Thursday: Harvey Uptown and Fairouz in Brooklyn

Among Thursday’s offerings, two composer portrait concerts compete for the attention of New York audiences.

Photo by Maurice Foxall.

I’m writing about the Jonathan Harvey concert for Musical America. Performed by Ensemble Signal at Miller Theatre, it features two of his large scale, spiritually inspired ensemble pieces, Death of Light/Light of Death (1998) and Bhakti (1982) (event details here).

Bird Concerto with Plainsong, Jonathan Harvey’s recent CD on NMC, is one of my favorite discs thus far in 2012.

Mohammed Fairouz is having his portrait concert  at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn. It is being produced by the folks at Issue Project Room. The program includes three world premieres and features the Borromeo String Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Elizabeth Farnum, pianists Kathleen SupovéBlair McMillen, and Taka Kigawa, and mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert. (event details here).  

Hot off the presses is Fairouz’s debut on the Bridge imprint, Sumeida’s Song, an opera about peacemaking and tolerance, written when the precocious composer was only twenty-two years old.

Performance Calendar

My composer website now has a performance calendar page. Check there to find performances of my compositions. If you are a performer planning to program one of my pieces, please let me know and I’ll add your concert to the calendar.

Performance Calendar



9 – Ascendit Deus, Choir of Grace Church, Joseph Arndt, director; Newark, New Jersey,  6:30 p.m.


9 – Premiere, newly commissioned workManhattan Choral Ensemble, New York, location TBA.

2 - My Kiss is a Journey, C4 Ensemble Choir, Engelmann Hall, Barush College, New York.


28 – Premiere, My Kiss is a Journey, C4 Ensemble Choir, St. Luke in the Fields, New York.



29 – Premiere, Fuller Brush Variations, Peter Jarvis,

7:30 PM, New Music Series, William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey. (details here).

28 – QuintetHelix! New Music Ensemble, Paul Hoffman, conductor,

2 PM, Nicholas Music Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. (details here).

26 - Innesscapes (UK premiere), Chiasmus Ensemble,

International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, United Kingdom. Details TBA.

Hurray for Haas

The scuttlebutt around Columbia University’s new senior composer hire seems to be true. As Alex Ross reported on The Rest is Noise yesterday, Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas will be joining Columbia’s faculty sometime during the 2012-’13 academic year, replacing Tristan Murail, One revels in the possibilities, not only for graduate students in composition, but for the rest of us too; we’ll likely get to hear some terrific programs during his time stateside!

The Wellesz Theatre is streaming Haas’s 2011 opera Bluthaus in its entirety via YouTube (embed below).

Our friend Thomas Bjørnseth has some terrific musical selections by Haas on his Atonality.Net website.

Saturday: Calloways perform Carey in Miami

I’m very pleased to report that mezzo soprano Rachel Calloway and cellist Jason Calloway will be, to my knowledge, the first musicians to perform my music in Florida. Tomorrow (Saturday 9/29) at 8 PM, they present a free concert at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami.

Part of the Acoustica 21 series run by FETA (Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts), the program will include pieces by Peter Sculthorpe, Andrew Waggoner, and Carl Schimmel, and my own triptych of Jane Kenyon settings.

League of Composers (Concert Announcement)

Today I learned some very exciting news. My duo For Milton will be performed by the League of Composers Chamber Players on Sunday February 24, 2013. Concert details below.

The piece has also been released on CD by Perspectives of New Music/Open Space Magazine (PNM/OS CD 3, available here).

League of Composers Chamber Players
Sunday, February 24, 2013 – 3:00 pm
Tenri Cultural Institute

Tickets: $20 gen. adm / $10 student/senior, available in advance, or at the door.

Penumbrae (2008) Luke Dahn
Piano Trio (2009) Jordan Kuspa
For Milton (2011) Christian Carey
Sextet (1937)    Aaron Copland
Rhapsody for Cello and Piano (1994) David Chaitkin.

More on Duckworth: Time Curve Preludes Download

Kyle Gann’s blog has more about Bill Duckworth, including news that Andy Lee’s recording of Time Curve Preludes on Irritable Hedgehog will be available for free download until Sunday night (Embed below). Label owner David McIntire is a real mensch. Gann also mentions a recently composed piano concerto; dare we hope that Lee gets a chance to program it with a good orchestra?

Speaking of the pianist, he shares his own essay about Duckworth over at I Care if You Listen.

RIP William Duckworth (1943-2012)

Earlier today, Kyle Gann reported on his blog that composer, educator, and writer William Duckworth has succumbed to pancreatic cancer. He was 69. Tom Huizenga has more over at NPR Classical.

I’ve long been an admirer of Bill’s music and writings. After a colleague mentioned his illness to me, I corresponded with him a few months ago, letting him know how helpful his book Talking Music was to my students and mentioning a former student we both had in common (Ashi Day). Bill was very gracious. I’m pleased to have told him before his passing about the great value of his work to young musicians, composers in particular.

One of the ways I’ll commemorate Duckworth’s life is by spending time with two of his best works; the first, the aforementioned book, Talking Music, a collection of interviews with composers that sets the bar high for such volumes. The other, Andy Lee’s recording of Time Curve Preludes (available via Irritable Hedgehog).

Friday: Annie Gosfield at Moving Sounds Festival

From tonight until Saturday, the Austrian Cultural Forum sponsored Moving Sounds Festival takes place. Thursday saw the Mivos Quartet perform new works by Carl Bettendorf and Reiko Füting while Christian Meyer and Franz Hackl gave a lecture recital entitled “Schoenberg and the notion of Avant-garde.”

On Friday, composer Annie Gosfield appears in a portrait concert at the Czech Center as part of Moving sounds. It includes the premiere of “Phantom Shakedown”. The piece for piano accompanied by a broken shortwave radio, a cement mixer, and tube noise. It’s one of the pieces on Gosfield’s latest CD, the just released Almost Truths and Open Deceptions (Tzadik). Dynamic and captivating, both the concert and  CD embrace amplified industrial music and distressed chamber works, in a concoction that balances sonic seduction with formidable avant gauntlets.

Annie Gosfield in concert
September 14 and 9 PM
Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center
321 E. 73rd St.
New York, NY 10021

For more Moving Sounds events on Friday and Saturday, check out the festival’s website here.

Congratulations Commander Carter

Elliott Carter in New York, 1983.

Allan Kozinn reported yesterday in the New York Times that Elliott Carter will be made a  Commander in the French Legion of Honor. The composer, who turns 104 in December, will be presented this, the highest distinction given by France, in a ceremony later this year to be held at the Cultural Services Office of the French Embassy in New York.

Carter first mentioned being contacted about this in an interview for Bloomberg back in June; it’s nice to have the details confirmed. For those keeping score, Kozinn reports that Carter will outrank Paul McCartney, who is an Officer, not a Commander, in the Legion of Honor. Of course, McCartney’s only seventy; presumably he’s got time for an eventual promotion!