Four Americans Among Masterprize Semi-Finalists

The twelve semi-finalists have been announced for the second Masterprize international composing competition. Of the twelve semi-finalists, four are American: Carter Pann, Derek Bermel, Anthony Iannaccone, and Pierre Jalbert. [Click on the name of a semi-finalist for more information. For a complete list of semi-finalists, click here.] Over the coming months, the works of these […]

Harmonia Mundi USA to Distribute Bang On A Can’s Cantaloupe Music

In January, Bang On A Can and harmonia mundi usa announced a partnership for the exclusive distribution of Bang On A Can’s new recording project, Cantaloupe Music. Cantaloupe Music represents the culmination of 13 years of ground-breaking concerts and a decade of successful recording projects on multiple major record labels. harmonia mundi will distribute Cantaloupe’s […]

How spontaneous or worked out are your improvisations? David S. Ware

David S. WarePhoto by David Katenstein, courtesy AUM Fidelity My solos are just about completely spontaneous, but I may have a pure conception in mind for a particular solo. It may or may not be based around a key center. Usually, what I’m trying to do is overcome something. There’s something inherent in every moment, […]

Augusta Read Thomas Renews Contract as Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Composer-In-Residence Through the 2005-2006 Concert Season

Music Director Daniel Barenboim announced at a press conference on February 20, 2001, that composer Augusta Read Thomas has renewed her contract as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra‘s Composer-in-Residence through the 2005-2006 concert season. Ms. Thomas has held the position since September 1997. Augusta Read ThomasPhoto by Jerome de Perlinghi “I am thankful and honored to […]

How spontaneous or worked out are your improvisations? Tony Trischka

Tony TrischkaPhoto by Don Fisher, courtesy Rounder Records My improvisations take a number of forms. If I’m soloing on a traditional bluegrass tune, I’ll try to stick to the melody as closely as possible. Sometimes I’ll do something that John Hartford (great banjoist and fiddler and composer of “Gentle on my Mind”) suggested to me: […]

New Music and DVD-Audio: A Marriage Built to Last?

Immersion DVD [Author’s note: When I first got my hands on Immersion, the new DVD-Audio from the Colorado-based Starkland, I was disappointed to find that there was no accompanying movie. After I missed the mark in last month’s SoundTracks column, Steve Smith, the classical music columnist at Billboard, was kind enough to drag me over […]

How spontaneous or worked out are your improvisations? David Krakauer

David KrakauerPhoto by Bogdan Krezel, courtesy Aleba Gartner Improvising in Klezmer Music falls basically into two categories. One is the ornamenting of set (traditional or original) melodies. The other is improvising in an open, rhapsodic form—most often the "doina" (a kind of cross between a Rumanian shepherd’s song and cantorial singing). In both instances there […]

Commissioning Consortia: Banding Together in the Name of New Music

Russell Peck What’s the only thing better than a performance of a new piece by an American composer? Two performances. And even better – two performances by two different ensembles. How about up to three performances by forty ensembles? That’s what’s happening with Russell Peck’s timpani concerto, Harmonic Rhythm, commissioned by a consortium of more […]