Dennis Eberhard
 Dennis Eberhard

Although seriously disabled at an early age by a bout with polio, Dennis Eberhard had pursued an active and successful career as an “independent” composer for more than thirty years. A Cleveland native, he received his musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Kent State University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Poland. He has studied composition with Marie Martin, Frederic Coulter, Salvatore Martirano and Wlodzimierz Kotonski; he studied electronics, computer techniques and programming with Gordon Mumma and Herbert Brün. A Fulbright Scholar, Rome Prize and Guggenheim Fellow, Eberhard has received numerous grants and awards. These include a Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, six grants from the Ohio Arts Council and three McDowell Colony residency grants. He is also the recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the 1990 Award of Achievement in Classical Music from Northern Ohio Live Magazine and the 1993 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Kent State University.

While working in the Experimental Music Studio of the University of Illinois from 1969 to 1972, composing both concert music and music for film and theater, Eberhard worked with John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, participating in the realizations of their compositions Music Circus and HPSCHD. In 1973 he traveled to Poland under the aegis of the U. S. State Department; residing there for two years, he composed six works and participated in several concerts of American music throughout Poland, culminating in a concert of his own music. At the close of his stay in Poland, his multi-media theater piece Dialogues II was performed at the Nineteenth International Festival for Contemporary Music “Warsaw Autumn.” In 1977 Mr. Eberhard competed in the International Gaudeamus Music Week in Hilversum, The Netherlands, where his Marginals received its first performance by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra and was awarded third prize. A year later, the work was performed at the Twenty-Second “Warsaw Autumn.” That same year he won a Rome Prize Fellowship that allowed him a year’s residency at the American Academy in Rome.

Since returning to the United States in 1980, Mr. Eberhard has written a variety of works, several of which have been performed internationally. They include Janus Music (RAI Symphony Orchestra of Rome, 1981), and Ephrata (São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Brazil, 1982). In 1982 Eberhard began an artistic relationship with the Australian virtuoso harpist, Alice Giles. This collaboration generated two new pieces: “Especially…” for solo harp (which Ms Giles has since performed throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and the Middle East) and To the End of the Dreamtime, a concerto for harp and orchestra (commissioned by the NEA in 1988 and completed in 1991).

Between 1984 and 1989 Edwin London and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony commissioned Eberhard to compose three new orchestral pieces: Voix Célestes, Elegies and Berceuse. In1987 the Cleveland Octet commissioned Endgame, which they performed the following year. The Bells of Elsinore followed. Commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra (and written during a five-week residency at the MacDowell Colony in NH), the orchestra under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi premiered the new orchestral piece at Severance Hall in March 1989. That same year, the American guild of Organists (AGO) commissioned Eberhard to write O Sing a New Song to God, a large choral and instrumental work that was performed at the AGO’s regional convention held in Cleveland that June. In 1990 Eberhard composed Encontros (Cadenzas & Interludes), commissioned by Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament (PAND)

Cleveland for the PAND International Festival of Music and the Arts held in Finland in June. His Suite for solo cello was premiered at the Cleveland Museum of Art, July 1992.

Subsequent orchestra premieres include The Bird of Four Hundred Voices with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, assisted by solo violinist, Martin Chalifour (January 1995) and For the Musicians of the Queen with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jesús López-Cobos (January 1996). Crooked River Oracle, commissioned by Christoph von Dohnányi and The Cleveland Orchestra on the occasion of Cleveland’s Bicentennial Celebration was premiered at Severance Hall in May 1996. Gino Raffaelli commissioned On Celestial Wings under the aegis of the Fortnightly Musical Club of Cleveland for the centennial celebration of the National Federation of Music Clubs. It was performed at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, May 1998.

In August 1998, the PAND Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Steven Smith, gave the world premiere of Prometheus Wept (August 6, August 9, 1945) for strings, commissioned by Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament in remembrance of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On May 21, 2001, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony under the direction of Steven Smith conducted the world premiere of “To Catch the Light,” Songs of Grieving Children. The forty-five minute work, based on poetry written by children, featured soprano soloist Eileen Moore and the Ohio BoyChoir. In October of 2001 violist Adrienne Elisha premiered Phantom Dancer, a theater piece for solo viola at a concert given during the AKI Festival.

