Contemporary Recordings with
Thomas Piercy and Tengku Irfan
March 11, 2023 at 8:00 PM EST (UTC-5)
Clarinetist Thomas Piercy and pianist Tengku Irfan will be performing the works of Leo Brauneiss, Jay Anthony Gach, Matthew Hetz, David Evan Jones, and Lawrence Kramer.
The Contemporary Recordings Project is creating a new way to produce contemporary works from living composers.
The live recorded virtual concert will be broadcasted on March 11, 2023 at 8:00 PM EST (UTC-5)
Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. His performances have been described by critics as "passionate," "pulling out all the stops," "the best Piazzolla in NYC," and by the New York Times as "brilliant," "playing with refinement and flair" and "evoking a panache in the contemporary works." He studied at the Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music. He studied clarinet extensively with the English clarinetist Gervase De Peyer; additional studies were with Kalmen Opperman and Leon Russianoff. Hichiriki studies were with Hitomi Nakamura in Tokyo. A versatile artist defying categorization - the clarinetist on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby CD and DVDs; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE rap music video; performing concert improvisations with jazz pianist Donal Fox; premiering new works; recording with members of Maroon 5 - as an instrumentalist, he has performed and recorded for Broadway and Off-Broadway, commercial recordings, television, radio, videos, and movie soundtracks. Mr. Piercy has performed at many acclaimed concerts halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago, Illinois), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Wigmore Hall (London, England), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy) and Tokyo Opera City Hall (Tokyo, Japan). He has performed and premiered over 200 compositions written for him, including works from emerging composers to composers that have won such prominent awards as the Takemitsu Prize, the Geneva Composition Prize, the Grammy Award, the Latin Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He has had arrangements and transcriptions published by Boosey & Hawkes, and contributed to clarinet study books and clarinet compositions published by Carl Fischer, Inc., and Baron Publishing. Recordings available on such labels as the Albany, Capstone, Changing Tones, DGA, NJSF and Tonada labels.
More information at www.thomaspiercy.com
Malaysian-born Tengku Irfan has appeared around the world as a pianist, composer, and conductor, and has been praised by New York Times "eminently cultured" and possessing "sheer incisiveness and power". Irfan has performed with orchestras worldwide with conductors Neeme Jarvi, Kristjan Jarvi, Robert Spano, Osmo Vanska, Jeffrey Milarsky, among others. His compositions have been premiered by highly acclaimed orchestras and ensembles, and have won international awards including three ASCAP Morton Gould Awards in 2012, 2014, and 2017. Performance highlights include the Juilliard Orchestra, AXIOM, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and a solo recital at the la Virace classique Festival Montreal, on invitation from Kent Nagano. Irfan was resident pianist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for four consecutive years. Irfan's career as a composer has garnered three ASCAP Morton Gould Awards with performances and premieres by orchestras such as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the MDR Simfonieorchester. His orchestral composition titled "Keraian," was premiered by the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. Irfan was a double major in piano & composition at the Juilliard School under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert Beaser respectively, and also studied conducting with Jeffrey Milarsky and George Stelluto. Irfan served as Teaching Artist Intern for the New York Philharmonic Composer's Bridge Program, and is a proud recipient of the Juilliard School Kovner Fellowship Award.
More information at: www.tengkuirfan.com/
Leopold Brauneiss, born 1961 in Vienna, studied musicology at the University Vienna as well as piano and musical education and composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He is teacher for piano at the J. M. Hauer-Musikschule Wiener Neustadt and lecturer for harmony and counterpoint at the Institute of Musicology / University of Vienna and the Hochschule fÃ¼r Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig. The most important influence is the Tintinnabuli Style Arvo PÃ¤rts whom he met first in 1997 and since then numerous times, Articles and conference papers about PÃ¤rt and his way of composing have been published in different languages including Italian, Danish and Estonian. His compositions have been performed amongst others by Gidon Kremer, Kremerata baltica and TonkÃ¼nstlerorchester Niederasterreich, conducted by Carlos Calmar. 2020 2nd prize International Composition Competition Bruno Maderna (Bagatelles for string quartet).
Trias I-III: Three miniatures about the triad ("trias harmonica") most obvious in the last one. The 6 minor and major triads with the "central tone" a are combined in different manners until in the last bars the clarinet adds the missing 5 notes to have all 12 present. In the second movement there is a kind of breaktrough - a dissonant trio-texture finally leads to a series of triads clearly recognizable just shortly at the final chords because auf tempo and wide distances between the notes. My aim was somehow to combine early Webern with PÃ¤rt which I both admire.
