will be releasing an album consisting of three of Stock’s concerti in January 2016. The recording will feature performances by each respective work’s dedicatee, including Concierto Cubano for Violin and String Orchestra (performed by Andres Cardenes), Percussion Concerto (performed by Lisa Pegher), and Oborama (performed by Alex Klein). The recordings are conducted by BMOP’s Music Director, Gil Rose. Further details to be announced.

David Stock’s considerable body of compositions are infused with influences from the ancient past to the most vital present, including Sephardic and Jewish traditions, modern jazz, minimalism, and the full gamut of tonal palettes found in the music of the last century.

Selected Discography
click to listen

Stock American Classics Little MiracleA Little Miracle (2006)
Berlin Radio Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Elizabeth Shammash, Richard Stoltzman, Staphen Burns
Naxos Milken Archive, 8.559422
A Little Miracle, Tekiah, Yerusha, Yizkor


Stock American AccentsAmerican Accents (2004)
Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz
Innova, 586
American Accents
Symphony No. 2
Viola Concerto


Schiff Stock Echoes NaxosEchoes (2011)
Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz
Naxos, 8.559679
Plenty of Horn



Stock EncoresEncores (2010)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Dorian Sono Luminus, DSL-92108
Suenos de Sefarad



Stock Perc LSUIn Motion: The Percussion Music of David Stock (2011)
LSU Percussion Ensemble/ Brett Dietz, et al
Cat Crisis Records (884501642170)
Breathless, Double Bars, Four Corners, Rosewood Reflections, Shadow Music, Starlight, Strike Swinging, Three Vignettes, U-Turn


Stock Mountain RoadsMountain Roads (2001)
Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet
Albany, Troy412
Sax Appeal



Stock Speaking ExtravagantlySpeaking Extravagantly (2002)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Innova 563
Speaking Extravagantly (String Quartet No. 2), String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet No. 4


Stock String Quartets 5-6-7String Quartets (2010)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Albany, Alb 1188
String Quartets, Nos. 5-7



Stock Violin Concerto AlbanyViolin Concertos (2009)
Andres Cardenes, Violin; Sinfonia Varsovia/ Ian Hobson
Albany, Troy 1148
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra



Elizabeth Bloom at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette composed this stirring obituary, showing how beloved Mr. Stock and his music remain in the hearts of so many. David Stock’s works are proudly published by Keiser Classical.


Reza Vali: Six World Premieres and a New CD

Reza Vali

Composer Reza Vali

Two Reza Vali’s compositions will receive their world premiers in Pittsburgh during the Segâh Festival of Persian and Turkish Music in January 2016.  These include “Segâh, Double Concerto for Persian Ney, Kamanche, and Orchestra”, which will be premiered on January 15, 2016 by Khosrow Soltani playing Ney, Kian Soltani playing Kamanche, and the Segâh Festival Ensemble conducted by Daniel Curtis.  And “Sornâ (Folk Songs, Set No. 17), for Persian Wind Instruments and Ensemble” will be premiered on January 16, 2016 by Khosrow Soltani playing Persian wind instruments, and the Hoppa Project Ensemble conducted by Erberk Eryilmaz. For more information on these works contact Keiser Classical.

“The Ancient Call (Calligraphy No. 13)” for microtonal trumpet and orchestra was performed by Neal Berntsen and the Brevard Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, on July 8th, 2015 at the Brevard Festival.  The work requires the use of a specially designed trumpet that can perform 24 notes per octave.  Please contact our rental department for inquiries.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra premiered “Funebre” on July 1st, 2015.  Please contact our rental department for inquiries.

“Ashoob (Calligraphy No. 14) for Santoor and String Quartet” will premiere in Columbus, Ohio in 2016.  Dariush Saghafi will play the Santoor (Persian hammer dulcimer), accompanied by the Carpe Diem String Quartet.

The Carpe Diem String Quartet commissioned and will premiere a new work by Reza Vali, “Raak (Calligraphy No. 15)”, during their 2016-2017 concert season. A new CD of Reza Vali’s chamber works titled “The Book of Calligraphy” will soon be released by Albany Records.





