new album release - SACRA / PROFANA
March 07, 2013
March 07, 2013
San Diego, CA - the wonderful chamber choir, SACRA / PROFANA, just released their debut album, Elegies and Ecstasies, this past summer and it has somehow escaped my focus until this moment. I had heard their wonderful performance of my piece, "A Grass-Green Pillow" (the fifth movement from Color Madrigals), when they first recorded it but never had the chance to hear the entire album until now. As a choir geek I'm honored to be included right next to Palestrina, as a composer geek I'm intimidated to be on the same album as David Lang, but as a wannabe-guitar-player originally from Minnesota I definitely smiled to see that a tune by Prince makes an appearance as well. Check it out on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc. Maestro Krishan Oberoi & Co. do an incredible job!
January 28, 2013
Boston, MA - I'll be in residency at the Harvard Women's Choral Fesitval from February 15-16 where I'll sit on a discussion panel about composer/conductor collaboration as well as just have a generally great time. There are some incredible ensembles participating this year and I'm honored to have the Lorelei Ensemble present the second performance of Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo for the festival participants. Their premiere of the work in Boston last month garnered some well-deserved reviews from the Boston Musical Intelligencer and the Boston Classical Review so the second time around is sure to be just as moving.
January 10, 2013
Boston, MA - On January 18 and 19 The Lorelei Ensemble will present the world premiere of Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (for SSAA choir and piano). The work takes as its subject an organization of Argentine mothers whose children were "disappeared" during the country's "Dirty War" of 1976-1983 and uses Bach's Magnificat as a structural reference. This version of the piece is a shorter, "cantata-length," iteration of the work which Lorelei will give the full premiere of in a future season, so come by to hear the first step in the journey of this wonderful collaboration. There will also be world premieres by Swedish composer, Karin Höghielm, and the ensemble's Composer-In-Residence, Mary Montgomery Koppel, so come by to hear some amazing music!
August 29, 2012
Austin, TX - Last fall I collaborated with Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare on program notes for their series of concerts featuring the choral works of Samuel Barber. That project extended into an adaptation of those notes for their new album, Samuel Barber: An American Romantic, on the Harmonia Mundi label and I'm excited to see the release of this important collection of his music. The ensemble also commissioned composer Robert Kyr to make chamber orchestrations of Barber's oratorio, The Lovers, as well as "Easter Chorale" and they are unbelievably brilliant; sure to give these pieces new lives. If you're in Austin, drop by Waterloo Records on September 12 from 5pm-7pm to celebrate. You can also pre-order through Amazon.
July 01, 2012
Auckland - Maestro John Rosser and Viva Voce will give the New Zealand premiere of Color Madrigals on July 29. The cycle will be presented as part of their Rainbow Collection concert series alongside pieces by Stanford, Monteverdi, and Byrd.
June 09, 2012
February 01, 2012
Minneapolis - On March 4, The Singers will give the world premiere of a new work commemorating the life of Benjamin Larson, a Minnesota native who died in the earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The piece will be presented as part of their Songs of Love, Loss and Healing concert series and will feature texts taken from an interview with Ben's wife, Renee Splichal Larson, the Creole Bible, the Lutheran Book of Worship, the Bhagavad Gita, and poetry by Marie Howe and the Haitian poet, Tontongi.
To learn more about the the inspiring work that Ben did at the St. Joseph's Home for Boys you can visit www.heartswithhaiti.org.
January 01, 2012
San Antonio - The Flower Mound High School Jaguar Chorale (Dr. Mark “Doc” Rohwer, conductor) will perform a new commissioned work, “Imaginary Lines,” for their appearance at the annual Texas Music Educators Association in San Antonio. The piece features a text by Walt Whitman and is scored for SATB choir and 4-hands piano. This is the third time I’ve been commissioned to write a piece for this incredible ensemble and I’m honored that they’ll be presenting it as part of their convention performance. Go, Jaguars!
September 15, 2011
I’m headed to North Carolina to work with Maestro Gerald Gurss and the One Voice Chorus on some of my music. This residency takes place on the weekend of my birthday so I’m sure that there will be plenty of fun had to go along with some great music-making!
