January 25, 2016
A belated Happy New Year to all! 2015 turned out to be a wild year that took me from coast to coast. My appearance on Jeopardy! in July was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, from which I'm pleased to have emerged with some measure of success -- and a chance to talk briefly about Lester Bowie, the great trumpeter who was so wonderfully kind to me when I met him as a teenager.
Meanwhile, 2016 is shaping up to be an equally active year. First off, I'm pleased to announce that I've joined the faculty of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where I'll be a Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory for the Spring 2016 semester. It's a lovely and welcoming place with extremely talented and dedicated students, and I'm very much looking forward to our work together.
June 17, 2015
Two quick notes on a pair of upcoming performances, both in places where my music will be making its debut:
First off, on Friday, June 19th, my new piece Trefoil will be premiered at the nief-norf festival in Knoxville, TN. This final, marathon concert begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, and marks my first-ever Tennessee performance.
Then next month, clarinetist Max Mausen and double bassist Gonzalo Jiménez Barranco will be performing my Three Street Pieces at Casino Luxembourg on Sunday, July 19th at 7:00 p.m. I'm pleased to report that this will be the first-ever performance of my music in Luxembourg. Further details are available at the Casino Luxembourg site.
I'm looking forward to announcing some interesting news in the coming weeks, and to starting work on several new pieces I'm excited about writing, including a piece for the masterful hornist Amr Selim. Until then!
May 3, 2015
I've just completed a very busy and fruitful April which, among other things, had me bouncing from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again. In the midst of all this activity, I'm also pleased to report my month was pleasantly bracketed by two performances of my music.
On April 3rd, Ben Wu performed my Elegy for solo viola as part of a recital at Stony Brook's Staller Center. Then on April 27th, my piece Tusko for horn and 4 double basses received its Wisconsin premiere at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, performed by an undergraduate ensemble conducted by Josh Schwalbach and featuring members of his bass studio.
May will be comparatively quiet on the performance front, but coming up next month, the indefatigable Oboe Duo Agosto -- aka Dr. Charles Huang and Ling-Fei Kang -- will be performing Mandarin Ducks in Hsinchu, Taiwan on Sunday, June 7th at 1:00 p.m. More info on that performance will be available soon. And of course, I'll be traveling to the nief-norf festival in Knoxville, TN, where a new work of mine will be premiered on June 19th.
Additional concerts with my music are planned for July and beyond, so stay tuned for more details. Looking forward!
February 17, 2015
A very belated Happy New Year to all! I'm pleased to announce that I've completed my Ph.D. studies at Stony Brook University, and am now an Adjunct Lecturer in the Music Department. I'm currently teaching Music, Technology, and Digital Culture, among other courses, and am continuing my work with the wonderful Pre-College program.
In other news, I'm looking forward to traveling to the nief-norf festival in Knoxville, TN in June, where a new work of mine will be premiered, and to multiple other projects in the pipeline whose details will be announced here in due time. And of course, there's my dissertation piece, And Yet..., which incorporates 78 RPM recordings of my grandfather into an orchestral texture, and features a narrator and a virtuosic tuba part. I'm hoping to bring it to performance in the near future.
In the meantime, check out this beautiful interpretation of my Three Street Pieces, performed in concert by Alan Kay and Volkan Orhon at the Sebago-Long Lake Festival in August. Owing to a camera glitch they appear as though transformed into creatures of pure light -- but fear not, Alan and Volkan haven't been abducted by aliens (yet).
October 28, 2014
Several performances are coming up at Stony Brook in December. First off, on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 8:00 p.m., I'll be playing in a jazz sextet with Mikael Darmanie, Leon Dorsey, Chris Howard, Barami Waspe, and the magnificent Ray Anderson, in concert at the Staller Center Recital Hall. Our setlist will include the premiere of my new composition Skylight One, as well as compositions and arrangements by members of the ensemble. I hope to see you there.
Second, I'm very pleased to announce that on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8:00 p.m., horn virtuoso Amr Selim will be including my piece Tabiya for violin, horn, and percussion as part of a recital of chamber pieces by Stony Brook composers. Also featured will be pieces by Sheila Silver, Perry Goldstein, Peter Winkler, Richard Vaudrey, and Eldad Tarmu -- all the more reason to come out and support new music!
In addition to the performance at Stony Brook University, there may also be a second performance in Albany, NY. Further details on that will be posted as they become available.
May 8, 2014
With many interesting things brewing for me in 2014, let me highlight two festival performances to feature in my update for this month.
