Society for New Music boxed set of music by commissioned composers 5 CDs plus program booklet on Innova in celebration of 30 years of commissioning & presenting new works by regional composers
 Steven Stucky (b. 1949) Sappho Fragments, 1982 12:38
John Oberbrunner, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; James Krehbiel, violin; George Macero, cello; Laurance Luttinger, percussion; Brian Israel, piano; Calvin Custer, conductor (now deceased)
[2-5] Brian Israel (1951-1986) String Quartet No. 2, 1976 (subtitled Music for the Next to Die) 35:14
Scherzo, Variations on a Baroque Sarabande, Scherzo II, Last Rites (largo)  15:26  5:20  8:48  5:23
James Krehbiel & Catherine Bush, violins; Marywynn Kuwashima, viola; George Macero, cello
 Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962) My Aunt Gives Me a Clarinet Lesson, 2000 10:52
 Robert Keefe (b. 1950) Riff, Variations on a Gershwin Tune (or Two), 1998 14:32
John Oberbrunner, flute; David Abrams, clarinet; Jim Krehbiel, violin; George Macero, cello; Steve Heyman, piano; Rob Bridge, percussion; Grant Cooper, conductor
 Christopher Rouse (b. 1949) The Surma Ritornelli, 1983 12:53
Linda Greene, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; Jennifer Widom, trumpet; Jane Swerneman, horn; Alexander Aiken, trombone; Linda Case, violin; Allie Jensen, viola; Ruth Berry, cello; Henry Neubert, bass; Michael Salmirs, piano; Laurance Luttinger & Gordon Stout, percussion; Edward Murray, conductor (now deceased)
[2-4] Robert Palmer (b. 1915) Carmina Amoris, 1978 8:30
To Aphrodite of the Flowers at Cnossos; Though Amaryllis Dance in Green, Venus  3:30  2:35  2:11
Neva Pilgrim, soprano, Barbara Rabin, clarinet, Marywynn Kuwashima, viola, Brian Israel, piano
 Earl George (1924-1994) Arioso, 1949 for cello & piano George Macero, cello, Steven Heyman, piano 5:35
 Daniel S. Godfrey (b. 1949) Scrimshaw, 1985 Linda Greene, flute & Martin Wulfhorst, violin 8:50
 Daniel S. Godfrey Festoons, 1995 Steven Heyman, piano 4:41
[8-10] Joseph Downing (b. 1955) Partita VI, 1989 15:29
I. Barbra Allen II. Farewell, Dear Rosanna III. The Three Sisters  3:51  6:58  4:41
Michael Bosetti & Vladimir Pritsker, violins; Kit Dodd, viola; George Macero, cello
[11-13] Malcolm Lewis (b. 1925) 3 Etudes, 2001 for piano Sar Shalom Strong, piano  3:16  3:02  2:32 8:50
 Dana Wilson (b. 1946) Dancing with the Devil, 1997 9:42
Linda Greene, flute; David Abrams, clarinet; James Krehbiel, violin; George Macero, cello; Steven Heyman, piano; Rob Bridge, percussion; Grant Cooper, conductor
 Melinda Wagner (b. 1957) Sextet, 1989 12:22
Linda Greene, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; Vladimir Pritsker, violin; Kit Dodd, viola; George Macero, cello, Steven Heyman, piano, Daniel S. Godfrey, conductor
 Harris Lindenfeld (b. 1945) from the Grotte des Combarelles, 1978 9:16
Vladimir Pritsker, violin; George Macero, cello; Steven Heyman, piano
 Christopher Hopkins (b. 1957) Sonatas in Dark to Light, 2000 18:03
Linda Greene, flute; David Abrams, clarinet; James Krehbiel, violin; Greg Wood, cello; Steven Heyman, piano/sampler; Rob Bridge, percussion; Christopher Hopkins, conductor
 Ron Caltabiano (b. 1959) Clarinet Quartet, 1998 (A consortium commissioned work) 12:26
John Friedrichs, clarinet/bass; James Krehbiel, violin; Greg Wood, cello; Rob Bridge, percussion
 Ann Silsbee (1930-2003) Wakings, 1986 9:53
Linda Greene, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; Martin Wulfhorst, violin; Lynden Cranham, cello; Laurance Luttinger, percussion; Daniel Godfrey, conductor
 Howard Boatwright (1918-1999) Adoration & Longing, 1991 for voice & quartet 14:22
Vladimir Pritsker & Michael Bosetti, violin; Kit Dodd, viola; George Macero, cello; Janet Brown, soprano
[1-3] David Liptak (b. 1949) Rhapsodies, 1992 Con forza, Lirico, Allegro disinvolto  3:24  6:01  5:48 15:35
Linda Greene, flute; John Friedrichs, clarinet; Dmitri Gerikh, violin; Walden Bass, cello & Steven Heyman, piano
[4-9] Roberto Sierra (b. 1953) Cronicas del discubrimiento, 1991-1995  2:00  2:24  4:18  4:45  2:49  3:10 19:26
Primera Cronica: I. Leyenda Taina II. Danza; Segunda Cronica: I. Noche, II. Busca del Oro; Tercera Cronica: I. Canción, II. Batallia
Selma Moore, flute & Timothy Schmidt, guitar
 Richard Wernick (b. 1934) A Poison Tree, 1979 11:58
John Oberbrunner, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; Jim Krehbiel, violin; George Macero, cello;Brian Israel, piano; Neva Pilgrim, soprano
[11-14] Samuel Pellman (b. 1953) Crane Songs, 1983-84  3:35  1:14  1:22  4:41 11:22
4 songs-texts by Stephen Crane (from The Black Riders & Other Lines John Oberbrunner, flute; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; Sonya Monosoff, violin; Laurance Luttinger, percussion; Brian Israel, piano; Neva Pilgrim, soprano; Steven Stucky, conductor
 Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964) Bells Ring Summer, 2000 George Macero, cello 2:27
[16-17] Augusta Read Thomas 2 Etudes, 1997 Steven Heyman, piano  3:16  1:52 5:08
 Ping Jin (b. 1964) Yangtze! Yangtze! 2002 13:07
Selma Moore, flute; David Abrams, clarinet; Cristina Buciu, violin; Greg Wood, cello; Kevin Moore, piano; Jennifer Vacanti, percussion; Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor
James Willey (b. 1939) Society Music, 1986 9:19
Linda Greene, piccolo/flute/alto; Barbara Rabin, clarinet; George Coble, trumpet; William Harris, trombone; Donna Resue, horn; Eric Gustafson, viola; George Macero, cello; Edward Castilano, DB; Laurance Luttinger, perc; Steven Heyman, piano; Ed Murray, cond
[2-4] Nicholas V. D’Angelo (b. 1933) Some Summer Sun, 1985 (re-mastered) Linda Greene, flute  4:02  3:03  3:13 10:18
 Syd Hodkinson (b. 1934) Epitaph & Scherzo, 1988 15:12
Cristina Buciu, violin, David Abrams, clarinet, Sar Shalom Strong, piano
[6-11] Dexter Morrill (b. 1938) Six Dark Questions, 1979 (re-mastered)  1:11  2:03  3:01  2:31  2:54  2:13 13:53
Computer chamber music with voice, text by George Hudson; Neva Pilgrim, soprano
 Liu Zhuang (b. 1932) Wind Through Pines, 1999 12:31
John Oberbrunner, flute; George Macero, cello; Steven Heyman, prepared piano
 Rob Smith (b. 1968) Dance Mix, 2000 8:51
Commissioned as part of the Continental Harmony project, the largest commissioning project in the history of the U.S Continental Harmony is a partnership of the American Composers Forum & the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funds provided by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Land O’Lakes Foundation, & Ohio Arts Council.