September 01, 2011
I'll be traveling back to my alma mater, Luther College, on September 24-26 to take part in their Music in the Shape of a Pear series. It's an all-Norse program in celebration of the college's 150th anniversary so the concert features only works by composers who attended the over the years. Drs. Spencer Martin and Du Huang will perform my piece, "Portrait," for viola and piano and I'll be pretending like I belong amongst the likes of my incredible colleagues on the program.
September 01, 2011
Austin - The University of Texas New Music Ensemble (Dan Welcher, conductor) will present the first performance of a new chamber piece, Bright Music (for Daniel Catán), during their opening concert of the season on September 28. The work was written in response to the sudden death of the composer and teacher who serves as its namesake.
March 06, 2011
Austin, TX - The Blanton Museum of Art commissioned me and a number of other composers to write music in response to pieces in their collection. I chose Robert Henri's "The Old Model" and wrote a piece for viola and piano called "Portrait." It was beautifully played by Russell Podgorsek and Todd Moellenberg and will be installed in the museum's permanent collection. You can read about my experience writing the piece here as well as listen to a podcast from the museum featuring all the works written by my incredible colleauges.
February 15, 2011
Austin - The University of Texas New Music Ensemble will be giving the world premiere of my new chamber piece, "Flocking Music," for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. Also on the program are works by Dan Visconti, Luciano Bero, a world premiere from composer Ian Dicke, and a performance of Dan Welcher's "Cassatt" quartet by the Aeolus String Quartet.
December 04, 2010
Minneapolis - The Singers will premiere a new piece for a cappella choir, “Daughter Ecstatic,” during their annual winter concert series. It’s a “deconstruction” of a soprano aria from Handel’s Messiah and they will give an inevitably brilliant performance!
November 01, 2010
Austin, Texas - The Aeolus Quartet will premiere my new work, "Steep Music" for string quartet. They're an incredible ensemble and the performance is bound to be awesome so stop by if you're in town!
September 01, 2010
Seattle - The Esoterics will premiere a new commissioned work, “songs about most of my friends” during their VIVIDA concert series. This is one of the more interesting collaborations I’ve experienced as the piece was to be an interpretation of a piece of visual art and had to be written without any sort of text. I worked with Minneapolis-based artist Gregory Euclide over the past few months in an attempt to translate his incredible work of art, “floor bloom drop needles,” from flat painting to music and I’m excited to see what Maestro Banks and Co. can do with it.
August 28, 2010
Santa Barbara Music Publishing just released two new choral pieces. "The Two Sisters" is an arrangement of an old murder ballad for piano and men’s voices, and "Naalah (Cry of Grief)" is a wild piece for choir and oboe sung entirely in the Pakistani language of Urdu. Click here to take a look!
May 02, 2010
Los Angeles - On June 19, The Meistersingers will give the world premiere of "Aria with Lydian falls: I had a dream once" for SATB choir and piano in honor of their 10th anniversary. It's the first movement from my opera-in-progress, We, The Boys (on an original libretto by playwright Kelly Patrick Lusk) and, since it's the first music from the piece to see the light of the concert hall, I'm incredibly excited to hear what this amazing ensemble can do with it.
May 01, 2010
Northfield, MN - The Minnesota All-State Mixed Choir will sing the premiere of "Your children (are not your children)" on August, 6 on the campus of Saint Olaf College. It was co-commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota and the Minnesota Music Educators Association and, since the incredible Angela Broeker is conducting the proceedings, it will be impeccably performed. It uses a text by Khalil Gibran and, along with the choir, features four pianists pounding away on two pianos.
March 15, 2010
Indianapolis - On April 20, Brownsburg High School is having me back out to conduct a festival of my pieces this April. The concert will also feature the world premiere of a new commissioned work, "Spring." The piece uses a text by Sara Teasdale and is the third in a series of pieces on the seasons. Look me up in Indy if you’re there!
