May 1st at 1pm EDT: TURN UP Multimedia Festival, violinist Barbora Kolářová‘s gorgeous video performance of An Evening Indigo with video by Marc Webster of Blue on Blue Recording Studio opened the TURN UP Multimedia Festival.
Check out the Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra premiere of my commissioned piece “Turning Tides“
I am totally excited to invite you to the Portland Youth Philharmonic New Music Festival Vol. 2: “The Orchestra Strikes Back” Saturday, April 10 at 7pm PT (10pm EDT).
The PYP strings will perform the premiere of my commissioned piece “Turning Tides.”
These young musicians deserve so much respect for preserving with their music studies through the pandemic. Plus, they have been performing brand new works by contemporary composers!
Please show your support with an e-ticket purchase for the PYP New Music Festival Vol. 2 Saturday, April 10 at 7pm PT (10pm EDT). E-tickets are on a “pay-what-you-can” scale. A free e-ticket is also an option. All payments made towards our virtual concerts are considered tax-deductible donations.
Can’t make it at 7:00 PM? Sign-up for an e-ticket for the watch link. After the concert has “aired,” you can watch it on your own time through the same link. Please fill out a ticket form for each email address where you would like to receive the link to watch.
PYPFEST Vol. 2 features 10 new compositions primarily by women and musicians of color (as part of the Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative), performed by all of our ensembles.
Commissioned composers include Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Tatev Amiryan, Jonathan Bingham, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer, Erberk Eryılmaz, Gabriel A. Meneses, Gordon Rencher, Bruce Stark, James Stephenson, and Rain Worthington.
Composer Rain Worthington’s new composition for unaccompanied cello, and it needed a title. We thought it might be fun for one of our Cello Museum family members to help her name the piece through a contest.
**J. Shea: “Steps in the Night“
*Susanne Friedrich: “Lonely Voyage“,
*Jacqueline Ridgeway: “Megaliths“,
*Roger Morelló Ros: “In Search of Hope“,
*Chris Robinson: “The Other Side of Tomorrow” & “As Time Evaporates“,
*Sean Penzo: “Shadows Dance“,
*Kevin Akin: “Night Ramble“,
*Corbin Keep: “Nectere“,
*Judy Lemke: “I Shall Not Go Gently“
“Within Deep Currents” conveys some of the feelings I have had during this epic time of a global pandemic – a sense of immersion within a flow of time and a feeling of being slowly pulled along by underlying currents, as dynamic forces exert their influences through an interplay of diverse energies. – RW
Recorded by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava, Conductor, Stanislav Vavřínek.
World Premiere 2020: Moravian Philharmonic (Moravská filharmonie Olomouc), with conductor Stanislav Vavřínek, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
I am honored that bassist Joel Braun selected my piece BaDaBaDaDa for his presentation at the Texas Music Educators Association 2021 Convention. Joel will be presenting an excerpt, but also generously made this performance video of the full piece. I love the sense of lyricism and sensitivity of dynamics he brought to the work. Plus, I’m very grateful that he shared his thoughts on the technical aspects of the work.
In my presentation I’m giving it as an example of an intermediate level piece… so maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10 on a scale? Note-wise it’s not terribly difficult. The end of the first page and second page offer some challenges because it requires covering a little more space with the intervals in the longer lyrical lines. There are also intonation challenges since it leaves the bass so naked and there’s enough repetition that if it’s not the same for each time it’s very noticeable. Otherwise, most of the challenges are musical like you mentioned – dynamic contrasts, timing/tempo, etc. So I think an intermediate player could handle it but also be challenged and pushed musically.
In the past, I have made it a personal tradition to send out a Thank You to the musicians who performed my works during the year. But in this surreal year of 2020, when time seems to warp and nothing has been normal, my traditional thanks got overlooked. Now, as live performances seem more precious than ever, I want to send a much belated Thanks.
performances and premieres of my music in 2019.
From Wisconsin to D.C. to New York…
Thanks to these wonderfully gifted musicians
I am so grateful for their skill, sensitivity, and artistry!
Orquestra Sinfônica de Limeira, Rodrigo Müller, conductor, world premiere “Shredding Glass” Teatro Victoria, as part of the “VI Encontro Internacional de Cordas” Limeira, Brazil;
Kinga Augustyn, violin, “An Evening Indigo” & “Frost Vapors“, Wroclaw Old Town Hall, Poland; Kosciuszko Foundation, Washington D.C.; Queens New Music Festival, & Mezzrow, NYC;
Erëmira Çitaku, flute & Cagatay Akyol, harp, world premiere “Imagined Tango” Flute Sound Festival, National Library of Kosovo, Prishtinë, Kosovë;
Jane Boxall, marimba, “Gathering Steam” KM Music Conservatory, Tamil Nadu, India;
2Flutes: Pamela Sklar & Laura Falzon, “Duets for a Duo” “New York Tapestries” CD Release Party & Concert, The Tank, NYC;
Sergio de Oliveria, contrabass, “BaDaBaDaDa” Palacete de Levy, in the “VI Encontro Internacional de Cordas” Limeira, Brazil;
Calvin Wiersman & Conrad Harris, violins, “Night Stream” Locrian Chamber Players, Riverside Church, NYC;
eGALitarian Brass, “Only to Ask” Festival of Women Composers, Spectrum, Brooklyn NY;
Anna Maria Manalo, violin, “An Evening Indigo” Friday Noon Musicales, First Unitarian Meeting House, Madison, WI;
Géraldine Fastré, clarinet & Bruno Ispiola, cello, “A Moment’s Impression” Osmose Intermezzo concert, Bruxelles, Belgium
for the interview opportunities. It was such a pleasure!