Ralph Dudgeon & John Raschella, trumpet; Ron Caravan & Dan Miller, saxophone; Bill Harris & Benjamin Osborne, trombone & bass trombone; Darryl Pugh, amplified DB; Rob Bridge, John Bird, Kati Coe, Chris Ganey, perc
STEVEN STUCKY was educated at Baylor and Cornell, studying with Richard Willis, Robert Palmer, and Karel Husa. Stucky taught at Lawrence University and, since 1980, at Cornell, where he is the Given Foundation Professor. He has been honored by ASCAP, the NEA, the NEH, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and many others. A conductor as well as composer, Stucky has written extensively about 20th-century music, including his award-winning book Lutoslawski and His Music (Cambridge, 1981). Stucky has received commissions from the orchestras of Minnesota, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, from Carnegie Hall, and from the Koussevitzky Foundation. He has been Composer-in-Residence and new music advisor to the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1988, and his music has been recorded by the Singapore and Albany symphonies, Orchestra 2001, Chanticleer, the Cassatt Quartet, Boston Musica Viva, Society for New Music, Ensemble X, and others.
Stucky writes: “Saphho Fragments was commissioned by the Society for New Music and premiered in 1982. Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos in the late 7th and early 6th centuries B.C. and wrote lyric poetry in the Aeolic dialect of Ancient Greek. Despite her splendid reputation, we know remarkably little else about Sappho and her work. Only a single poem has survived in its entirety; the remainder consists of fragments transmitted by old grammarians or pieced together from shred of Egyptian papyri – often only a few words or parts of words. The first movement of Sappho Fragments uses six such fragments; the others employ one each. In three of the movements some phrases are given in the original Aeolic; the English translations are by Willis Barnstone, and are used with his kind permission.” The cycle is performed without pauses. Moderato – Inquieto – Senza rigore; quasi senza tempo – Tempestoso – Molto calmo. (commissioned with funds from the Consortium Commissioning Program of the NEA.)
Come to me now, Muses. You burn me.
Leave your gold house.
O daughters of Zeus, In gold sandals
come to me now, dawn like a thief
O Graces of the pink arms. fell upon me.
Come, come now, Like a mountain whirlwind
tender Graces, punishing the oak trees
and Muses of the splendid hair. love shattered my heart.
To me they brought honor, for they Now in my heart
gave me the secret of their craft. I see clearly
A beautiful face,
Come holy tortoise shell, Shining.
my lyre, and become a poem. etched by love.
I begin with words of air
Yet they are good to hear.
BRIAN ISRAEL, a native New Yorker and prodigious pianist, was educated at Lehman College and Cornell University, where he earned both his MFA and DMA degrees. His teachers included Lawrence Widdoes, Ulysses Kay, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips and Karel Husa. His awards included BMI, a Bennington Composers’ Conference Fellowship, Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest, Chautauqua Chamber Singers Composition Prize, and commissions from the Society for New Music, Opera Theater of Syracuse, Catskill Symphony, Trio Dolce, Skaneateles Festival, Phi Mu Alpha – Ithaca College, and other organizations. Recordings of his music are available on Golden Crest, Silver Crest, Redwood, Cornell Univ. Wind Ensemble, Pro-Viva, and Spectrum. His music is available from five different publishers. Dr. Israel was active as a composer, pianist and conductor with the Society for New Music for several years, and taught at Syracuse University until his untimely death.
Israel wrote: “The original title of the Quartet No. 2 was Music for the Next to Die, suggested by the original title of Stockhausen’s orchestral work of that title. The four movements are: 1. Scherzo I; 2. Variations on a Baroque Sarabande; 3. Scherzo II; 4. Last Rites (largo). The two scherzi are both in arch forms that begin with ‘busy’ textures that gradually transform themselves into other types of sound masses before returning to the opening materials. The Variations, based on the D-minor Sarabande of Handel, ‘filters’ the row not only through the original Dies Irae plainchant, but also through the sarabande, by breaking down the opening measures. Thus, the variations deal with, in succession, repeated note (A), minor third (B), 3-note scale fragment (C), octave (D), minor second (E), and fifth (F). The original theme and the variations are later combined in a collage effect. The Last Rites movement is written in a kind of double counterpoint: fragments of the Dies Irae float among the four performers at the same time as an A-440 pedal point is being shared. Throughout all of this, one should keep the original sound-image in mind: the performance of an act of sacrilege on pre-existing music in order that the notes themselves may float off the page and take on their own lives.”
ELIZABETH ALEXANDER spent her childhood in the Carolinas & southern Ohio. She studied composition with Steven Stucky, Jack Gallagher, Yehudi Wyner and Karel Husa, receiving her bachelors degree from The College of Wooster and her doctorate from Cornell University. Her music has been performed by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra; by new music ensembles such as The Music Fix, Sounds New and North/South Consonance; and by over 200 choirs, including Elmer Iseler Singers, Vocal Essence and Gregg Smith Singers. She has received over 25 commissions from orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles, and numerous state and national grants, fellowships and prizes. She publishes her own music through Seafarer Press.
My Aunt Gives Me a Clarinet Lesson was commissioned by the Society in 2001 and sets a poem by Gregory Djanikian,
whose books of poetry include The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance and, most recently, Years Later. A graduate of Syracuse University, he currently directs the creative writing program at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
ROBERT KEEFE was born in Los Angeles and holds M.M. and Ph.D. degrees in composition from the Univ. of North Texas. He has taught at Ithaca College and the Univ. of South Florida. Active as a jazz guitarist, he currently teaches guitar and composition at Ithaca Guitar Works, in addition to maintaining a private studio. His articles have appeared in Computer, Journal SEAMUS, and the College Music Society Newsletter. His music is recorded on CDCM, IRIDA, and Mark while his music has been published by KIWI Music. Keefe has held residencies at the MacDowell, Millay and Yaddo Colonies, and his music has been performed and broadcast throughout the U.S. and abroad. Many of his works were written on commission, e.g. Jamal Rossi, Society for New Music, and the New York State Music Teachers Association.
Riff grew out of the composer’s love of performing and teaching jazz guitar. Keefe writes that while “there are no direct quotes of Gershwin melodies, 2 tunes are used as compositional glue: Embraceable You and I Got Rhythm. The borrowings from Embraceable You are played by the violin during the obbligato section. The essence of I Got Rhythm is in the riff (I got Rhy-thm) and this appears in the beginning few measures played by the flute and harmonized by the violin. I also incorporated the ascending bass line from the bridge of I Got Rhythm. Most of the rhythmic drive in Riff comes from my jazz background, with additional influences from Bernard Hermann, Hindemith and Bartok. The work is in one continuous movement with distinct sections, including a fugal section using the Embraceable You riff, and an elaborate rondo section. While the last part of the rondo is playing, the piano pounds out the names ‘George’ and ‘Ira Gershwin’ in Morse code on a low F. The work ends as quietly as it began with the vibraphone playing the rhythm of Embraceable You in ¾ on a single note as the flute and violin harmonize the I Got Rhythm melody.”