In November 2002 Mr. Eberhard traveled to Russia to attend the world premiere (November 28, 2002) and recording of Shadow of the Swan, a concerto for piano and orchestra featuring pianist Halida Dinova and the State Academic Cappella Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg. The forty-minute work, performed at the prestigious Academic Philharmonia, Maly Zal, In Memoriam Glinka, was dedicated to the 118 victims of the Russian submarine Kursk disaster that occurred in the Barents Sea in August 2000. The two-week event was professionally videotaped and will be made into a documentary.

He served as Associate Director of the Reconnaissance Contemporary Music Ensemble and President of the Cleveland Composers Guild. Eberhard was a member of the board of Epicycle (contemporary music ensemble), the board of trustees of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and is a permanent member of the board of advisors of the Bascom Little Fund for Music. He has taught at the University of Illinois, Western Illinois University, the University of Nebraska, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cleveland State University and Kent Sate University. He has lectured widely on his own music at such institutions as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cornell University, Penn State University, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the University of New Mexico, and the São Paulo State University (Brazil). C. F. Peters, Media Press and Margun Music publish his music.

Mr. Eberhard was an advocate for people with disabilities. He served as Director of Transitional Education Services and a Peer Support Specialist at Services for Independent Living, Inc. (SIL), a non-residential independent living center, where he worked from March 1998 to August 2002 to empower people with disabilities to become self-directed and in control of their lives. As cofounder and vice president of the Lake County Advocacy Task Force he continues to work on behalf of people with disabilities.

Mr. Eberhard was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow.

