The Riverside Symphony and pianist Xak Bjerken, under the baton of George Rothman, gave the New York premiere of Stephen Hartke's Concerto for Piano and 20 players, Ship of State, on 11/16/2018, the fourth performance since the World Premiere. On December 12, 2018, his cello concerto Da Pacem received its premiere at Oberlin under the baton of Robert Spano with cellist Darrett Adkins. This issue includes these and other recent highlights for the composer.
Keiser Southern Music is pleased to welcome Laura Schwendinger to its growing catalog of accomplished contemporary composers, which also includes the work of Stephen Hartke, William Bolcom, Peng-Peng Gong, George Walker, Kenneth Fuchs, Roger Sessions and many others. She is first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize, and is Professor of Composition at UW Madison. In this issue, we present a few highlights from her considerable catalog spanning over 30 years.
Los Angeles-based composer and conductor Donald Crockett has long been at the forefront of American chamber music. It is apparent that Crockett remains a leading force in new music as both champion and creator, as we explore his new works and performances in this issue.
Celebrating 15 years of composer Bruce Adolphe’s show, Piano Puzzlers on public radio, he has launched a website with some fabulous pianists playing the puzzlers: Orli Shaham, Orion Weiss, Joseph Kalichstein, Fabio Luisi (the conductor), and Marija Stroke, plus Fred Child (host of Performance Today) and even some of the composer’s own performances. We invite you to delve into the rich offerings in our Spring 2018 update, including a world premiere in Milan, music inspired by a Buddhist myth, a tribute to a real life hero from World War Two Berlin, and yes, mysteries of the Piano Puzzlers revealed.
Stephen Hartke has been hailed as ”one of the most distinctive and important living composers” by The New York Times.
His album, "The Ascent of the Equestrian in a Balloon," recorded by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project with conductor Gil Rose, was voted one of the “Best Classical Music” recordings in 2017 by The New York Times.
SHIP OF STATE, Chamber Concerto for Piano and 20 Instruments by Stephen Hartke will receive its premiere on March 9, with Xak Bjerken, piano and the Oberlin Sinfonietta, Tim Weiss, conductor. Additional performances will follow on April 11, with the University of Southern California Thornton Edge Ensemble, Donald Crockett, conductor; and on April 15, given by Ensemble X, led by Tim Weiss. This performance is the first of two concertos by Hartke to receive its premiere this year.
The 2017-18 season has been a phenomenal one for Iranian-born composer Reza Vali. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra commissioned a new work, ISFAHAN, to be premiered June 2018. Meanwhile, the composer has enjoyed a major label recording release, a feature-length public radio broadcast dedicated to his music and several noteworthy performances of chamber and orchestral music. The Deutsche Grammophon label has released a world premiere recording by cellist Kian Soltani of Vali's PERSIAN FOLK SONGS, SET NO. 16C for cello and piano.