Alan Theisen (b. 4 October 1981; Port Huron, Michigan) is a Ph.D. graduate assistant in the Department of Music Theory at the Florida State University.

Composing since the age of sixteen, he has produced a steadily growing body of work distinguished by its musical energy and concentration of expression.

Representative works by Theisen include a Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Variations on a Theme of Gretchaninov, Eclogue for flute, and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra (premiered by soloist Lawrence Gwozdz and the Szczecin Philharmonic in 2004). Recent compositions and commissions include Ritorno for flute and cello and a Triple Concerto. Noted composer Dimitri Terzakis commends Theisen's oeuvre as being "the product of a unique talent."

As a saxophonist, Theisen has toured the United States and Canada with the Sax-Chamber Orchestra, performing at two World Saxophone Congresses (Montreal - 2000, Minneapolis - 2003). He studied the instrument with internationally-recognized performer Lawrence Gwozdz and participated in masterclasses with famed saxophone pioneer Jean-Marie Londeix. No stranger to the podium, Theisen has been a guest conductor with several ensembles.

In an effort to showcase both his own original compositions and pieces by other contemporary composers, he founded the Intégrales New Music Festival in 2005. Now an annual event, Intégrales NMF features world-premiere performances by nationally recognized musicians. Intégrales has expanded to include musical collaborations with artists, authors, and dancers. Theisen wrote his undergraduate thesis on György Ligeti's Piano Etudes, and has authored several papers on topics including Elliott Carter, film editing, composition as analysis, and Michael Brecker.

Other interests include mathematics, film criticism, and philosophy; in addition, Theisen has performed the role of Oberon in a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, for which he also wrote the incidental music.

Theisen lives with his wife (and puts up with their two cats) in Tallahassee, Florida.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

As I close out 2005, I'm stunned by the wonderful moments I've been blessed with over the past year: my wedding, the arrival of Asa Minchew, the completion of the prospectus for my Masters thesis, and the solidification of compositional ideas. I also know that 2006 holds many challenges and opportunities: recording a commercially released CD with the Sax-Chamber Orchestra, organizing Integrales 2006, finding a doctoral program, finishing my long-overdue Triple Concerto, et al.

Rather than post a "Top 5" list with a "Best of... 2005", I'll simply log my own musical experience for the past 365 days with a projection of the future. If I were to command a professional symphony orchestra, and could have them perform any five programs of my choosing (limiting each concert to no more than 2 hours), I would select the following lineups based upon my musical taste on this date, December 29, 2005:

Debussy - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Debussy - Nocturnes
Boulez - Pli Selon Pli

Petrassi - Concerto for Orchestra No.6
Xenakis - Dox/Orkh
Theisen - Triple Concerto
Ligeti - Piano Concerto

Dusapin - Comoedia I, II, and III
Mahler - Kindertotenlieder
Webern - Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op.10
Carter - Symphonia: Sum Fluxae Pretium Spei

Carter - Holiday Overture
Debussy - Jeux
Terzakis - Oktoechos
Stravinsky - Symphony in Three Movements

Ravel - Piano Concerto in G Major
Haba - Symphonic Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra
Mahler- Symphony No.5

Yeah....I'd pay to hear that!

Happy New Year!!!