Ditson Fund Award

I’m so pleased to learn that my upcoming portrait CD with Albany Records has received funding from the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University.  I expect the CD to be out later this spring and am so impressed with the level of musicianship of soprano Tony Arnold and the members of Zohn Collective.  The CD will feature my large-scale… Read more →

Mise-en Festival 2020

I’m very pleased to be one of seven composers from around the world selected to compose a new work for New York City-based ensemble mise-en for this year’s Mise-en Festival, to take place June 23-28 in New York.  My planned work is tentatively called Parallel Lives and is inspired by my own experience traveling back-and-forth between Hong Kong and the US (and… Read more →

Musical Reunions in Hong Kong

Over the last two weeks, the stars have aligned, and three old friends descended upon Hong Kong to once again prove how small the music world really is.  To begin, percussionist Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion was in town giving performances and masterclasses with his fellow quartet members as part of Toolbox Percussion’s International Creative Academy.  While I was… Read more →

Kinetic Attractions in Tampa

I’m very happy that my percussion quartet, Kinetic Attractions, has been selected for performance by McCormick Percussion Group, Robert McCormick, director, during the International New Music Festival at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, this coming April.  This will be my third visit to USF, having most recently enjoyed the premiere of my solo guitar work, They Say, with… Read more →

Chou Wen-chung (1923-2019)

With my recent travels, I was unable to honor the great  Chou Wen-chung in a timely way following his death on October 25.  I would simply like to say that hearing him speak about his life and work when I was a graduate student was one of the more memorable and moving encounters I can recall with a composer.  His music… Read more →

Rands’ Dream Premiere

As I prepare to head back to Hong Kong, I wanted to offer some overall thoughts, a review of sorts, on the premiere of Bernard Rands’ Dream with the Chicago Symphony and Music Director Riccardo Muti. This is a mature work of a composer who has nothing to “prove.” Because of this, there is a restrained quality to certain aspects… Read more →

Rands in Conversation

By now settled in to the Chicago chill, I’ve had a chance to speak with Bernard Rands and for both of us to hear the first rehearsal of his new work, Dream, with the Chicago Symphony and Music Director Riccardo Muti. There are many things I’ve been struck by, having now heard the work, as opposed to what I could… Read more →

Interpreting Bernard Rands’ Dream

This week I’m heading to Chicago to meet with composer Bernard Rands for a series of interviews and to attend rehearsals and performances of his new work, Dream, with the Chicago Symphony and Music Director Riccardo Muti.  What a privilege it has been to spend time getting to know this score in advance of our conversations and actually hearing the… Read more →

Recording in Progress

It has taken me a bit longer than I expected, but I am nearing the end of the editing process of my upcoming CD for Albany Records.  The recording, which took place last summer at Oberlin, is sounding great, but with Tony Arnold, the musicians of Zohn Collective, and intrepid conductor, Tim Weiss, this should come as no surprise.  It looks… Read more →

Inner Truth at USF

I’m very happy to learn that Eunmi Ko will be performing the work I wrote for her, Inner Truth, as part of her faculty recital at the University of South Florida.   Eunmi has recently performed the work at the San Francisco International Piano Festival, the World Piano Conference in Serbia, and the Dot the Line Festival in Seoul.  By now,… Read more →

Resonant Memories in Ann Arbor

I’ve received word from Tiffany Ng that she’ll be performing my carillon work, Resonant Memories, during her faculty recital as part of the 59th Annual University of Michigan Organ Conference on September 30 in Ann Arbor.  The theme of the conference is “Building Bach: His Foundations and Futures.”  My work, which Tiffany premiered in 2018, fits into this program because… Read more →

Inner Truth Video

I’ve received a link to video of pianist Eunmi Ko’s recent performance of Inner Truth at the Dot the Line Festival at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.  What a pleasure it is to remember this excellent interpretation!  I’m so pleased Eunmi will be playing the piece again next month at the San Francisco International Piano Festival. Read more →

