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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • New to E. C. Schirmer’s Opera Catalog: Works from Tom Cipullo & David Mason, and Michael Ching

    E. C. Schirmer is thrilled to announce two new additions to our opera catalogue. After Life (2015) by Tom Cipullo, libretto by David Mason, is a chamber opera in one act for soprano, mezzo, and baritone set in World War II Paris. Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost (1996) is a comic sequel in one act after Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Both works have received widespread attention from the opera community.

    After Life

    After Life was commissioned, and later recorded, by Music of Remembrance, a Seattle-based organization whose unique mission centers around the work of memory: of “remembering Holocaust musicians and their art through musical performances, educational programs, musical recordings, and commissions of new works.”

    Photo by Michael Beaton. Production by Music of Remembrance (Seattle, 2015) with Catherine Cook (Gertrude Stein) and Robert Orth (Pablo Picasso).

    Its story follows Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso as they are conjured back to life to debate their legacies and activities in WWII Paris. Their confrontation is interrupted by a young Holocaust victim who forces them to reconsider the meaning of death. It been hailed as a “finely wrought exploration of the role of art in times of grave crisis” (Washington Post) and “inventive, pitch-perfect, thought-provoking, and refreshing” (Oregon ArtsWatch).

    At a Glance:
    Chamber opera in one act for soprano, mezzo, and baritone
    Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
    Duration: 50 minutes
    Commissioned & Premiered by: Music of Remembrance
    Recorded by: Music of Remembrance, released February 2016 by Naxos

    For more information about these works, click here. Full scores and ordering information coming soon.

    Tom Cipullo
    Tom Cipullo

    David Mason
    David Mason

    Buoso’s Ghost

    Opera New Jersey, 2006 © Jeff Reeder

    Buoso's Ghost was first staged with the Pittsburgh Opera in 1996, and received the official premiere at Opera Memphis in 1997. The opera begins where Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi ends, and traces the sinister dealings of Buoso Donati's family, who have allegedly poisoned Buoso. Throughout the opera, Schicchi exploits the family’s plot to outwit them time and time again.  The Chicago Tribune remarked that "Composer and librettist Ching ... borrows snatches of Puccini tunes and weaves them into his own conservative-eclectic idiom, tossing in bits of American pop ... for merry measure. The vocal writing is expert, the orchestration light enough to allow the singers to project the text clearly. Buoso is charming and unpretentious ...."

    At a Glance:
    Comic opera in one act
    Instrumentation: 2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, percussion, harp, synthesizer, strings
    Duration: 40 minutes
    Premiered by: Opera Memphis

    For more information about these works, click here. Full scores and ordering information coming soon.

    Michael Ching
    Michael Ching

    Major Performances

    Pittsburgh Opera Center at Dusquesne (1996)
    Opera Memphis (1997)
    Indianapolis Opera (1999)
    Chicago Opera Theater (2000)
    Triangle Opera (2000)
    Opera New Jersey (2006)
    Opera Saratoga (2008)
    Amarillo Opera (2010)
    Southern Utah University (2010)
    Bayview Music Festival (2011)
    UNC-Chapel Hill (2014)
    Texas State University (2015)
    McGill University (2015)

     Upcoming Performances

    SUNY Potsdam (2017)
    OperaDelaware (2018)
    University of Central Florida (2018)

    Michael Ching also serves as the Opera Consultant for ECS Publishing Group. Please feel free to contact him directly in order to help match your available singers to the many works in the E. C. Schirmer and Galaxy opera catalogues.

  • Univ of British Columbia performs Chatman's A Song of Joys for choir and orchestra

    Jonathan Girard led the UBC Symphony Orchestra and Choirs in a performance of Stephen Chatman’s newly released major work for SATB Chorus divisi, timpani and percussion soli, and orchestra, A Song of Joys. The performance was presented as part of the 20th Anniversary of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on April 8, 2017. Galaxy Music is pleased to offer this work on our website and through music retailers worldwide.