ELEMENTS of STYLE
Jay Anthony Gach
Jay Anthony Gach’s instrumental concert music has been critically acclaimed as "witty, virtuosic and accessible"1, "so exuberant [and] so characterful"2, "a natural crowd pleaser"3, "vibrant textures"4, "multi-layered, whirling and propulsive"5. Summarized by the composer Lukas Foss during his tenure as conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, "his writing for orchestra is brilliant beyond words". Mr. Gach's compositions for the voice have been aptly characterized with the simple phrase, "such beautiful music"6. The composer Hugo Weisgall wrote of him, "a composer... of extraordinary technical command and intellectual grasp of what music is all about".
Mr. Gach's music has been performed, recorded and broadcast internationally by ensembles including the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic/ Vladimir Lande; Millennium Symphony Orch./Robert Ian Winstin, St. Paul Chamber Orch./Enrique Diemecke, Brooklyn Philharmonic/Lukas Foss, American Composers Orchestra/Paul Dunkel, National Italian Youth Orchestra/Vinko Globokar, City of London Sinfonia, Haydn Chamber Orchestra of London, the Britten Sinfonia Soloists, Vox Juventus Poland, the Gregg Smith Singers, New York Treble Singers and by solo artists including British pianist Ronan Magill, American clarinettist Richard Stoltzman, Canadian cellist Soo Bae and the soprano and tenor duo Grace Hart & Enzo Citarelli.
He has received commissions and awards in over thirty national and international competitions including the American Lyric Theatre Poe Opera Project, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Astral Foundation (Pew-Bandy) of New York and Philadelphia, Frederick P. Rose Prize, Valentino Bucchi Concorsi Internazionale, Third British Contemporary Piano Music Competition, Delta Omicron Composition Prize, Dr. J. Howland Auchincloss Society for New Music Composition Prize, New York Foundation for the Arts 1990, MacDowell Colony, Tanglewood Music Centre (Bruno Maderna Fellowship), National Endowment for the Arts, et al. Between 1981 and 1999 he resided and worked in European capitals returning to New York in 2000.
Mr. Gach has written and conducted many arrangements and original scores for the educational and commercial media, including: The Selfish Giant, a children’s musical; Legends from Bodmin Moor, a film; British Rail “Mind the Doors”, an advertisement campaign; and The Hurlers, an animation film. His biography has appeared in Marquis ‘Who’s Who in America’ since 2006. Mr Gach currently serves as Secretary of the Long Island Composers Alliance.
International and National Fellowships: Dartington, England International Summer School 1991. American Academy in Rome, Italy Music Composition Fellowship 1984-5. Research Assistantship University Tubingen, Germany 1980-1. Wellesley, New Hampshire, Johnson & Bennington Colleges Composers Conferences 2001/1989/82/81.
Selected Commissions, Grants, Prizes: Suona Sacra, Italy 2015; Piccola Orchestra ‘900/Scuola Musica ed Arte 2011 (AVANTI) Italy 2012 , American Lyric Theatre's Edgar Allan Poe Opera Project Commissions (...Of the Flesh) USA 2011. American Chamber Ensemble (The Ingenue & the Matinee Idol) 2009. New York Treble Singers (ELI, ELI) 2008. Concert Artists Guild/ Long Island Composers Alliance (Toccare Cielo) USA 2008. American Lyric Theatre Composer Librettist Development Program (Nora at the Altar Rail) USA 2008. Children's Aid Society Chorus (My Letter to the World), USA 2005. Saxtet Publications Composition Competition, (Trains, Steam Whistles and....) UK 2004. Peter B. Allen Sacred Hymn Arrangement Competition USA 2004. XI International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music Prague, Czech Rep. 2003. Upbeat-Hvar International Summer School 2003, Croatia. Kathryn Thomas International Flute Composition Competition (Tre Ecloghe) 2000, UK. SPNM/Huddersfield Festival 1998, UK. Haydn Chamber Orchestra of London (Selfish Giant) 1997, UK. Oberlin College Chorale 1995 (Hashir Hashem Luchem), USA. Islington (London) International Festival 1995, UK. Third British Contemporary Piano Competition 1994, UK. American Composers Orchestra 1988, USA. Frederick P. Rose Orchestral Prize 1988 USA. St. Paul Chamber Orch. American Composers Competition 1985 USA. ASCAP Standard Awards 1988-2012, USA.
ELEMENTS of STYLE is a set of four pieces for clarinet in A and piano accompaniment. The music re-visits the characteristics of older musical forms from a viewpoint of modern practices.
