Sandburg at Oberlin

I’ve updated the events page to include the premiere of my complete Sandburg Songs, which will take place Wednesday, May 4 at 8pm at Warner Concert Hall at Oberlin Conservatory.  The performance by Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and a soprano TBA will be led by Tim Weiss.  (Tim will also lead the Italian premiere of the complete Sandburg Songs this… Read more →

Brush Creek Residency

2016 is shaping up to be a busy year.  In addition to my residency at Willapa Bay AiR and teaching at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy, I am happy to share the news that I will also be in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.  I’m very excited to set foot in the state of Wyoming for… Read more →

Lynn Blakeslee (1940-2015)

Although I was a composition major as an Eastman undergraduate, I have often joked that I was “yelled at” just as much as the other violinists.  The woman doing that yelling—though always with loving intent—was Lynn Blakeslee, an exquisite violinist and master teacher who died suddenly in August at age 75.  I traveled to Rochester this past weekend to attend… Read more →

soundSCAPE 2016 Composer Fellow

I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to serve as the soundSCAPE Festival’s Composer Fellow in 2016 and will be returning to Italy next summer to teach private composition lessons to the festival’s approximately two dozen composition students—representing many of the top music programs in the nation—and to assist with the administration of the composition program.  In… Read more →

Willapa Bay Residency

I’m very happy to have been selected for a residency at Willapa Bay AiR in Oysterville, WA next summer.  This is a relatively new residency in a very beautiful part of the country, and I’m looking forward to making a lot of new music and getting to know my fellow artists over what will certainly be some delicious local meals.  (That was… Read more →

UMBC Lecture

I’m delighted to be presenting my music to students and colleagues at UMBC tomorrow afternoon and plan to focus on three different works: Sandburg Songs, my current project, a portion of which was premiered in Italy at the SoundSCAPE Festival last summer; In Search of Planet X, a work from 2009 that shows a bit of what I think about… Read more →

Lunar Ensemble: Old Text Woven New

I had the pleasure of attending Friday night’s season opening concert by the Lunar Ensemble, a young, virtuosic, and energetic new music ensemble and Ensemble-in-Residence for the Baltimore War Memorial Arts Initiative.  Led by the brilliant Gemma New, a conductor whose talents I witnessed two years ago when we were both fellows at Aspen, the concert offered three viewpoints on… Read more →

Resonant Bodies

I enjoyed Zachary Woolfe’s review of the Resonant Bodies Festival in Friday’s New York Times. It featuring an amazing trio of new music sopranos–Tony Arnold, Lucy Shelton, and Dawn Upshaw–in performances of works by a grand selection of contemporary composers, including my former teacher, David Liptak.  I especially enjoyed Woolfe’s description of Tony Arnold: “Her eyes wide and piercing, Tony… Read more →

Sounds of Being

The concert season at UMBC got off to an great start last night with a solo performance by violist Jessica Meyer.  As a member of the ensemble counter)induction, Meyer is an experienced presenter of contemporary music, and it was clear from the start that she thrives on exploring the viola’s full expressive capacity, regardless of stylistic boundaries.  Through the hour-long… Read more →


After thirteen years in the City of Brotherly Love, I have relocated to Baltimore, where I am teaching at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  I am especially excited to be connected with UMBC because of its new music focus, which includes the faculty ensemble, Ruckus, and an annual contemporary music concert series, Livewire.  Beyond the UMBC campus, Baltimore is… Read more →

JACK in Ottawa

While in Ottawa I was happy to attend a performance by the JACK Quartet as part of the Ottawa Chamberfest.  The JACK Quartet is close to my heart, first because its members were my Eastman undergraduate colleagues, and second because I am writing them a new quartet called Witness.  I started the quartet while in residence at the Camargo Foundation… Read more →

Seeing Sandburg Songs

I have received a video from my Sandburg Songs premiere at the SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy.  Watching this video gives a different perspective on the performance and allows the viewer (listener) to see (hear) the fantastic musicians of Eastman BroadBand as they count, breath, and bring the music to life.  There are three more songs to come in this cycle, and watching this performance inspires me… Read more →