CHRISTOPHER ROUSE, one of America’s most prominent composers and winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in music, was born in Baltimore. He studied at Oberlin with Randolph Coleman and Richard Hoffmann, then with George Crumb, and with Karel Husa at Cornell, where he earned his Ph.D. His music was first performed by the Society for New Music while he was a graduate student and has been commissioned by such orchestras as the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia Orchestra; the London Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, St. Louis, Atlanta and Baltimore Symphonies; and the Boston Pops. Rouse’s music has been performed by virtually every major orchestra worldwide. He has written music for Yo Yo Ma, Jan de Gaetani, the Cleveland Quartet, Neva Pilgrim, Emanuel Ax, Sharon Isbin, Cho-Liang Lin, Evelyn Glennie and Dawn Upshaw. Rouse taught at Eastman for many years, and currently serves on the Juilliard faculty.
Rouse writes: “The Surma Ritornelli (1983) was commissioned by Nonesuch Records for the Society for New Music. Surma is a demon in Finnish mythology who was feared for his immense mouth, ready to devour any hapless soul who ventured too near. This work is an anatomy of the monster’s mouth consisting of six sections played without pause: Left View of Jaw – Upper Row of Teeth - Right View of Jaw – Tongue (the central adagio of the work) – Lower Row of Teeth – Frontal View of Jaw.”
ROBERT PALMER was born in Syracuse, NY. He entered Eastman in 1934 on a piano scholarship, but during his junior year he changed his concentration to composition. He earned his BM and MM studying with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. He studied with Roy Harris and Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. He taught at the Univ. of Kansas, then joined the Cornell faculty in 1943, where he was the Given Foundation Professor Music until his retirement in 1980. He won awards from the National Academy of Arts & Letters, two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Fulbright to Italy. His music has been commissioned by the Koussevitsky, Coolidge and Fromm Foundations, the Univ. of Michigan and the NEA.
Palmer notes that: “Carmina Amoris (1978) relates to an earlier work for four voices and eleven instruments (1957) that covered 2000 years of night and sea poetry. The first of these songs suggests both an archaic feeling and a sense of mystery, as Sappho invokes the goddess Aphrodite. The last opens, as does the first, with a rich texture, using the dark colors of the A clarinet and the viola. The last section expresses the images of the sea and the goddess so masterfully conveyed by the text. The central one, a pastoral dance poem on unrequited love, has been set as a madrigal by Byrd. Its rhythms suggest both the madrigal and American jazz. The setting is strophic.” The work was dedicated to Palmer’s wife, Alice.
To Aphrodite of the Flowers – Sappho Though Amaryllis Dance in Green – Anonymous
Leave Crete and come to this holy temple Though Amaryllis dance in green
where the graceful grove of apple trees Like fairy queen
circles an altar smoking with frankincense. And sing full clear
Corinna can, with smiling, cheer.
Here roses leave shadow on the ground Yet since their eyes make heart so sore,
and cold springs bubble through apple branches Heigh ho, heigh ho, I’ll love no more.
where shuddering leaves pour down profound sleep.
My sheep are lost for want of food,
In our meadow where horses graze And I so wood*
And wild flowers of spring blossom, That all the day
Anise shoots fill the air with aroma. I sit and watch a herdmaid gay,
Who laughs to see me sigh so sore.
And here, Queen Aphrodite, pour Heigh ho, heigh ho, I’ll love no more.
Heavenly nectar into gold cups
And fill them gracefully with sudden joy. Ah, wanton eyes, my friendly foes,
(translated by Willis Barnstone) And cause of woes,
Your sweet desire
Venus – Kathleen Raine Breeds flames of ice and freeze in fire.
Those somber tides! Ye scorn to see me weep so sore,
When did joy break Heigh ho, heigh ho, I’ll love no more.
Like glitter of sun and water.
And the rhythm of the ocean Love ye who list, I force him not,
In long dance divide the tossing ebb and flow. With God it wot,
The waves of music rise above the sound of the heavy swell. The more I wail.
The moving elements become the body The less my sighs and tears prevail
Of the goddess, oh of the goddess of the sea? What shall I do but say therefore,
(The Barnstone translation & Kathleen Raine Heigh ho, heigh ho, I’ll love no more.
poem are used with permission) *frantic
EARL GEORGE studied composition at Eastman and was a scholarship student at the Berkshire Music Center with Martinu. His music has been performed by major orchestras throughout the U.S., including the Minneapolis Symphony, Symphony of the Air, and the New York Philharmonic. His large catalog of works received regular performances by well-known soloists and chamber ensembles, while his choral works, e.g. Songs of Innocence, were performed by choral groups throughout the U.S. and recorded. Mr. George taught at the University of Minnesota, Eastman, and spent three decades on the Syracuse University faculty. He won numerous awards and commissions, including one from the Society for New Music, and was the esteemed music critic for the Syracuse Herald-Journal for many years.
Arioso was written on commission from the Koussevitzky Foundation and dedicated to the memory of Natalie Koussevitzky. The work was written while Mr. George was studying privately with Bohuslav Martinu in New York City. Shirley Trepel premiered Arioso in Town Hall in 1949.
DANIEL S. GODFREY (b. 1949) received BA and MM degrees in composition from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is Composer-in-Residence at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music and has also held visiting faculty appointments at Eastman, Indiana University, and the University of Pittsburgh. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and co-author of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books. Awards and commissions have come from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. His works may also be heard on the Albany, CRI, GM, Klavier, Koch and Mark CD labels.
Godfrey writes: “Scrimshaw (1985) takes its title from the nautical term, meaning “a neat piece of work” or “a small task, deftly accomplished,” commonly referring to whalebone carvings. The idea for the work came from some pieces of scrimshaw observed in a maritime museum. Into each bone was carved a series of minutely depicted scenes – a fleet of dolphins, sailors trading with Indians, etc. - which seemed to convey an underlying elemental feeling, a certain misty emanation. This composition, accordingly, is a series of loosely depicted ‘scenes’ intended to reflect a similar ambience. Naturally, as one’s vision moves around a piece of scrimshaw it eventually encounters the vignette with which it began.”
“Festoons (1995) is a brief work in one movement for piano solo, and was composed as a tribute to Elliott Schwartz on his 60th-birthday. First performed on the Society for New Music concert in Merkin Hall, January 1996 by pianist Steven Heyman, it is based — enthusiastically —on E-flat (Es in German).”
JOSEPH DOWNING is Associate Dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts, and Director of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. He earned his DMA in composition from Northwestern University and his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University, where his teachers were Merrill Bradshaw, William Karlins and Ben Johnston. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. His compositions have received numerous awards, including the Ostwald Award of the American Bandmaster’s Association. He has received commissions from such organizations as the American Guild of Organists, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Society for New Music, the Barlow Foundation, and from numerous schools, churches and universities in the Midwest, Northeast, Mountain West and South. He has also participated in several Meet the Composer projects. His works include the Symphony for Winds and Percussion, a work that won the Ostwald Award and has been performed over 600 times throughout the world; a series of 12 Partitas for various instrumentations; several works for wind ensemble; numerous choral anthems; organ works; and the opera Emmaus. He is currently working on a full-length opera and an oratorio.