radio broadcast & webcast WRUU 107.5 Savannah, GA
David Osenberg, Producer & Host “Cadenza”
radio broadcast & webcast, WWFM –The Classical Network
PRISMA Vol 4 release of Shadows of the Wind recorded by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra with Stanislav Vavřínek conductor and Ivo Fišer cello.
Program note: The inspiration for this work came to me one night while listening to the sounds of a windstorm, as the wind increased and diminished in cycles, the room was filled with the changing patterns cast by the movements of branches and leaves. Unlike many of my works that tie in more specifically to a memory, dream or emotional response to an experience, this work has a broader wash of mystery as if looking out from a perspective of a high place as shadows of time and memories travel in waves over a vast emotional landscape below. – RW
(Youtube trailer includes a very brief excerpt of the opening at 4:19)
I had a totally cool time connecting with up-and-coming conductors Jeremy D. Cuebas and Luke Lyons-Hunt for this Podium Time Podcast conversation. Jeremy and Luke are great and we touched on a bunch of interesting topics from a “composer’s perspective” that I hope you’ll enjoy!
Plus this comes at an amazingly synchronistic time with…
a PARMA Live Stage performance on Thursday 8/13 of my string orchestra piece, “Within Deep Currents”
the Navona release “PRISMA Vol 4” on Friday 8/14 with a the orchestral recording of “Shadows of the Wind”
(Yep, when it rains, sometimes… it can pour, so I am happily grateful for this celebratory week for my music!)
This work was just recorded in June in the Czech Republic for an upcoming 2020 release. Since orchestra sessions, for economic practicalities, are recorded in short segments which are then edited together to form the final piece for release, this is an exciting first for me to be able to hear the full piece played through!
P.S. It’s a short 6 & 1/2 minutes that conveys some of the feelings I have had during this epic time of a global pandemic – a sense of immersion within a flow of time and a feeling of being slowly pulled along by underlying currents, as dynamic forces exert their influences through an interplay of diverse energies.
Plus, it’s such a heartwarming pleasure to watch orchestral musicians playing together again!
There was something really sweet about having the chance to engage in this conversation with Clem Errol Pearson during the 2020 TUTTI Festival at Denison University. (Who knew that it would be one of the last opportunities in quite a long while to be able to have a casual conversation in a bustling local coffee shop?) For brevity, this is Clem’s shorter edited version of the whole conversation, but a very nice presentation of some of the topics we talked about… sources of compositional inspiration, economic changes and shifts in music listening habits that have epically affected the field of contemporary classical music.
Clem Errol Pearson is a very cool Violinist/Composer/Conductor in his own right | Denison University class of 2020
Hope you enjoy it.
Marga Richter’s son Michael sent me the heartbreaking news of the passing of my best friend, composer Marga Richter.
Marga lived each day of her 93 years completely on her own terms. She was lucid and still composing new works until her last days. She passed peacefully of natural causes at her new home in Barnegat, NJ on June 25, 2020.
I first met Marga at a meeting of New York Women Composers members. I entered the room late and took the one empty seat next to hers. She told me her name and asked who I might be. When I replied, she exclaimed “Wonderful! You are the reason I came to the meeting – I wanted to meet you.” That got my attention. We instantly became part of each other’s lives.
Marga was an extraordinary woman and composer. She was one of those rare people whose sense of self-worth and unshakable belief in the value of her work were the essential core of her being. Often within minutes after meeting Marga you would learn that she was a composer, not because of an arrogance, but rather because of her genuine enthusiasm to share her gift of music with you. And, reciprocally, within minutes she would also be interested to discover if music had been a part of your life. After meeting a new doctor, or new person during her long walks, or a helpful clerk in a grocery store, she would relay with great delight that they had studied piano when they were six, or they took band in high school, or their child had just taken up cello! etc. And, she would invite them to her house to play her music for them or send them her scores and CDs.
She will be missed by so many who accepted her invitations to visit her in Long Island or in Vermont in the summer.