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Matthew Hetz is a native to Los Angeles, where he still resides. He began piano lessons at age sixteen. His teachers were Robert Obsorne, Lena Nielsen (West Los Angeles College), and of great influence and importance - Howard Weisel (West Los Angeles College) and Marlene Kendall, both of whom were students of the eminent Jakob Gimpbel. Hetz began playing the violin at age twenty-three and is largely self-taught.
Hetz has works for solo instruments, songs, chorus, chamber ensembles, string orchestra, symphony orchestra, and a chamber opera.
His works have been performed nationally, and recently his “Elegy for the Victims and Survivors of School Shootings,” was performed by Parma Records’ virtual concert, MOTO VITRUO II, by Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu. Some of his solo chamber works are on-line.
He is an instructor at Emeritus/Santa Monica College. He was the president/executive director of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra and Marina del Rey Symphony for sixteen years, and was in the Orchestras’ 2nd Violin Section. He was also a member of the West Los Angeles College Chamber Orchestra and the Dominguez Hills/Carson Symphony.
Matthew Hetz devotes himself to environmental causes, and is mass transit advocate.
Other works can be found at matthewhetz.com
This sonata has undergone a number of permutations and reuse, starting off with an oboe instead of a clarinet. The work is in three movements in the standard sonata/allegro form of fast/slow/fast.
Daichavo za Maiko
David Evan Jones
David Evan Jones early theoretical work focused on structural relationships between phonetics and music and resulted in a series of pieces for instruments with electroacoustics--most recently his CD "News from Afar". His opera "Bardos" was premiered in 2004 in Hoam Hall, Seoul.
Jones also composes for Korean instruments. His "Dreams of Falling" for an orchestra of Korean instruments received several performances in the US and Seoul between 2016-2019. His most recent composition, "Invisible Light" for 12-string Gayageum and Saenghwang, was premiered in Seoul in 2022.
Jones has worked extensively in computer music, composing in residence at EMS Stockholm, IRCAM in Paris, and Dartmouth College where he co-founded, with Jon Appleton, the Dartmouth graduate program in Electro-Acoustic Music.
His compositions have been honored by first prize awards in the Premio Ancona Competition (Italy), the American New Music Consortium competition, and the MACRO International Composition Competition and by awards from Prix Ars Electronica (Austria), the Bourges Electro-Acoustic Music Competition (France), and the National Opera Association. His articles have appeared in Perspectives of New Music and Computer Music Journal. His compositions are available on compact disks from Wergo Records, Centaur Records, Contemporary Recording Studios, Musical Heritage Society, and Capstone Records.
I began composing "Daichavo za Maiko" for musicians and folk dancers who, over a ten-year period, met monthly at my home to perform and dance to music in the Balkan tradition. I have long been enthralled by the rhythmic sophistication and high performance standard in Bulgarian folk music and dance. So, following Bartok and many others before me, I set out to compose a piece that fuses the rhythmic sophistication of this tradition with elements of my own compositional style.
A 'daichavo' is a traditional Bulgarian dance in 9/8 (2+2+2+3). Daichavo za Maiko varies the subdivision of the 9/8 and at times treats the meter (which is strictly maintained throughout) as a background reference rather than an audibly foreground control. Still, the traditional 'short-short-short-long' continually reemerges.
The score to "Daichavo za Maiko" is available via American Composers Editions at composers.com. The first recording of the piece was released in a Centaur Records CD of my music entitled 'Neo-Balkan Jazz and Concert Music' (CRC2655). DEJ
The Light Fantastic
My career as a composer has come in two waves: one spanning the years 1982-1992 when several of my orchestral pieces were performed along with vocal and chamber works, and another starting in 2007 after a decade and a half of intensive work as a musicologist. (The majority of my twenty two books, most recently including Music and the Forms of Life, The Hum of the World, and The Thought of Music--winner of the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism--are published by the University of California Press.)
My return to composition as a classic late bloomer was prompted by the unexpected opportunity to compose a song cycle based on prose extracts from Henry James’s novel The Wings of the Dove. Since then I have divided my time between scholarship and composition. My music has won competitions held by Composers Concordance, Hartford Opera Theater, Ensemble for These Times, the Arc Project, and The Composer's Voice. I have enjoyed numerous performances of vocal and chamber music across both the United States, from New York to Santa Fe to San Francisco, and Europe, from London to Vienna to Stockholm.
My compositions cover a broad spectrum: sixteen song cycles, stand-alone songs, piano music, nine string quartets, chamber music, choral songs, and orchestral works. I favor traditional acoustic instruments and try (like so many others these days) to compose timely classical music that is clear, communicative, and deeply felt. I don't follow a ruling agenda, but just compose each piece in its own particular way.
I teach at Fordham University where I am Distinguished Professor of English and Music.