Downing writes of Partita VI that: “For sometime I had wanted to incorporate folk material in my compositions. I have always believed that any material that can withstand the test of time must have real worth. I was therefore pleased when the opportunity to write such a piece came in the form of a commission from the Society for New Music. For this quartet I drew folk songs collected by Cecil Sharp in Appalachia prior to the First World War. I felt I had to decide how to treat this folk material. Should I dissect the theme fragments and develop them? Should I treat the songs as principal themes of a larger form? I finally decided to just let the tunes speak for themselves and accompany them in varying ways to tell the story. Yes, this is unashamed, blatant program music. (The text references were originally omitted from the score and parts, but are now there.) If you wish, you may listen to the quartet just for the music, but those who want to figure out the program may consult the folk song texts.”
Lewis writes: “The Three Études are constructed with the alternating scale, an 8-note scale using the pattern of half-step whole-step or whole-step half-step through the letters of the scale (A-G) with one letter duplicated. It probably developed through the embellishments of a diminished 7th chord as used by Bach and Liszt. Its first use as an independent scale may be by Rimski-Korsakov in Coq d’Or. It provides possibilities for a different harmonic palette. An étude usually deals with one technical problem, and in these three the problems are: two against three, consecutive minor thirds, and broken octaves.”
DANA WILSON is a composer, jazz pianist and conductor with many commissioned works to his credit. He has received grants from, among others, the NEA, NYFA, New England Foundation for the Arts, NYSCA, Arts Midwest and Meet the Composer. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and East Asia. They have received several awards, including the International Trumpet Guild First Prize, the Sudler International Composition Prize, and Ostwald Prize, and are published by Boosey & Hawkes and Ludwig. His music can be heard on Klavier, Albany, Summit, Open Loop, Mark, Redwood, Musical Heritage, and Kosei Recordings. Dana Wilson holds a doctorate from Eastman, and is currently Charles A. Dana Professor of Music in the School of Music at Ithaca College. He is co-author of Contemporary Choral Arranging, published by Simon and Schuster, and has written articles on diverse musical subjects. He has been a Yaddo Fellow, a Wye Fellow at Aspen, a Charles A. Dana Fellow, and a Fellow at the Society for Humanities at Cornell.
Dancing with the Devil was commissioned by and dedicated to the Society for New Music and is published by Boosey & Hawkes. Wilson writes: “Dancing with the Devil is a common exhortation which suggests that someone is flirting with sin, corruption, or disaster. It is therefore a common dance that everyone revels in from time to time, but to my knowledge no music has ever been written to accompany it. Hence this piece.”
MELINDA WAGNER is Philadelphia native who earned her degrees from Hamilton College, the Univ. of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Her teachers included Richard Wernick, George Crumb, Shulamit Ran and Jay Reise. Among her numerous honors are a Guggenheim, a 1996 Howard Foundation Fellowship, 3 ASCAP awards, an honorary degree from Hamilton College, and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in music. Her music has been commissioned by such organizations as the Chicago Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Barlow Foundation, Society for New Music, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations, the Ernst and Young Emerging Composers Fund, American Brass Quintet, and guitarist David Starobin. Ms. Wagner’s works have been performed by the NY New Music Ensemble, Orchestra 2001, Society for New Music, New York Pops, American Brass Quintet, and other leading organizations. The Chicago Symphony commissioned two major works; Falling Angels (1992), and a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky (2002) for Emanuel Ax, premiered in May 2003. Her Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion is recorded on Bridge with Paul Lustig Dunkel and the Westchester Philharmonic. She has taught at Swarthmore, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University and Hunter College. Her music is published by Theodore Presser and has been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and South America.
Sextet was commissioned by the Society for New Music in 1989, premiered in 1990, and recorded for an Opus One CD. Since then the work has been performed by several other ensembles.
HARRIS LINDENFELD earned his music degrees from the Univ. of Virginia, and his DMA from Cornell. His teachers included Karel Husa, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips and Walter Ross. He served on the faculties of Cornell and Hamilton College. His music has been commissioned by the Utica Symphony, Catskill Brass Quintet, Trio Solce, Society for New Music and Hamilton College, among others. His music has been recorded on Golden Crest, Opus One and is published by Galaxy, Theodore Presser, ACA, and Tritone.
Lindenfeld writes: “from the Grotte des Combarelles was composed in Yaddo in 1978 to celebrate the marriage of Christine Day and Brian Israel. The piece takes its title from the cave in the Dordogne region of France filled with some of man’s earliest art. The one-movement work begins and ends quietly, the two outer sections are separated by a fast middle section.” The work was revised in July, 1980.
CHRISTOPHER HOPKINS maintains special interests in composition for instruments in combination with electronics, computer-based notations for experimental composition and music analysis, phonology of music, and dialectics of historical and contemporary musical styles. His work in traditional genre includes music for orchestra, chamber music, and song cycles. He studied composition with Donald Erb, Eugene O'Brien, and Karel Husa, earning degrees in composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cornell University, and subsequently served on the faculties of Ithaca College, Syracuse University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois. His compositions have been performed at major festivals in Basel, Grenoble, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Melbourne, New York, Tanglewood, Toronto, Vienna, and Zürich, with broadcasts over the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Östereichischer Rundfunk, Radio Canada, WNYC, and Public Radio International.
Hopkins writes: “Sonatas in Dark to Light takes its formal characteristics from transformations of a historical model, the mid-seventeenth century sonata da chiesa. This early form of the multi-movement sonata had an abstract and serious style, yet contained extroversions of fugal episodes and exploitations of instrumental effects. These features are transformed in Sonatas in Dark to Light to more contemporary realizations: fugal sections progress not by clearly defined imitative entries but rather through immediate overlapping of varied forms to create fields of sound, and the instrumental effects are electronic, under the control of a sampling keyboard. The concept of moving metaphorically from dark to light also affects the form on all levels: in the melodic characteristics of themes and the motions of timbres, from the beginning to the end of each movement, and across the entire composition.”
RONALD CALTABIANO is a native New Yorker who holds a DMA from Juilliard where he studied with Vincent Persichetti and Elliott Carter. His early studies were with Elie Siegmeister and Andrew Thomas, and he also studied with Peter Maxwell Davies in Europe. His honors include a Rockefeller, Guggenheim, American Academy of Arts & Letters, two Bearns przies from Columbia University, awards from ASCAP and BMI, and more. He has received commissions from Chamber Music American for the Emerson Quartet, from Exxon for the NY Youth Symphony, from the American Chamber Trio, Maxwell Davies for the Dartington School, Fires of London and the San Francisco Symphony. His music has been performed in the US and abroad by the Juilliard and Arditti Quartets, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, San Francisco, Dallas, BBC, Cincinnati and Royal Scottish National Symphonies, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Caltabiano’s music is published by Theodore Presser. Formerly assistant to Aaron Copland, he taught at Manhattan, Peabody, and currently serves on the San Francisco State faculty.