She approached life as a “take it as it comes” adventure, with passion and openness to experiences. I never recall Marga exhibiting any sense of fear. She approached situations with an open curiosity as “Hmm, I wonder where this will lead?” And in response, whenever she needed help, perfect strangers appeared on the scene who were willing to drop whatever they were doing to help her find her way through the subways or streets. She was a force of nature and brought out the best in others. She enriched lives.
Marga was a pioneer, pursuing composition with conviction when there were few women composers attempting to enter the field. Importantly, her music was recognized as substantially significant and began to be performed by orchestras and recorded by prestigious classical labels, such as MGM Records. Her music is dramatic, personal, emotionally charged chromaticism (not 12-tone) combined with strong tonal centers, modal orientation, strong rhythmic drive. Music was her primal language, her spiritual path through which she shared her elemental emotional experiences. From within her open, unguarded approach to life, she was able to plumb the deepest complexities and depths of human emotion in her profound music.
I will deeply miss her friendship and active presence in my life, as will the many others whose lives she touched.
Personal condolences and remembrances for Marga’s family can be emailed to her son Michael Skelly at: [email protected]
To get to know her more, please explore these other links.
Tenor Will George wrote a lovely remembrance of Marga, which includes many links to her music.
Rare archival video footage from a series of “Hear & Now” interviews hosted by Judith St. Croix for American Cable Systems features “An Exploration of the Creative Mind” with composer Marga Richter discussing her creative process and her piece “Landscapes of the Mind 1.” is posted on the NYWC YouTube channel
A brief interview with Marga by filmmaker Leslie Streit for the documentary “An American Ballet Story”
Sharon Mirchandani’s biography of Marga
Marga’s album releases on Amazon
Her sheet music is available from Theodore Presser
Her NYWC Profile page has a listing of works & CDs
It was so heartening to live stream in to participate in this PARMA Recordings session with the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra for the recording of my string orchestra piece, “Within Deep Currents.” Seeing musicians playing together again gave me such hope. Not to mention they did a fantastic job bringing the piece to life! I’m looking forward to hearing the session edits!
From the 8BC to Carnegie Hall: The improbable journey of composer Rain Worthington
TUTTI Festival Thursday, 7:30 pm March 5, 2020: Conductor Philip Rudd will lead the TUTTI Festival Orchestra in a performance of Yet Still Night at Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts-Sharon Martin Hall, Denison University, Granville, OH
I am thrilled to announce this career highlight. Conductor Miran Vaupotić and Distinguished Concerts International NY (DCINY) selected my short orchestral piece Still Motion for their “Perpetual Light” concert program.
Here’s a preview excerpt video I created with the opening of Still Motion.
Wow, this is a wild ride that you will need to approach with a full open mind and adventurously open ears! With the erudition of a musicologist, Dave Lake is interested in all facets of the music scene. So in his exploration of my journey to becoming a composer it made total sense to add music from my early downtown NYC ensembles, Zone and Hizohi into the mix. Then moving on to some of my first notated instrumental duos and on to some pivotal orchestral pieces! It’s a journey for the adventurous for sure! On WRUU Contemporary Classics 107.5 FM Savannah, GA.
(The core Zone ensemble was bass Mitch McNeil, percussion Mustafa Ahmed, sax Charles Compo, guitar Mark Worthy, Susan Smith Compo adding some occasional vocals & me on a very basic early Casio keyboard. The Roulette performance is a duo gig with vocalist Jill Burton and me on synth. Music tracks also feature 2Flutes: Pamela Sklar & Laura Falzon; violinist Moonkyung Lee, & pianist Martha Locker; cellist Petr Nouzovský, conductor Petr Vronsky & the Moravian Philharmonic; and a shout out to cellist, Carmine Miranda and PARMA Recordings.)
Many thanks to musicologist & music journalist, Ona Jarmalavičiūtė for her intriguing questions and to Classical Music Daily for the publication of this profile conversation.
“Universality of Emotion”
Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to American composer Rain Worthington
Wow, I had a fantastic live-stream recording session today (with the full moon setting early morning NY time). PARMA Recordings‘ international sessions manager Jan Košulič, conductor Stanislav Vavrinek, & the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava musicians were terrific. The recording of “Shadows of the Wind” turned out gorgeous! I am one happy composer!
7-9 pm Wednesday, September 25th at The Tank. If you are a fan of beautiful flute music… here you have 2Flutes! Laura Falzon & Pamela Sklar are celebrating the release of their album “New York Tapestries” with a release party concert.
The CD weaves together works by composers Marilyn Bliss, Rain Worthington, Pamela Sklar, Alyssa Reit and Victoria Bond to form a tapestry of the city, creating a diversity of musical narratives and conversations.
Composers & works featured
Marilyn Bliss IT WAS THE WIND
Rain Worthington DUETS FOR A DUO
Alyssa Reit WHEN THE CLOUDS CLEAR
Pamela Sklar FLASHES OF INSPIRATION AND JOY
Victoria Bond WOVEN