Inner Truth in Serbia

I’ve received word from pianist Eunmi Ko that she’ll be performing my work, Inner Truth, at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia on June 29.  Eunmi recently presented the work in Seoul and will be performing it in August in San Francisco.  I’m very happy to hear my work will be finding its way to Serbia for the… Read more →

On David Del Tredici

Last week’s events with the Albany Symphony and David Alan Miller, including the premiere of my work, Unite in Song, were too big to fit into just one post, so I wanted to say a bit about the distinguished American composer, David Del Tredici, who was was one of the featured composers at this year’s American Music Festival. I first… Read more →

Albany Symphony Premiere

For the last week I’ve had the pleasure of working with musicians of the Albany Symphony and their music director, David Alan Miller, as part of the Orchestrating in the 21st Century Workshop and American Music Festival at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC for short) in Troy, NY.  The sheer number of events has been staggering: orchestral… Read more →

Dot the Line Festival in Seoul

I’ve concluded a brief but meaningful 2-day stay in Seoul.  Having come to know this place quite well over the years, I always look forward to its energy, delicious food, and warm people.  During this visit, I enjoyed a deeply felt performance of my piano work, Inner Truth, by Eunmi Ko, as part of the inaugural Dot the Line Festival… Read more →

Bird by Bird

During all my composition lessons in graduate school, one of the few concrete pieces of advice I can recall is being told by composer James Primosch that I should read Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird.  Now, more than ten years later (I wonder if my advice taking might speed up with age?), I’m making my way through the book. … Read more →

Unite in Song

The conclusion of The Keyboard in the 21st Century means I finally had some time to finish my new Albany Symphony commission.  Part of this year’s American Music Festival, “Sing Out, New York!”, celebrating the city’s role in civil rights movements, I wanted to create an energetic, optimistic work that pays tribute to the role music has played in helping… Read more →

Keyboard in the 21st Century in Review

After months of preparation, thousands of e-mails, and numerous rehearsals, our two-day international composition conference, The Keyboard in the 21st Century, concluded with great success.  It featured all 7 HKBU faculty composers, a dozen guest composers, and 13 musicians in a series of 5 concerts, 2 lectures, and a roundtable discussion.  I was especially pleased with the diversity of styles… Read more →

Inner Truth in SFO

I’ve received word from pianist Eunmi Ko that she will include my recent solo work, Inner Truth, in her performance as part of the San Francisco International Piano Festival, which runs from August 15-24.  I will update with the precise date, time, and venue details when I have them.  For now, I’m certainly excited to hear about this event and… Read more →

Albany Symphony Premiere

I’m thrilled to have been selected for the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Orchestrating in the 21st Century workshop and reading session.  As part of this event, I will compose a new work for members of the Albany Symphony and conductor David Alan Miller, to be premiered as part of their First Draughts Reading Session, and participate in workshops and masterclasses with… Read more →

Keyboard Updates

After weeks of what amounts to blood, sweat, and tears—not to mention millions of e-mails—things are beginning to come into focus for our 2-day international composition conference—The Keyboard in the 21st Century—at HKBU.  As the website now shows, the conference will explore the range of styles and breadth of expression that make up contemporary keyboard music, including acoustic, electro-acoustic, and… Read more →

Inner Truth in Seoul

I’m very pleased to share news that my solo piano work, Inner Truth, has been selected for performance at the Dot the Line Festival in Korea this May.  The performance by pianist Eunmi Ko will take place at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, a place I know well from previous visits and musical events.  Inner Truth was composed as part… Read more →

Chicago in Review

What a pleasure it was to again hear pianist Daniel Pesca perform my work, Inner Truth, in Chicago.  Daniel premiered the work in June at PianoForte Chicago, recorded it in August at Oberlin, and this performance took place as part of his faculty recital at the University of Chicago.  It was clear from the start that the music was now… Read more →

George Tsontakis at HKBU

With 2019 just around the corner, I am very much looking forward to the new year. I’m also looking forward to the new semester at HKBU and especially to welcoming the fantastic American composer, George Tsontakis, as our Kennedy Wong Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Music for the spring term. George is the first faculty in the Arts… Read more →