    Program notes by Tara Wohlberg:
    A Song of Joys was commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Society with assistance from the Canada Council. The 21-minute work in seven movements, premiered in Calgary on May 2, 2014, was originally conceived as a companion work to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Based on fragments of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” this piece shares several characteristics with the Beethoven masterpiece, including identical orchestral instrumentation and a critical role of the chorus.  More importantly, both works celebrate humanity and the spirit of love: the universal brotherhood of man through joy and the love of the heavenly father. From Whitman’s opening line, “O to make the most jubilant song!” to his concluding lines, 'With the love of comrades, With the life-long love of comrades,' the spirit of love, universal brotherhood, transcendentalism, and joy pervades the work.

    A Song of Joys features two instrumental soloists—the timpanist and percussionist playing a vast array of percussion instruments. The work is unique in that it balances two distinct entities:  a frequently virtuosic, multi-timbral, poly-stylistic 'double concerto' versus large chorus with soli and orchestra. These two elements are either separated or combined throughout the contrasting movements. Two movements (“One Hour to Madness and Joy!” and “I dance with the dancers”) feature timpani and percussion soli with orchestra only.  The final movement, “With the love of comrades,” builds to the resounding climax of the work.             

    Work details at a glance:
    Difficulty: Medium
    Instrumentation: 3[1.2.pic] 2 2 3[] – 4 2 3 0 – timp+1 – str
    Duration: 20:00

    A Song of Joys




    Click here for more information. 


  • Modern Classics: Michael Trotta's Seven Last Words - MidAmerica Productions

    "Michael John Trotta is an award-winning composer of choral music whose latest work, Seven Last Words, will be given its NY premiere in Carnegie Hall on May 27, 2017 as part of MidAmerica Productions’ 34th concert season. This will be the first time that Trotta will conduct his own composition in a MidAmerica Productions Carnegie Hall concert. We spoke with him to learn more about the piece and how he approaches his compositions."

    Read Manhattan Concert Production's interview with Michael John Trotta, an award-winning composer whose latest work will be given its NY premiere in Carnegie Hall on May 27, 2017.

    Source: Modern Classics: Michael Trotta's Seven Last Words - MidAmerica Productions

  • Opera Canada & Canadian Music Teacher Reviews: Music by Stephen Chatman

    Stephen Chatman's music has been the subject of review in recent Opera Canada and Canadian Music Teacher magazines.

    Opera Canada: Choir Practice by Stephen Chatman, CD Recording

    Choir Practice

    Choir Practice, a comic opera in one act composed by Chatman with libretto by Tara Wohlberg, was premiered and recorded by the University of British Columbia Opera Ensemble and Symphony. The album was released in 2016 on the Centrediscs label.

    Wayne Gooding, Editor, writes, "Rare it is for a live student performance to enjoy a commercial release, rare still when that performance is the world premiere of a new opera...With its musical and linguistic twists and turns, non sequiturs and sudden dead ends, it all unfolds in the manner of Ionesco's The Bald Prima Donna. Both composer and librettist seem to have enjoyed themselves enormously writing this piece, with Chatman drawing on a wide range of styles and influences to bring Wohlberg's absurdist text to life."

    To read this review in its entirety, click here.
    For more information about this CD recording, click here.
    For more information about Choir Practice, click here.

    Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association: New Piano Music by Stephen Chatman

    Mix and Match for Older Beginners

    Mix and Match for Older Beginners

    Mix and Match is an imaginative and diverse supplementary album especially created for older piano students. It is designed as a rare, innovative mix-and-match complement to any standard piano method book. Through an array of stylistically varied pieces, all paired with harmonically rich, imaginative duets, the older beginning student will be musically engaged and challenged. Tara Wohlberg was the text author for this series.

    Jean Ritter of British Columbia writes, "My students and I had a great time playing through the thirty-six pieces. They all have complimentary duets that add depth and great colour and make for pleasant music making!...The book is pedagogically sound incorporating numerous terms and symbols our students learn in their theory books."

    To read the full length review, click here.
    For more information about the Mix & Match series, click here.                                       

    Etudes, Book 1

    Etudes Book 1As with Chopin's Etudes, this challenging set of five etudes can be used either for technique work or for concert performance. The music most assuredly allows for the pianist to demonstrate his or her technical and musical prowess.

    Joyce Janzen of British Columbia says, "Each of these advanced technical challenges are a minute to a minute and a half long. Dynamic and pedal markings are frequent and precise. Changing meter often accomplishes a ritardando or a pause between sections. These are dynamic material for an eager advanced performer!"