List of Works
Marginals (1976) for antiphonal trombone quartet and 3 string orchestra groups 21'
-Premiered by the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, Warsaw Trombone Quartet
Janus Music (1978) for three orchestras 16'
- 3 (picc)-2- Ehn-2-bcl-2-cbsn, 4-3-3-1, 4 timp, 6 perc, 2 hps, str
-Premiered by the RAI Orchestra of Rome
Ephrata (1981) for four solo percussion and orchestra 13'
-4 perc, 3-3-3(Eb)-3, 4-3-3-1, hp, pno/cel, str
- Premiered by the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Grupo "Percussão Agora"
Voix Célestes (1983) for prepared organ (manual tracking) and strings 11'
- org, str (5-4-3-3-1)
- Premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
Night Tides (1983) 12'
-1-2-0-2, 2-0-0-0, hp, pno, str
- Premiered by the Ohio Chamber Orchestra
Elegies (1985) 14'
-1-1-1-bcl-1, 2-2-0-0-, timp, org, str
-Premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Lucifer Rising for cello and orchestra (1985) 17'
- solo vc, 3-3-3-3, 4-3-3-1, timp, 3 perc, hp, str
The Bells of Elsinore (1988) 10'30"
- 3-3-3-3, 4-3-3-1, timp, 3 perc, cel, 2 hp, str
- Premiered by The Cleveland Orchestra
Berceuse for clarinet, harp and string orchestra (1989) 10'
- cl, hp, str (5-4-3-3-1)
- Premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony
To the End of the Dreamtime for harp and orchestra (1988-91) 34'
-solo hp 3(picc)-2-Ehn-2-bcl-3(cbsn), 4-3-3-1, timp, perc, pno/cel, str
The Bird of Four Hundred Voices for violin and orchestra (1992) 10'30"
- solo vn, 2(picc)-1-Ehn-1-bcl-2(cbsn), 2-1-1-0, timp, perc, cel, hp,str
- Premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Martin Chalifour, violin
For the Musicians of the Queen: Fanfare and Fugues (1994) 5'
- picc-3-3-Ehn-3-bcl-3-cbsn, 5-4-4-1, timp, 4 perc, hp, str
- Premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
To Catch the Light, Songs of Grieving Children (1995) 45'
- mezzo-sop, boy sop, boys choir (SSA), 2(picc)-2(Ehn)-2(bcl)-2(cbsn), 2-1-1-0, timp, perc, pno/cel, hp str (5-4-3-3-1)
Crooked River Oracle (1996) 7'
- picc-3-3-Ehn-3-bcl-3-cbsn, 5-4-3-3-1, timp, 4 perc, pno/cel, hp, str
-Premiered by The Cleveland Orchestra (commissioned to celebrate the Bicentennial of the City of Cleveland)
Anamorphoses (1967) 24'
-picc-2-1-2-bcl-2 Eb al sax-1, 2-1-3-1, pno, perc
-Premiered by the Kent State University Wind Ensemble
Morphos (1973) 7'
-Wind ensemble: 5-2-16(alt, bcl, cbcl)-5-2, 4-0-9-6-2-5, 6 perc, pno, cb
-Premiered by the Champaign Central High School Band
For the Musicians of the Queen:: Fanfare and Fugues (1994) 5'
-Wind ensemble transcription: picc-3-3-Ehn-3-bcl-2 al sax-2 ten sax- bari, 5-0-4-4- 0-1, timp, 4 perc, cb
- Premiered by the University Circle Wind Ensemble
Paraphrases for woodwind quintet (1968) 14'
- fl, ob, cl, hn, bsn
-Premiered by the Contemporary Chamber Players
- Media Press
Two Poems (1970-71) 9'
-Clarinet, piano
-Premiered by Charles Yassky, cl, Art Maddox, pno
Chamber Music (1971) variable duration
- 2 percussion
-Premiered Larry Dillingham and Tiger Benford
Verse varied (1971) variable duration
-Slightly amplified string quartet
-University of Illinois Graduate String Quartet
Parody (1972) 10'
-Soprano, fl/picc, cl/bcl, tbn, 3 perc, pno/cel, vn, vc
-Premiered by the Contemporary Chamber Players, Barbara Dalheim, soprano
Dialogues I (1973-74) 14'
-cl, tbn, vc, pno and lighting effects
-Premiered by Warsztat Muzyczny
Labyrinth (1974) variable duration
-Trombone/piano and trombone or piano alone
Visions of the Moon (1978) 16'
-Soprano, ob/Ehn, Eb/Bb/bcl, pno/cel, 2 perc, vla
-Premiered by musicians from the RAI Symphony Orchestra of Rome, Joan Logue, soprano
Epodie (1982) 14'
- vn, vla, vc, perc, pno
- Premiered by Reconnaissance Ensemble for Contemporary Music
"Especially..." (1983) 12'
- Solo harp
- Premiered by Alice Giles
Returning (1987) 10'
- Solo guitar
- Premiered by John Holmquist
Endgame (1987) 27'
- cl, bsn, hn, 2 vns, va, vc, cb
- Premiered by The Cleveland Octet
Encontros (Cadenzas & Interludes) (1990) 24'
- Harp, violin and cello
-Premiered by Trio "Encontros Musical"
Suite (1992) 17'
- Solo cello
- Premiered by Kim Cook
The Bird of Four Hundred Voices (1992) 10'30"
- Original version for violin and piano
- Premiered by Gino Raffaelli, violin, and Mark George, piano
On Celestial Wings (1997) 14'
-Violin, contrabass and piano
- Premiered by the Pontremoli Duo plus one
Phantom Dancer (1998) 10'
- Solo viola
-Premiered by Adrienne Elisha
Mariner (1969-70) 21'
-trp, hn, tbn, perc, ampl-prepared clavichord, ampl-prepared vc, 4 channels of tape, 6 speakers, and photo-sensitive sound distributing system
- Premiered by the Contemporary Chamber Players
Dialogues II (1975) 19'
- Mad percussionist/mime, 4 channel tape, lighting and projections
- Premiered by Hubert Rutkowski
Ikona (1975) 10'40"
-Polish Radio Experimental Music Concert
VeilleŽs (1974) 17'
- Mezzo-sop, multiple choirs (SATB), 6 trp, 4 perc, 6 ampl-cb
De Profundis (1983) 20'
- Mixed chorus (SATB), 16 fl, 8 hn, org, perc
-Premiered by the Baldwin Wallace College Choir
Let the Heavens be Glad (1986) 7'
- Cantata for mixed chorus, organ and digital tape
- Premiered by the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church Choir
O Sing a New Song to God (1989) 18'
- Mixed chorus (SATB), boys choir (SSA), 3 Eb trp, hp, org, perc
-Premiered by the American Guild of Organists
To Catch the Light (see Orchestra) 45'

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