March 01, 2010
Orange, California - Jessica Hardy will premiere Trois Méditations ("Three Meditations") at Salmon Recital Hall on the campus of Chapman University on April 10. It's a 3-movement set for soprano, piano, and harp that uses texts by French poet Rainer Maria Rilke and is the final piece for my 2-year residency at Chapman. She'll be performing some other works by Mahler, Puccini and Blitzstein as well as an entire Bach cantata so you can come watch me sweat it out as my set is presented alongside those pieces.
February 01, 2010
Minneapolis - On March 18, The Singers will premiere a new work for a cappella choir, “To My Parents” during their “Lover’s Journey” concert series. It uses a beautiful text by Wendell Berry on the subject of forgiveness between parent and child. Come by for what will be an incredible performance.
February 01, 2010
The New York City-based Society for Universal Sacred Music chose "Musica animam tangens" as one of the winning pieces for their Festival of Universal Sacred Music. There are also winners from Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland alongside the other six from the U.S. so I'm incredibly honored that they chose my piece. They'll perform it next April at the gorgeous Kaufman Center in the Upper East Side.
May 02, 2009
"Blue! 'Tis the Life of Heaven" (the second movement from Color Madrigals) will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the history of choral music in Minnesota, Never Stop Singing. The film features a clip of that piece as well as numerous interviews with influential conductors, composers and singers alongside stellar performances by dozens of the state's finest choral ensembles. It will be broadcast starting in June so check your local listings at www.neverstopsinging.org
May 01, 2009
"A Grass-Green Pillow" (the fifth movement of the Color Madrigals) racked up its second award in as many years; this time from San Diego's newest choral ensemble, SACRA/PROFANA. They'll give what I'm sure will be an incredible, virtuostic performance during their 2009-2010 concert season.
March 01, 2009
Dallas - The Flower Mound High School Jaguar Chorale will give the world premiere of "Naalah (Cry of Grief)" for SATB choir and oboe on May 15. It uses texts by 19th-century Pakistani poet Mirza Ghalib and is sung exlusively in the Urdu language.
February 02, 2009
Orange, CA - On May 1, The Chapman University Singers will give the world premiere of Chansons de la Vigne ("Songs from the Vine") for SATB choir and piano. The piece is a 5-movement song cycle which uses French texts by Arthur Rimbaud and Guillaume Apollinaire.
February 01, 2009
Santa Barbara Music Publishing has just released 2 new works: "From Where Stood" (for SATB choir and piano) and "Bar'bry Allen" (for TB choir and piano. Check out the music page for more info and sbmp.com to order. My advanced work for TTTBBB chorus, "To Sing You to Sleep," is now available through this website.
January 15, 2009
Minneapolis - On February 7, The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists will give the world premiere of "To Sing You to Sleep" for tenors and basses during their Mars & Venus concert series of music for men's and women's chorus. They will also be presenting Poulenc's astonishingly beautiful Prayers of St. Francis alongside my piece so you'll enjoy the concert either way!
September 01, 2008
April 28, 2008
Color Madrigals: Six Songs on Poems by John Keats is now available through my website. Each movement is written using a text by English poet John Keats which mentions a color. Written in three "volumes" over two years, the cycle is for an advanced ensemble and ranges from a placid hymn (2. "Blue! 'Tis the Life of Heaven") to a barnburning closer (6. "Orange-Mounts of More Soft Ascent").
April 01, 2008
Madison, WI - Maestro Drew Collins and the Festival Choir of Madison will give the world premiere of Passage: Songs on Octavio Paz, a set of songs for SATB Choir and Piano.
March 15, 2008
March 01, 2008
On April 5, I’ll be in residency with Sacramento’s own Vox Musica, as Maestro Daniel Paulson and the ensemble present an entire evening of my works for their April concert series. Stop by for the pre-concert talks or sit in for what will be an amazing performance from this exciting ensemble as they add male voices for a one-time only event.
February 01, 2008
"A Grass-Green Pillow" recently won the 11th Annual Choral Composition Competition sponsored by the Cambridge Chamber Singers. Dr. Raymond Fahrner and the choir will give the piece (an excerpt from Color Madrigals) its east coast premiere on May 3.
