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George Walker
Articles
Gregory T.S. Walker

Devotion to a Personal Vision—Remembering George Walker (1922-2018)

In our day and age of dazzling musical talent that’s available at the push of a button or the click of a link, the music and legacy of George Walker may represent possibilities that are more and more difficult to find:  The devotion to a personal vision at a time when many composers conform to an extant musical scene. My brother and I will never forget what it was to be loved by our father.  But today any musician or music lover who’s willing to challenge themselves can share with us what he was.

Connie Frigo (saxophone), Tim Adams (perccussion) and Cynthia Johnston Turner performing the first movement of Timothy K. Adams's Charlottesville
Articles
Cynthia Johnston Turner

Charlottesville and Citizen Artistry

It all started with a conversation. What could we possibly do as teachers and as artists to make things better? We wanted to do something more profound, more long-lasting and impactful.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Roberto Sierra: Globalizing Local Experiences

Composer Roberto Sierra frequently likes to tell the story of how, when he was growing up in Puerto Rico, he would hear Pablo Casals playing his cello on television while salsa recordings of the Fania All-Stars blared outside on the street. Most of Sierra’s music—which spans numerous works for soloists, chamber ensembles, and orchestra as well as his massive Missa Latina—has forged a synthesis of these two musical realms. But the question of what kinds of music are local or global is more complex than it might initially seem.

Articles
New Music USA

NEWMUSICBOX MIX: 2018 STAFF PICKS

Before we sing another chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” and bring the curtain down on 2018, we have an annual tradition among the staff here at New Music USA of revisiting some of the tracks that caught our ears and hung on for any number of good reasons.

Jasmine Khorsandi

What does it mean to be American?

This post was originally written for the Salastina Music Society, ahead of their premiere of Derrick Spiva Jr.’s American Mirror string quartet on October 7, 2017. The text has been reworked with the assistance of Kim Nguyen Tran for NewMusicBox and reposted with permission, along with a video of the performance. The original post can… Read more »

Articles
Derrick Spiva Jr

What does it mean to be American?

What is American classical music? Does classical music have something meaningful to say in this conversation about being American? Derrick Spiva decided to write a string quartet to shed light on the America that he has experienced, and that quickly sent him on a much bigger journey than he anticipated.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Christopher Cerrone: Everything Comes From Language

While composer Christopher Cerrone has not written any original prose fiction or poetry, he approaches his own musical compositions in much the same way that a writer weaves a narrative. Whether it’s the site-specific multimedia adaptation of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities (which was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music), a Tao Lin-texted song cycle, E.E. Cummings, or a Philip Larkin-inspired concerto grosso for string orchestra, literature is the primary inspiration behind almost every piece of his music.

Frank J. Oteri

Missy Mazzoli: Communication, Intimacy, and Vulnerability

Whether she is writing for orchestra, chorus, solo piano, an opera, or her own indie-rock inspired chamber ensemble Victoire, Missy Mazzoli is still “asking the same questions” and “finding different answers to the question of how to bring an intimate, vulnerable, human experience to a situation.”

Jasmine Khorsandi

A Letter to Leslie Bassett (1923-2016)

My dearest mentor, my teacher, my role model, my Leslie: I miss you like crazy. It’s been a few years since we last talked, a total insanity considering how often in my daily life, I still hear your words of counsel from our music lessons of old. I can see the way your hands used… Read more »

Gabriela Lena Frank

A Letter to Leslie Bassett (1923-2016)

The love that a student has for her teacher is a special one. I miss you like crazy. I still hear your words of counsel from our music lessons of old. I remember your distinctive walk, frail and steely both, across worn carpet to the treble-bright piano in your studio, thick music score in hand. When I was over early at the house, you and beautiful Anita would fry up corn pancakes while discussing a marvelous new clarinetist who bled “for his composer and played like it was his last breath!”

Frank J. Oteri

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Getting To Know Who I Am

Rudresh Mahanthappa explores his composite cultural identity through an extremely wide range of fascinating musical activities. Some of these projects have been direct attempts to synthesize contemporary jazz and much older Indian traditions. Perhaps even more intriguing, however, has been music in which jazz and Carnatic elements co-exist alongside many other components.

Frank J. Oteri

Fay Victor: Opening Other Doors

Fay Victor began her career as a straight-ahead jazz singer but now makes extremely difficult to define music that embraces blues, psychedelic rock, Caribbean popular forms, experimentalism, and even elements of classical music, as well as jazz.

Frank J. Oteri

Julia Wolfe Wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music

[UPDATED APRIL 21, 2015] Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The work (which was commissioned through Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program and is published by Red Poppy Music/G. Schirmer, Inc. ASCAP) premiered on April 26, 2014 in Philadelphia in a performance by the Bang on a… Read more »

Missy Mazzoli

American in London: The Influence of Steve Reich, Part 2

See also: American in London: The Influence of Steve Reich, Part 1 Video Gallery: Mazzoli interviews participants in the Barbican’s celebration of Steve Reich. Appropriately enough for a Sunday morning, the day’s first concert at St, Luke’s church began with a set of works performed by the otherworldly Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier.… Read more »

Missy Mazzoli

American in London: The Influence of Steve Reich, Part 1

See also: American in London: The Influence of Steve Reich, Part 2 Video Gallery: Mazzoli interviews participants in the Barbican’s celebration of Steve Reich. I’ve just returned from day one of the Barbican’s “Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich” festival in London, a 14-hour marathon of epic proportions that would give even the most obsessive… Read more »

Trevor Hunter

The Curious Case of Ted Hearne

When conversing with Ted Hearne, you can almost see each synaptic volley go off. There’s an energy to his thinking, a sign of the powerful curiosity he has fomented. He takes pains to both understand the perspectives of those he disagrees and explicitly put forth his own views. It’s clear that a broad spectrum of… Read more »

Ted Hearne

It's Showtime!

I woke up to snow falling in Minneapolis. I knew the 70-degree-and-sunny weather wouldn’t last the whole week, but we almost got there. Today, though, I’ve got bigger fish to fry and can’t stop to contemplate the snowstorm outside; today, the Minnesota Orchestra will play my music in concert. Yesterday, they rehearsed my piece Patriot… Read more »

Ted Hearne

Neatness Counts: Bucking Trends in Orchestra Notation

Bill Holab started his lecture on making exceptional scores and parts by making fun of the notation of Brian Ferneyhough—or at least singling it out as what not to do. Lines run into each other, lots of notes are crammed into a little space, and there are extraneous lines. Of course, you could say that… Read more »

Ted Hearne

Hello, My Name Is: Harnessing the Composer Network

  Everyone said this week was going to tire me out. It turns out they were right. It’s not that the hours are that grueling, but they’re packed full of information. Plus, if you’ve ever met me you won’t be surprised to learn that I found time for not one but two beers with fellow… Read more »

Ted Hearne

Meet the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Bloggers

Here at NewMusicBox, it is once again our pleasure to welcome the contributions of composers involved in the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute (Nov. 1-8). First, let’s meet Ted Hearne. – MS Ted Hearne is a composer, conductor, and performer of new music. He is originally from Chicago and is now based in New York. He… Read more »

Frank J. Oteri

Gabriela Lena Frank: Composite Identity

In conversation with Frank J. Oteri February 5, 2008—5:00 p.m. at the home of Joanne Hubbard Cossa Transcribed by Julia Lu Traducido al español por Ulises Solano Video presentation by Randy Nordschow The first time I ever met Gabriela Lena Frank was pure serendipity. I was walking down Ninth Avenue in Manhattan and spotted a… Read more »

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NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation.

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NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation. NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.