I’m a thinker, a teacher, and an artist. Always learning, always expanding what I do. Always trying to help.
I write music that’s probing and varied, unique and appealing. Hear what I’ve done.
My latest news:
I’m part of a fun and inspiring project — one of more than 70 composers commissioned by pianist Min Kwon, to write a variation of “America the Beautiful.” Some of this music to be streamed online, and then the rest played live, the performances starting — when else? — on July 4. You can read all about it on the America/Beautiful website.
It’s a huge project, to say the least. And Min is a dynamo! She’ll play my variations live in New York on July 8, on Andrew Ousley’s series in the Catacombs at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Two variations, because I wrote one so compact — I love writing short pieces! — that Min asked for another to go with it.
So my variations…one turns “America the Beautiful” into a 1950s-style doo wop ballad, the kind of music I danced to (with such romantic yearning) in seventh grade. The other, going to an opposite musical pole (though staying with 1950s musical languages) puts bits of “America the Beautiful” inside a 12-tone piece.
Here are program notes. Complete with a little joke in the rock & roll piece, where I jack up the key by a half step. Which normally in pop music leads to a big climax, but here it calms the music down.
I hope the live performances will be streamed.
Otherwise, I’ve been vaccinated, so I’m getting out a little more. But mainly Anne and I are at home with Rafa, our nine-year old, who’s still in virtual school. Returning part-time in person on April 26.
And teaching my own virtual course — at Juilliard, on the future of classical music — has been warmly rewarding. It’s more work than teaching in person, because I reach out more to stay in touch with the students. But they’ve done wonderfully, responding to what I teach. And I’ve learned ways to get to know them much better, which I’ll carry over into in-person teaching, when that (we hope!) returns in the fall.