February 01, 2008
Two new pieces, "Sleeping Out: Full Moon" and "A Christmas Carol" (both for SATB Choir and Piano) will be released from Santa Barbara Music Publishing. You can check them out here.
January 15, 2008
Ankeny, IA - On February 26, I’ll be in residency to work with the choirs at Ankeny High School. Each of the choirs will be performing one of my works with the Concert Choir giving the world premiere of their commissioned work "From Where I Stood" (on a text by Edna St. Vincent Millay) for SATB Choir and Piano.
December 15, 2007
Minneapolis - The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists will be premiering their fifth commission in four years this January as they give the world premiere of the final two movements of the Color Madrigals. Maestro Matthew Culloton & Co. will perform the blue and orange movements commissioned in honor of the 150th anniversary of the state of Minnesota.
July 22, 2007
The Summer Singers and conductor Vicki Peters will be presenting the world premiere of Color Madrigals, vol. 2 for SATB choir. It is the second set in a series of short pieces on texts by John Keats.
June 07, 2007
Two Proverbs will be premiered by the South Saint Paul High School Concert Choir under Maestro Chad Lindblom. It's scored for SAB chorus, piano, and violin and uses some nuggets of wisdom from China ("The best fertilizer is the footsteps of the gardener") and Plutarch ("The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited"). It was commissioned by the district's Educational Foundation for the 100th anniversary of the school.
June 02, 2007
Sleeping Out: Full Moon has just won the Nathan Davis Prize in Choral Music. The piece, written for the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, was premiered June 2 in New York City.
May 01, 2007
I'll be contiuing my residency with The Singers with the fourth in a series of commissions. This time around they will be premiering Color Madrigals, vol. 1 for a cappella SATB chorus. It's a 2-movement work using texts by English poet John Keats. This choir is awesome and has delivered beyond-amazing performances every time I have worked with them so, if you're near Rochester, MN on May 5 or the Twin Cities metro area on May 12, you should check it out. They will also be performing Debussy's Trois Chansons and Hindemith's Six Chansons so you'r in for a treat.
April 01, 2007
Lincoln, NE - On May 5, the Nebraska Children’s Chorus will present the world premiere of their commissioned work, "In Magna Symphonia," for a cappella SSAA chorus on texts by Prudentius and Hildegard von Bingen. The singers (and Maestro Sean Burton) will then take it on a European cathedral tour to Germany, Austria and France (including a performance at the world-famous Notre Dame de Paris).
March 01, 2007
I had an awesome time working with the Brownsburg High School Madrigal Singers in Brownsburg, Indiana for a few days last month. Their performance of Autumn was totally awesome, and since I had never seen Indianapolis properly it was great to finally do that.
December 15, 2006
A Christmas Carol (for SATB chorus and piano) received a stunning world premiere last December in Mesa, Arizona with German Aguilar and the Mesa high School A Cappella Choir. It uses excerpts from Charles Dickens's book of the same name and was later performed for the Arizona Music Educator's Association. It's currently published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing.
October 26, 2006
San Jose, CA - Maestro Daniel Hughes and The Choral Project recently released a spectacular recording of "Musica animam tangens" on their newest album, One Is The All, which is now available on Amazon. You can also view the moving, fully staged version of their performance on YouTube.
August 30, 2006
My arrangement of "Where is Love?" (from the musical Oliver!) is now available through Hal Leonard’s Voices Rising series. You can listen to a recording here on the site.
June 15, 2006
The third in a series of commissions while I'm in residence with The Singers. Nell Flaherty's Drake was written for their collaboration with Spaghetti Western STring Co. during the Schubert Club's Summer Song Festival. It's a crazy, Irish folksong about a duck that mistakenly gets eaten and is scored for SATB chorus, soloists, violin, cello, mandolin, and banjo. This premiere was unique because it was outdoors on an island in the Mississippi River and I doubt I'll ever get to experience that again. This piece is currently available through my website.