Sandburg Songs Recording

I’m very happy to share the recordings from the premiere performance of my two Sandburg Songs.  These are two of what I expect will be a larger song cycle on texts from Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems.  The premiere took place on July 7 at the SoundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy.  Tony Arnold, soprano, was joined by musicians from Eastman BroadBand… Read more →

Sandburg Songs Premiere

Last night I enjoyed one of the best performances of my music to date here at the SoundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy.  Tony Arnold sang my Sandburg Songs with Eastman BroadBand, conducted by Tim Weiss, in a performance that offered everything a composer could want in a performance.  The BroadBand under Tim’s direction plays with a kind of telekinetic sense… Read more →

Feldman in Berlin

On my way to the SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy, where I’m excited to hear the premiere of my new Sandburg Songs for Tony Arnold and Eastman BroadBand, I’ve made a detour to Berlin, a city that has a special place in my heart as the destination of my first flight (at age 21) and my home for three summers in… Read more →

Sandburg Songs

I am happy to report the completion of two new Sandburg Songs for soprano and ensemble.  These songs were commissioned by the SoundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy and are dedicated to Tony Arnold, who will give the premiere this July with Eastman BroadBand and conductor Tim Weiss.  It is an honor to write for such compelling and fearless artists, and… Read more →

Rzewski at a Fish Market

Under the category of “Only in Pittsburgh” I’ve received word that Frederic Rzewski will be playing his epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! at Wholey’s, the famous fish market in the Strip.  The performance will take place at 2pm this Saturday, April 18, in the upstairs dining room.  The performance is free.  What this means is that you… Read more →

Relistening to Berio

As a conclusion to their time at Camargo, film maker Jorge Leon, actress Isabelle Dumont, and violinist and composer George van Dam spoke about their current film project on Wednesday evening.  George, who performs with the Brussels-based contemporary music ensemble, Ictus, is a champion of new music, and he offered an exciting performance of Berio to start the evening. The… Read more →

Bill T. Jones on Art

I really enjoyed listening to this interview with renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones on his book STORY/TIME: The Life of an Idea. Rarely have I heard so many brilliant statements in such a short time frame. Here’s just one: “Art making is participation in the world of ideas.” For a look at some of his compelling art, take a look… Read more →

Camargo Lecture

This Wednesday at 5pm I’ll be presenting a talk on my music at the Camargo Foundation. Unlike the artist colonies I’ve had the privilege of attending (Yaddo, VCCA, Kimmel Harding Nelson), Camargo Fellows come from both the arts and the humanities. Despite–or perhaps because of–our seemingly disparate research and creative pursuits, the presentations by my fellow fellows have been among… Read more →

Lorin Maazel (1930-2014)

I think most of us are aware of our hometown heroes, and as a kid growing up in Pittsburgh Lorin Maazel’s presence was huge.  Starting in fifth grade I attended a free Saturday music school for public school students called “Centers for the Musically Talented” that took me every week to Peabody High School in East Liberty, from which Maazel… Read more →

Motown at Melting Point

I had a great time last night listening (and dancing) to the soulful sounds of Dwight Wilson & The Classic City Soul Band at The Melting Point in Athens, GA. This was the first concert in their Motown Downtown series, and it didn’t disappoint. Great music, rich voices with a lifetime of experience, and a relaxed and diverse crowd. Who… Read more →

Rzewski in Pittsburgh

While visiting Pittsburgh I was delighted to learn that the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music was taking place during my stay. I had the chance to hear Frederic Rzewski play his recently premiered Dreams, Part I (2012-2013) and his 1977 work, Four Pieces, plus an encore memorial piece for Milton Babbitt. This was my second time hearing Rzewski perform his… Read more →

Camargo Foundation Fellowship

On the good news front: I am honored to have received a fellowship to the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France! I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of artist colonies (Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center) in the last couple years and have always been impressed with the people I’ve met and the level… Read more →

Leonard Meyer Lives!

It is with both “emotion and meaning” that I spread the good news of the Leonard B. Meyer papers at Penn. This fascinating collection, housed at Penn’s Special Collections Center, is now complete and ready for all manner of researchers and thinkers. Between 2008 and 2010 I read, identified, and organized a vast trove (about a dozen boxes of correspondence,… Read more →