Caltabiano writes: “The Clarinet Quartet was written in 1998 for 4 ensembles; Thamyris (Atlanta), Earplay (S.F.), Society for New Music (Syracuse) and Southwest Chamber Music (Los Angeles), funded by a consortium commission grant from Meet the Composer. It was performed by each of the ensembles in 1999. The quartet exists in 2 versions; one for clarinet, violin, cello & percussion, and another for clarinet, violin, DB and percussion. A very soft bass clarinet solo, marked andante and semplice, open the Clarinet Quartet. The contemplative melody is at first limited by its slow speed, low register, and the domination of a single interval, the major third. One way to hear the piece is by following the journey of the clarinet as it tries to break out of these confines, sometimes aided and sometimes blocked by the other members of the ensemble. Throughout the work, the clarinetist climbs from lowest to highest registers, changing from bass clarinet to Bb clarinet as it does so. As the clarinet transforms its melodic and harmonic palettes, it coaxes, cajoles, and entices the other players, sometimes succeeding at ensnaring them into its own world, but at other times rebuffed and put down by them. Even as the clarinet reaches its final goal near the end of the work, its relationship with the other players is not a reconciliation but an ambivalent détente.”
ANN SILSBEE received degrees from Radcliffe, Syracuse, and her DMA from Cornell. She wrote for a variety of media and was commissioned by several organizations, including the Gregg Smith Singers, Colgate University Chorus, the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, Elmira Symphony, Ithaca Opera, and others. Her works have been recorded on CRI, Northeastern, and Spectrum by such distinguished artists as the Boston Musica Viva, Gregg Smith Singers, the Society for New Music, and David Burge. In May 1991 Ms. Silsbee traveled to China for performances and lectures.
Silsbee wrote:“Wakings (1986) emerges from a compositional struggle between repetition of a harmonic idée fixe and a world of improvisation, fantasy and blurred structural lines. Perhaps it takes its distant historical cue from the Baroque passacaglia. The work was written for the Society for New Music on a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.”
HOWARD BOATWRIGHT was born in Virginia and trained as a virtuoso violinist. He made his New York City debut at Town Hall in 1942 and was appointed to the Univ. of Texas faculty in 1943. In 1945 he enrolled at Yale to study composition with Hindemith and in 1948 was appointed to the Yale faculty. He also served as concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony, conductor of the Univ. Orchestra, and Dir. of Music at St. Thomas’s Church in New Haven. In 1959 Boatwright received Rockefeller and Fulbright grants to spend a year in India. In 1964 he left his tenured position at Yale to become Dean of the School of Music at Syracuse University. His music has been performed and recorded by the Manhattan Quartet (Second Quartet commissioned by the Society for New Music), Syracuse Symphony, Northwestern University, Civic Morning Musicals, and by chamber ensembles and church choirs throughout the U.S. and in Canada. In addition to his large body of works, he edited Charles Ives’ Essays Before a Sonata and Other Writings and the complete songs of Paul Hindemith. His Chromaticism: Theory and Practice, 1995, was published by Syracuse University Press.
Boatwright wrote: “The text for Adoration and Longing is drawn from what is sometimes called The Song of Solomon. Though some versions do not indicate it, the Hebrew version implies that parts of the text are uttered by the girl, partly by Solomon, and occasionally by ‘the daughters of Jerusalem’. It would seem in keeping with ancient practice to assume that the girl in this song was a much-loved concubine in Solomon’s court. The compilation which makes up the ‘libretto’ for this work is drawn only from lines ascribed to the girl, not in the order they occur, but in a sequence designed to alternate between adoration and longing. The work uses the first 12 bars of a Palestrina motet, Sicut cervus (“As the hind longs for the running water,” Psalm 42) three times: for the opening, as an interlude between the third and fourth songs, and as an ending. The calm, detached rhythmic structure of the Palestrina is used without change, but after the first few notes the pitch structure turns out to be the set of chromatic notes used in the first song. The interlude between the third and fourth songs again uses the same rhythmic structure, but the chromatic notes are those used in the fourth song, which has an atmosphere of higher emotional intensity. The ending of the piece is the opening 12 bars played exactly backwards (retrograde), ending with the notes on which the work begins.”
DAVID LIPTAK, a native of Pittsburgh, earned his BM in Piano Performance from Duquesne and the DMA in Composition from the Eastman School of Music. He has served on the faculties of Michigan State and Illinois, and is now Professor of Composition at Eastman. His music has been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and numerous other ensembles. His composition awards include the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Barlow Endowment, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music is published by MMB Music, and recordings of his music appear on the Gasparo, Bridge, Opus One, and Albany record labels.
Rhapsodies was commissioned by the Society for New Music on a grant from Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Consortium Commissioning program. Liptak writes that “Each of the three movements is a freely evolving musical piece that grows from a single expressive idea, and the entire composition can be viewed as a suite of these rhapsodic pieces. The first is labeled ‘con forza’ and is indeed a forceful piece with a strong, rhythmic profile. At times, insistent repetitions of the patterns drive the music on; the ending, stubbornly hammering out the B-D minor third interval, is certainly music of this type. The second Rhapsody, ‘Lirico’, is slow and languid. The third Rhapsody is ‘Allegro disinvolto,’ (free and easy) and is dance-like in character. This last, breezy rhapsody is the one which might suggest a cultural theme – as rhapsodies have often done in former days – with a hint of a Scottish dance character in its triple meter rhythmic patterns.”
ROBERTO SIERRA was born in Puerto Rico and earned both music and humanities degrees there before continuing his education at the Royal College of Music and Kings College in London, the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, and with Ligeti at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg. He returned to Puerto Rico in 1982 to teach and as Chancellor of the Conservatory of Music, although he was much sought after as a composer on the international scene during this time. He then served as Composer-in-Residence of the Milwaukee Symphony from 1989-92, at which time he joined the Cornell faculty, succeeding Karel Husa. His music has been much in demand for performances throughout the U.S. and abroad by such orchestras as the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, San Antonio, ACO, NY Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Scottish National and at the Almeida, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Lille, Casals Festivals and Neue Musik Bonn. A large number of recordings of his works have been issued on EMI, New World, Newport Classics, New Albion, ADDA, VRAS, Musical Heritage, Koss Classics, CRI, BMG, Fleur de Son & Dorian. Sierra has accepted commissions from a number of major orchestras and several distinguished soloists, including the National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Library of Congress, Koussevitzky, Carol Wincenc, Kronos Quartet, Phoenix Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Society for New Music, Continuum, and Seattle Symphony among others. During the 2000-2001 season Roberto Sierra was composer-in-residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Sierra writes: "Cronicas del discubrimiento, 1991-1995 is a series of chronicles (cronica in Spanish) composed on the subject of the meeting between the aboriginal Indian culture of the Caribbean islands and the Spanish Conquistadores. The image of surprise and bewilderment from both sides is particularly fascinating. The six separate pieces (two in each set) form a single unit, but the possibility of playing them separately should not be discarded. In Leyenda Taina (Taino Leyend - being the name of the tribe that inhabited the Island of Puerto Rico), and Danza, I put in musical thought my own interpretation of some of the things that might have occurred 500 years ago. Noche is a tone poem that evokes the primeval night sounds of the Caribbean nights. En busca del oro alludes to the engine that moved the conquest: the search for gold and riches. Canción and Batallia close the cycle with stark contrasts: the innocence of a simple song and the violence of battle.