Three Reza Vali Premieres

Composer Reza ValiReza Vali’s Cello Concerto, The Dervish and the Magus receives its World Premiere in Hohenems, Austria on July 4, 2015. Cellist Kian Soltani, to whom the rewritten work was dedicated, will be accompanied by the Arpeggione Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Stephen Guntzenhauser. The Dervish and The Magus was written in 1994 and revised in 2012. The cello concerto is composed in form of music for an imaginary ballet in seven scenes consisting of three characters. The Dervish, a holy and pure character, is represented by the cello throughout the concerto. The Magus is the scheming and evil second character, its entrances marked by harsh and dissonant harmonies in the orchestra. Finally, the “Folk” is the rather naive character represented by a traditional song throughout the composition.

The Brevard, NC Festival Orchestra, led by Keith Lockhard, will premiere Vali’s The Ancient Call for micro-tonal trumpet and orchestra on July 8, 2015. The work, which is subtitled Calligraphy No. 13, was written for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s trumpet virtuoso Neal Berntsen. The specially-designed micro-tonal instrument featured in the piece can perform up to 24 notes per octave. The fundamental elements of the composition such as the tuning, melody, rhythm, form, and polyphony are all derived from the Persian modal system, the Dastgâh/Maghâm, about which the composer writes, “this work has been to create a dialogue between two different musical systems.”

Folk Songs (Set No. 14) will be performed at the Alice Tully Hall on April 10, 2015 by the Juilliard Ensemble conducted by Joel Sachs. The performance will be the  New York premiere.

Reza Vali – Sydney 2014

Sydney Australia seaviewFor the second time within two short years, Reza Vali has been invited to Australia on August 16, 2014 for a week-long residency at the Conservatory of Music in Sydney.
Four of his works will be performed at a concert to be held there on the 24th, including Song for solo flute, Persian Suite (Folk Songs, Set No. 12E) for flute and piano, Four Persian Folk Songs (Set No. 1) for voice and piano, Three Romantic Songs for violin and piano. The visit will also include a lecture about his Toward That Endless Plain, Concerto for Persian Ney and Orchestra, which is perhaps the only work of its kind anywhere in the world.

After his return home, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will be performing Vali’s new work Ravân in September 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ravân was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and was premiered on February 7-9, 2014 at the Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.

Reza Vali’s recently published works include:

Folk Songs: Set No. 15 (1999) 20′ (materials now available for purchase)

Flute(d AFl, Picc), Clarinet (d Eb Clar, Bass Clar), Percussion, Violin, Cello

This mixed quintet for winds, percussion and strings comprises the fifteenth work in Vali’s series of folk songs which combine Persian and Western influences. The blending of near-east modality with European classical harmony and form has become a hallmark of the composer’s uniquely poignant voice. Commissioned and recorded by the Seattle Chamber Players, Albany Records.

Ravan (2013) 5′

2(1dPicc, 2dAFl).2(2dEH).2(2dBCl).1+Cbsn: Timp.Perc(2).Pno.Hp: Str

Commissioned by the Pittsburgh Orchestra and dedicated to composer David Stock, Ravan is the Persian word for “flowing.” The work is a short scherzo with a fast first section alluding to the turbulent white waters of the Youghiogheny River in Pittsburgh, a calmer middle section, like a trio, and a recapitulation of the fast section. 

String Quartet No. 2 (1991) 30′ (first publication)

Written for Cuarteto Latinoamericano, this 4-movement work marks a stylistic shift from Vali’s first quartet, which followed mid-20th Century atonal and serial techniques. In contrast, String Quartet No. 2 is a fusion of traditional Persian melodic modes with Western classical harmonic and formal sensibilities, a style which would become a signature characteristic of the composer’s later works.

Please contact Keiser Classical for more information on the music of Reza Vali.

Full Evening of Vali String Music at Smithsonian

Persian OudOn March 8, Reza Vali visited Washington, D.C. to attend a full evening of his string music performed by the Carpe Diem String Quartet. The concert, which took place at the Freer Gallery, was the centerpiece of the Smithsonian Institute’s Persian New Year Festival. For more information on Reza Vali’s music, contact Keiser Classical.

Reza Vali among NPR Top 10

bestclassical_valiReza Vali’s Toward That Endless Plain: Concerto for Perisan Ney and Orchestra, was named by NPR Classical in the Top 10 recordings of 2013. The work was recorded by Boston Modern Orchestra Project/ Gil Rose, conductor on the BMOP Sound label. For more information on Reza Vali’s music, contact Keiser Classical.