Guest composer at the Aspen Music Festival

I am so pleased to return to the Aspen Music Festival this summer, when Mehrdad Gholami will perform my flute concerto, Ruah, with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Timothy Weiss on 8/3/19. Originally composed for flutist Renee Siebert, who also recorded it, the concerto reflects my long love of the instrument, one of the two I studied as a child.

And, it’s one I have continued to explore on my own, as well as through compositions for, and collaborations with flutists such as Lindsey Goodman (Penelope’s Song, For the Fallen) and Patricia Spencer (Kairos, Fasting Heart). Both of these amazing performers have also recorded my music.

This will be my third return to the festival as a guest composer, and the joy of the first encounter as a student is still very much with me. Previous visits have included the performance of Glyph, with violist James Dunham, accompanied by string quartet and piano; and Gregor’s Dream, for amplified piano and electronics that I fashioned from field recordings of beetles shared by bioacousticians. That piece was commissioned by the Jerusalem-based Atar Trio, who also toured with it.

Both visits have also included meetings/presentations with the composition fellows, as will this one.

It is hard to overstate the extraordinary effect of the Aspen Music Festival on my musical development, and indeed my decision to follow my path as a composer. My first summer there, in 1971, was a summer of firsts: sitting in on extraordinary master classes, such as those with Jan DeGaetani, hearing presentations by lannis Xenakis and George Crumb, attending multiple concerts every day. And, my first experience of the Buchla synthezier, in Mike Czaikowski’s course. On the personal front, meeting musicians who became life-long friends and collaborators such as violist Rosemary Glyde, pianist Gayle Martin and mezzo Katherine Soroka.

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