RICHARD WERNICK is a native of Boston who earned his degrees at Brandeis and Mills, studying with Irving Fine, Harold Shapero, Arthur Berger, Ernst Toch, Leon Kirchner, Boris Blacher and Aaron Copland. He taught at SUNY-Buffalo, the Univ. of Chicago, and was a chaired Professor at the University of Pennsylvania prior to his retirement. In addition to the 1977 Pulitzer Prize in music, Wernick has been honored by awards from the Ford, Fromm and Guggenheim Foundations, NEA, National Institute of Arts & Letters, CBC, Aspen, and 2 Kennedy Center/Friedheim Awards. His music has been commissioned by such organizations as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Juilliard Quartet, Lambert Orkis, Orchestra 2001 and Society for New Music
A Poison Tree, commissioned by the Society for New Music in 1978, sets a text from William Blake’s Songs of Experience. Although little over half the work is actually devoted to the presentation of the poem, the instrumental writing of this single movement work vividly conveys a sense of the affective content of the text. The full violence of the poet’s anger is boldly portrayed in the opening instrumental fantasia and set of nine brief variations on the work’s basic thematic material. The variations range widely in character, but most include the long, slowly swelling notes that are later taken up at the vocal entrance. Even in the most heavily scored sections of the instrumental introduction, Wernick achieves a clarity of writing that allows the contrapuntal interplay of the various parts to be distinguished clearly. A vigorous double cadenza for cello and violin emphasizes the leading position these instruments hold in the ensemble. With the change of timbre brought about by the addition of the soprano, the Blake text is presented as a valse macabre in which the element of parody always present in the genre is stressed. The final section of the work, following some word painting on “grew” and “bright”, returns to the opening material, adding to it the repetition of the final two lines of the text.
A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend And it grew both day and night
I told my wrath, my wrath did end. Till it bore an apple bright,
I was angry with my foe: And my foe beheld it shine
I told it not, my wrath did grow. And he knew that it was mine.
And I watered it in fears And into my garden stole
Night and morning with my tears, When the night had veiled the pole:
And I sunned it with smiles In the morning, glad, I see
And with soft, deceitful wiles. My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
--William Blake (from Songs of Experience)
SAMUEL PELLMAN is an Ohio native who earned his degrees at Miami Univ. where he studied with David Cope, and Cornell (DMA), where he studied with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. He has been commissioned and performed by numerous organizations, including the Society for New Music, and his works are recorded on several labels, most recently Selected Planets on Innova. His book on the creation of electro-acoustic music is published by Wadsworth. Currently a professor at Hamilton College, he also directs the Studio for Contemporary Music.
Pellman writes: “Crane Songs was commissioned by the Society for New Music (1983-84). The first three of the four poems by Stephen Crane are found in The Black Riders and Other Lines (Crane’s first book of poetry, published in 1895). The text of the fourth appeared separately. These settings are shaped, to a large degree, by the ebb and flow of tonal and atonal pitch relationships. When tonal relationships prevail, the preferred centers are the pitches C and G-flat (F-sharp), occasionally acting simultaneously (as at the beginning of the second song). The third song is characterized by rapid pentatonic figures similar to those employed in my Intermezzo for two flutes. The apparent musical quotations in the interlude between the second and third stanzas of the fourth song are, in fact, brief parodies of popular styles from the end of the 19th century, such as the style of the march, Protestant hymnody, and ragtime. The work is dedicated to Neva Pilgrim and the Society for New Music.”
1. There were many who went in huddled procession, 4. When a people reach the top of a hill,
They knew not whither; Then does God lean toward them,
But, at any rate, success or calamity Shortens tongues and lengthens arms.
Would attend all in equality. A vision of their dead comes to the weak.
The moon shall not be too old
There was one who sought a new road. Before the new battalions rise,
He went into direful thickets, Blue battalions.
And ultimately he died thus, alone; The moon shall not be too old
But they said he had courage. When the children of change shall fall
Before the new battalions,
2. Many workmen The blue battalions.
Built a huge ball of masonry
Upon a mountain-top. Mistakes and virtues will be trampled deep.
Then they went to the valley below, A church and a thief shall fall together.
And turned to behold their work. A sword will come at the bidding of the eyeless,
“It is grand,” they said; The God-led, turning only to beckon,
They loved the thing Swing a creed like a censer At the head of the new battalions,
Of a sudden, it moved: Blue battalions.
It came upon them swiftly; March the tools of nature’s impulse,
It crushed them all to blood. Men born of wrong, men born of right,
But some had opportunity to squeal. Men of the new battalions, The blue battalions.
3. I saw a man pursuing the horizon; The clang of swords is Thy wisdom,
Round and round they sped. The wounded make gestures like Thy Son’s
I was disturbed at this; The feet of mad horses is one part --
I accosted the man. Ay, another is the hand of a mother on the brow of a youth.
“It is futile,” I said, Then, swift as they charge through a shadow,
“You can never – “ The men of the new battalions,
Blue battalions --
“You lie,” he cried, God lead them high, God lead them far,
And ran on. God lead them far, God lead them high,
These new battalions,
The blue battalions.
AUGUSTA READ THOMAS, born in 1964 in Glen Cove, NY, is the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra until May 2006. She was an Associate Professor on the composition faculty at the Eastman School of Music from 1993-2001 and is now a Professor of Music at Northwestern University. Her work is published exclusively by G. Schirmer. Conductors including Barenboim, Boulez, Rostropovich, Ozawa, Eschenbach, Colnot, Salonen, Robertson, Maazel, Alsop, Knussen, Boreyko, Benjamin, Slatkin, Schwarz, Delaney, Vonk, Stenz, Russell Davies, Smolij, Ling, Leighton Smith, Rose, Lubman, and Wolff have conducted her music. Augusta Thomas was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard from 1991 to 1994. She was a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe in 1990. She studied with Jacob Druckman at Yale; Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern. Her prizes and awards include: Siemens Foundation in Munich, ASCAP, BMI, National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim, Naumburg, Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations, New York Foundation for the Arts, John W. Hechinger Foundation, Kate Neal Kinley Foundation, Debussy Trio Music Foundation and Thomas van Straaten, Columbia University (Bearns Prize), Barlow Endowment, Harriett Eckstein, Chamber Music America, Henri Dutilleux International prize, Rudolph Nissim Award from ASCAP, New York State Council for the Arts, a Finalist Award in the Mass. Artists Fellowship Program, and the Indiana State Orchestral Prize. She was also given the Third Century Award from the Office of Copyrights and Patents in Washington, D.C.
Bells Ring Summer, 2000, was commissioned and premiered by David Finckel. The work is passionate, ringing, short, focused and colorful. The cello should sound like a memory of a carillon of bells, heard across a field. Two Etudes, 1996, was commissioned and premiered by Judy Kehler Seibert. I: Orbital Beacons is an homage to Berio. II. Fire Waltz is an homage to Bartok and marked Perpetual Motion – Bartok boogie-woogie and should be played as quickly as possible!
PING JIN was born in Shenyang, China and studied composition at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. In 1990 he came to the U.S. to study composition at Syracuse University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory, where he earned his DMA. His teachers include Xiaogang Ye, Du Mingxin, Joe Downing, Dan Godfrey, Darrell Handel, Allen Sapp, Joel Hoffman and Sam Adler. Currently on the SUNY-New Paltz music faculty, where he teaches composition, theory & electronic music, his interest lies in the integration of Western & Eastern aesthetics, e.g. Pipa Dance, commissioned and premiered by the Cinn. Symphony Orchestra, and in Xipi, commissioned and premiered by the Newstead Piano Trio. His music has been performed in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Europe, the U.S. and Mexico, and recorded on China Records, City of Cincinnati CD, and Prince.