    To read the full length review, click here.
    For more information about Etudes, click here.

    Stephen Chatman

    Stephen Chatman, one of Canada's most prominent composers, is Professor of Composition at the University of British Columbia School of Music. He has received many commissions and composition awards, including 2005, 2006, and 2010 Western Canadian Music Awards “Classical Composition of the Year," 2010 and 2012 SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award, three BMI Awards (New York), multiple JUNO nominations, Dorothy Somerset Award, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2001 BBC Masterprize short-list. In 2012, Dr. Chatman was appointed to the Order of Canada. Dr. Chatman’s choral pieces “are in wide demand in North America” (Historical Dictionary of Choral Music, 2010); his orchestral music has been commissioned by the CBC Radio Orchestra, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Madison, and Windsor symphonies and performed by the BBC Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Montreal, Sydney, Seoul, San Francisco, Winnipeg, Quebec, St. Louis, Calgary, Detroit, Dallas, and New World symphonies.


  • Empire City Men’s Chorus celebrates music of Conrad Susa, "The Treasured Volume"

    May 13 & 16, 2017 at 8 pm
    The Church of the Holy Apostles
    296 9th Avenue @ W.28th Street
    New York, NY 10001

    Artistic Director, Vince Peterson
    Accompanist, Sam Shull

    For 2017, the Empire City Men's Chorus (ECMC) celebrates American composer, Conrad Susa (1935-2013), who was teacher, mentor and great friend to their Artistic Director Vince Peterson. EMC is thrilled to be the first men’s chorus in the world to publish an album of Conrad’s men's choral works. This concert was recorded live.


    Included in the concert (click each title for publication information):
    Appalachian folk songs
    an arrangement of Vier Ernste Gesange by Brahms
    Dirge from Cymbeline
    Earth Song

    Source: Empire City Men’s Chorus presents “The Treasured Volume”ChoralNet

  • Choral Arts Northwest premieres work by John David Earnest


    Esteemed conductor Robert Bode, led Choral Arts Northwest and Lee Thompson on piano, in the recent premiere of John David Earnest's Be Thou My Vision (Homage to a Beloved Hymn) for SATB Chorus and piano. The performances took place May 6-7, 2017 at Plymouth Congregational Church (Seattle, WA) and St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Medina, WA).

    Comprised of volunteer singers drawn exclusively from the Seattle region, Choral Arts Northwest has garnered national recognition and critical acclaim by combining a deep sense of community with a passion for artistic excellence. CANW won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence (2010); and the American Prize for choral performance (community division) twice, placing first in 2010 and second in 2013. In December of 2015, the ensemble also provided a command performance at the White House for guests of President and Mrs. Obama. They also have seven commercially released recordings under the Gothic record label.

    John David Earnest's relationship with the ensemble proceeds this performance by several years. In 2013 - 2014, Earnest served as composer-in-residence for the ensemble.

    Learn more about Choral Arts here: Choral Arts Northwest – Pure Sound

  • New book celebrates life and legacy of The American Organist column, Vox Humana

     MorningStar Music Publishers is pleased to announce the release of collected articles by veteran organist, Haig Mardirosian. Vox Humana is Mardirosian’s column in The American Organist, the official journal of the American Guild of Organists and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, which ran monthly for exactly a decade from 2003 to 2013.

    Haig Mardirosian (b. 1947, New York City) is Dean of the College Arts and Letters at the University of Tampa. He has earned international standing as a composer, conductor, concert organist, and recording artist. He has performed in important international festivals and has 20 recordings to his credit on various labels in the United States and Europe. As a writer and critic, Mardirosian has contributed nearly 1,500 reviews and features to a variety of publications. He also serves as director of the Editorial Resources Committee of the American Guild of Organists.

    Appearing in an annotated collection for the first time here, Mardirosian creates an image encompassing both the breadth and depth of the instrument and profession through humor, memory, business, liturgy, and, of course, artistry. This reflection of the organ and those who play it is an essential read for those searching for perspective or new ideas, as well as those looking for understanding, nostalgia, or a bit of humor.

    Paperback. 152 pages.

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