Jin Ping writes: “Yangtze! Yangtze! is the first of a series commemorating the massive cultural loss in China due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Countless historical sites, thousands of years old, including the city of Fengdu, known as the Capital of Ghosts, were submerged and millions of people uprooted. The Three Gorges region occupies a special place in Chinese history and has inspired generations of artists, poets and musicians with its legends, mystery and stunning beauty. I am always awed by the scene of hundreds of people hauling boats up the Yangtze River. (In comparison, New Yorkers had mules haul boats along the Erie Canal.) The work songs the Chinese workers sang show an unbelievable power. They expressed their feelings as well as coordinated their movements. That scene is now a memory. In Yangtze! I used one of the work songs as the main material, which is transformed in different ways and appears in different textures, from unison to fugal. My goal is to show a large emotional gamut with a limited core material in a way that is typical of folk idioms. But the real inspiration was to weave folk and work songs of the people who have lived in the Three Gorges region for centuries as a way of honoring them and keeping part of their culture alive in the modern world. Yangtze! Yangtze! was commissioned by the Society for New Music with funds provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts.”
JAMES WILLEY earned his music degrees, including his Ph.D., from Eastman where he studied with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. He also studied with Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood. His music has been performed by the Buffalo, Minnesota and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestras, the Seattle, Kansas City and Baltimore Symphonies, the Esterhazy, Tremont and Audubon Quartets, the Dorian Quintet, Society for New Music and the 20th C. Consort. He has won awards and grants, including a semi-finalist for the 1991 Kennedy Center/Friedheim Awards. He was a Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY-Geneseo for many years.
Willey writes: “Society Music was commissioned and premiered by the Society for New Music in 1986. The single movement work, comprised of five sections, is “one of several compositions which bring together kinds of music that are strikingly different both in tone and content. The pensive lyrical opening establishes the important pitch, motivic and harmonic references for the work. The opening section, and its modified return at the work’s conclusion, are set off from each other by the ‘society music’ of the title. Not a ‘society music’ of decorous gesture and elegant tone with a family of potted palms as backdrop, this music reflects a more general impression of American society, a music of militant and aggressive good cheer, interrupted in its middle by troubled allusions to the work’s opening, music that is reminiscent of jingles and half-time shows, political campaigns, show tunes, all of which explode before, or in the face of, a return to more serious matters. The work is dedicated to the memory of Brian Israel, who was closely associated with the Society for New Music. The work attempts to capture something of Brian’s spirit.”
NICHOLAS V. D'ANGELO was born in Erie, PA. He has been a long-time Professor of Music at Hobart/William Smith Colleges. His composition teachers included Bernard Rogers, Nadia Boulanger, Luigi Dallapiccola, Paul Hindemith, and Earl George. The recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including the Sheena Meeker Memorial Award for a new chamber orchestra work, Univ. of Georgia Bicentennial Prize, Michigan State University performance award, and first prize at the New American Music Festival, D’Angelo was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1985. He also received a Hobart and William Smith Colleges Faculty award for Distinguished Research and Scholarship for his ‘considerable distinction as a versatile American composer’. Grants include those from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, Rockefeller Foundation, and commissions from the National Composer's Conference, Society for New Music, and several other chamber groups, plus numerous commissions from colleges and universities. D'Angelo's music has been performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, France, and Italy, and has been recorded on Roulette, KLP, Century and Spectrum.
D’Angelo writes: “Some Summer Sun (1985) was written for Linda Greene. This is one of a set of works expressing the ‘tones of the earth.’ The basic generating element is an ‘earth tone’ motif – a seven-note pitch-class set which first appears at the beginning and then reappears in a variety of guises, often in a highly chromatic context. The work’s three movements together form an expressive curve that is arch-like, culminating with the first two intervals of the ‘earth tone’ motif in the plaintive finale.”
SYD HODKINSON is a native of Winnipeg. He earned his BM and MM degrees from Eastman, where he studied with Louis Minini and Bernard Rogers. He continued his studies in seminars at Princeton with Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt, and at the Univ. of Michigan where he earned his DMA. While there he studied with Lesslie Bassett, Ross Lee Finney and George B. Wilson. Hodkinson has taught at the Universities of Virginia, Ohio and Michigan. He served 2 years in Minneapolis on a Ford Foundation Contemporary Music Project. He joined the Eastman faculty in 1973. During 1984-86 he was a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University. In 1998 he was appointed to the faculty of the Aspen Festival. He has had commissions from the Rochester Philharmonic, Ying, Lafayette and Cassatt Quartets, a piano concert for Barry Snyder and the Eastman Orchestra for their 75th anniversary, the Society for New Music (Second Quartet, 1994) and many more.
Hodkinson writes: “In Epitaph and Scherzo (1988), the Epitaph (a ‘hymn’ surrounded by 2 cadenzas, for clarinet and violin respectively) functions as a lengthy introduction to the core of the piece: the scherzo proper. The Scherzo is very traditional: the initial fortissimo statements of the 9/8 thematic fragment undergo extensive development before proceeding into a rather macabre Trio in simple time. A varied recapitulation, now pianissimo, dissipates into a brief reprise of the opening ‘hymn’ and a further variant of the Trio serves as a coda for the entire piece. The Epitaph and Scherzo was written in memory of Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) who offered to me – and to many others – artistic encouragement in my youth. He will be greatly missed. The work was completed in July of 1988 in Ormond Beach, Florida. The first performances were given by the Verdehr Trio during the 1989-1990 concert season.
DEXTER MORRILL is a Massachusetts native who attended Colgate, Stanford and earned his doctorate at Cornell. From 1971-2001 he taught at Colgate, where he was director of the Computer Music Studio and Charles A. Dana Professor of Music. His music has been performed throughout the world and recorded on Golden Crest, Musical Heritage, Redwood and Centaur, Captsone and Innova. In 1980 he was a guest researcher at IRCAM, and has also been a visiting professor at SUNY-Binghamton and Stanford. The recipient of several commissions, including the Society for New Music, Morrill has worked on special jazz projects for Stan Getz and Wynton Marsalis. He is the author of A Guide to the Big Band Recordings of Woody Herman and The American String Quartet – A Guide to the Recordings..
Morrill writes: “Six Dark Questions (1979), on a text by George Hudson, was commissioned by the Society for New Music and composed for Neva Pilgrim. The tape was generated at the Colgate Computer Music Studio by means of the digital/analog converters interfaced to the PDP-10 computer. The tape for the Sixth Question was generated at IRCAM in Paris. Essentially tonal except for a few microtonal passages, e.g., the bridge scene in III, two special scales were used for the Second and Fourth Questions, and the final recitative and aria are based on a simple E-major triad. All the loudspeaker sounds are synthetic, except for Pilgrim’s voice, and are based on Morrill’s trumpet algorithms, which owe much to John Chowning at CCRMA/Stanford University, Jean Claude Risset’s little drum instrument (France), and some broad bands of noise. The questions are ‘dark’ because they are suggestive and symbolic rather than open and direct. They raise increasingly serious human problems. The first two questions reveal the singer’s feelings about men and women, while the third concerns the search for meaning in life. The fourth and fifth deal with the unknowable future, which holds the threat of death. By the sixth question, the singer asks the questions – not the speaker; she has admitted her fear and begun to seek answers.”
LIU ZHUANG was born in Shanghai and spent her early years studying piano in Hongzhou, China. After graduation in composition from the Shanghai Conservatory, she continued her studies in Russian Prof. Gorov’s masterclass and earned her MM. She then taught at Shanghai Conservatory and in the Central Conservatory in Beijing until 1969. In 1970 she was appointed composer-in-residence with the Central Philharmonic in Beijing. She was a Fulbright Asian Scholar from 1989-91 at Syracuse University, where she remained to teach until 2003. Her major compositions include The Yellow River Concerto (co-composed), a violin concerto, many orchestral works and symphonic poems. In addition she has many chamber works and film scores, several of which have won awards, and choral works. Living Waters, a Society for New Music commission, has been performed in NYC, Boston and Shanghai and recorded. Her music has been performed throughout the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan and China. She is listed in Who’s Who Among Asian Americans 1994/95, Who’s Who of Well-known Chinese Women, and Who’s Who of Modern Chinese Musicians.
Zhuang Liu writes: “Wind Through Pines, describing the tranquility of a night in which the wind blows through a pine forest, explores tone colors of traditional Chinese instruments through modern instruments. The title refers to ancient poetic rhythms in terms of style and form - a sonic exploration of the poetry of music. The piano is prepared to sound like a Ching, a unique ancient plucked instrument. The flute represents the Xiao, a low-pitched Chinese wind instrument. Utilizing overtones and harmonies, the cello serves as unfixed tone, both dotted and solid touch. The piece is free-form, but not formless, like Chinese calligraphy, or when reading a poem with some words exaggerated.”
ROB SMITH, a Syracuse, NY native, earned a BM from Potsdam and an MM and DMA from the University of TX at Austin. His music is frequently performed throughout the U.S. and abroad, and has been performed by ensembles such as the Continuum Ensemble, Coruscations, Synchronia, the Montague-Mead Piano Plus, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Dr. Smith’s compositions have received numerous awards, including those from ASCAP, National Band Association (Panther Fire), NACUSA, Luigi Russolo International Electronic Music Competition and SCI. He has been commissioned by the NY Symphony Chamber Music Program, American Composers Forum/Society for New Music (as a part of Continental Harmony), and the Australian percussion sextet Sprung, among others. In 1997-98, as a recipient of a Fulbright, Rob studied with Peter Sculthorpe at the Univ. of Sydney in Australia. During his time there, he collaborated with many Australian ensembles and musicians and taught music theory at Wollongong University. His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Southern Music, C. Alan Publications and Skitter Music. He currently serves on the faculty at the University of Houston.
Dance Mix, published by Boosey & Hawkes, was commissioned by the Society for New Music through the American Composers Forum’s Continental Harmony Project. The program was a partnership of the Forum and the NEA, with additional funds provided by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Land O’Lakes Foundation. Continental Harmony was also an Associate Partner of the White House Millennium Council. Rob chose an ensemble that he felt would work in the outdoor setting at Lorenzo Historic Site in Cazenovia, NY, where the work was premiered by the Society for New Music in July 2000. His 2 saxophones, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, amplified bass and 4 percussionists closely resembled a jazz-style big band or a blues/rock group like ‘Tower of Power’. Rob had frequently performed with such groups (on trombone) during his student years and that significantly influenced his writing. Many of his compositions feature traits commonly found in pop or jazz, particularly in terms of their energy and rhythm. Funk and jazz styles are strongly suggested in Dance Mix, and the music is bright and upbeat in nature, a direct reflection of the composer’s thoughts regarding summer afternoons by the lake.
Israel, Palmer, Stucky, Wernick -- Richard Burns, Recording Engineer
DAngelo, Godfrey, Morrill, Pellman, Rouse, Silsbee -- Marice Stith, Recording Engineer & Editing
Alexander & Ping Jin -- Tadashi Matsuura, Recording Engineer
Boatwright, Caltabiano, Downing, George, Hodkinson, Hopkins, Keefe, Lewis, Liu, Read Thomas, Sierra, Smith, Wilson -- James S. Abbott, Recording Engineer
Lindenfeld, Liptak, Rouse, Silsbee, Wagner, Willey -- Mark Drews, Recording Engineer & Editing
Alexander, Boatwright, Caltabiano, Downing, George, Hodkinson, Keefe, Lewis, Zhuang Liu, Read Thomas, Sierra -- Editing by James S. Abbott
Mastered by James S. Abbott
Founded in 1971, the Society's purpose is to act as a catalyst for the continued growth of the central New York musical community by commissioning new works, through advocacy (e.g. Society News and Fresh Ink on WCNY-FM and its Watertown and Utica affiliates), by featuring regional composers alongside guest composers, by providing regional musicians an opportunity to perform the music of their peers in order to gain new skills and techniques which they then share with their students, and by bringing new music to as broad an audience as possible through performances, broadcasts and cable TV.
The Society has grown from five concerts to approximately 25 per season, plus workshops and masterclasses, in addition to funding composers-in-residence in inner-city schools. The Society has participated in consortia with other groups throughout the U.S. for commissions, recordings, and exchanging performances and scores. In 1988/89, 1991/92, 1994/95 and 1996/97 the Society received ASCAP/Chamber Music America programming awards. In 1994 Neva Pilgrim and the Society received ACA's 'Laurel Leaf' Award. In 1999, the Society was chosen as the New York State representative for the national Continental Harmony Millennium commissioning project. In March 2001, the Society hosted the National SCI Conference. In 2001, the Society was honored with a NYS Governor's Arts Award, the only music organization among the 11 awardees.
The Society provides a format for living composers in the same way art galleries provide a format for visual artists, and is the only year-round new music organization in New York State outside of Manhattan. The Society annually awards the Brian M. Israel Prize to a composer 30 years of age or younger. The winner receives $500 and a performance. Honorable Mentions are also performed. Several winners have been women and minorities, most recently Evan Johnson, Huang Ruo, Winnie Cheung, Mark McConnell, Rob Paterson, and Derek Bermel.
• is the only year-round new music organization in upstate New York
• is the oldest new music organization in New York State outside of Manhattan
• is governed by a volunteer Board representing a cross-section of the community
• offers an average of 30 engaging performances of the highest quality each year, plus workshops by guest composers and artists
•commissions at least one new work each season by a regional composer, and initiates consortium commissioning and recording projects with other new music organizations
• gives World, American and New York premieres of several new works each season
• awards the Brian M. Israel Prize annually to a New York State composer 30 years of age or younger
• is dedicated to regional performers performing music by regional composers
• performs music and produces cable TV and radio broadcasts of music by today's most talented and innovative composers representing a wide diversity of 20th century styles composed by men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds
•records music by commissioned composers
• generates joint projects with area arts organizations
• regularly performs for Senior Citizen residences and long-term care facilities
• initiates Festivals
• annually presents new music in the public schools and funds a composer-in-residence program for the school
• presents diverse guest artists and composers
• produces operas
• conducts touring performances throughout New York State, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Baltimore
• has received funding from a wide variety of public, private and corporate sources