In April, I had the honor of having three of my fixed media compositions selected for Natural Tendencies, an exhibition presented by the 2014 Hartford New Music Festival at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Included as part of the installation were On the Beach, Abandoned Beach, and in its world premiere, Ill Wind. All were featured in conjunction with video materials submitted by festival participants.
Looking ahead to the summer, on August 12 my Three Street Pieces will be performed by the marvelous Alan Kay and Volkan Orhon as part of the Sebago-Long Lake Festival in Harrison, ME. Further details on that will be posted as the date approaches.
Other intriguing possibilities are in the pipeline, so watch this space for more news!
November 18, 2013
It's a rare privilege indeed to be able to announce that my oboe and English horn piece, Mandarin Ducks, will receive its twentieth performance this month. Most new works written by contemporary composers only receive a bare handful of performances (if that), and I feel deeply grateful to the ensembles who have featured my music in so many of their concerts.
Oboe Duo Agosto, the dynamic duo for whom the piece was written, will be playing Mandarin Ducks in Hamden, CT at the Hamden Library on November 19, and at the Whitney Center on November 24. See my performances page, or Oboe Duo Agosto's concert calendar, for more information.
DAS Oboe, a new ensemble of double-reed wizards who specialize in contemporary music, has also played Mandarin Ducks several times this year in Seattle. I'm very much looking forward to further collaboration with both groups, and am grateful for their advocacy of new music.
Finally, on December 3, 2013, I'll be performing in an ensemble with Pete Coco, Chris Howard, Michael Smith, Ben Wu, and the evergreen Ray Anderson in an 8:00 PM jazz concert at Stony Brook University's Staller Center Recital Hall. We'll be playing my raucous jazz tune Asegohivinchivia in its premiere performance, as well as Ray Anderson's "My Wish" and selections by Arthur Blythe and Mark Dresser.
May 25, 2013
I'm pleased to announce some additional upcoming performances of my oboe and English horn duo Mandarin Ducks. First of all, on June 9th at 2:00 p.m., the indefatigable Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing Mandarin Ducks at Scranton Library in Madison, CT.
Later that month, they'll be performing it again (on June 25, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.) as part of the 2013 conference of the International Double Reed Society at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA, as part of their presentation "An Asian-American Connection" which will also feature music by Feng-Hsu Lee and David Macbride.
May 15, 2013
It's been quite a while since my last update, but much has been afoot! Earlier this year I had the honor of receiving a commission from Providence Premieres to write a piece for their inaugural 2013 season. The piece I composed, The Phantom Voice, received its world premiere on April 19, 2013 at the Governor Henry Lippitt House in Providence, RI, in a terrific performance by soprano Blythe Walker and harpist Hyunjung Choi. This was the first-ever performance of my music in Rhode Island, which has particular significance for me since my family lived in the Providence-Pawtucket area for many years.
Looking ahead to the future, my oboe and English horn duo Mandarin Ducks, which is rapidly becoming one of my most frequently-played pieces, will receive two more performances this summer. First, on June 25, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., the indefatigable Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing Mandarin Ducks at the 2013 conference of the International Double Reed Society at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA, as part of their presentation "An Asian-American Connection" which will also feature music by Feng-Hsu Lee and David Macbride. I'm thrilled to be part of this confluence of double-reed maestros!
Then on July 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., up-and-coming new music ensemble DAS Oboe will perform Mandarin Ducks at the Seattle Symphony's Benaroya Hall, as part of their Soundbridge series of events. If you can't make that date, they'll repeat the same program on September 22 as part of the Seattle Symphony's Day of Music (further details TBA).
November 1, 2012
The most excellent Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing my Mandarin Ducks at two concerts this month in Connecticut. The first performance will be this Sunday, November 4, at 2:00 PM at the Danbury Public Library, and the second will be on Friday, November 16, at 7:00 PM at Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Tariffville Road in Bloomfield.
See the Oboe Duo Agosto Concert Calendar for more information on these and other performances by this dynamic double-reed duo!
June 21, 2012
Two important updates: unfortunately, the world premiere of my piece Monograms for guitar and string quartet at the Charlotte Composers Workshop has been postponed a week, as one of the musicians was in an auto accident (fortunately, he's OK).
The new date and venue is Friday, June 29 at 7:30 pm, at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 1000 East Morehead St. in Charlotte, NC. That said, I hope you'll also be able to attend tomorrow's concert at Davis Theatre and support my fellow workshop composers.
In addition, I'll be taking part in a concert of collaboration between composers and choreographers this Sunday (June 24) at 4:30 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church. My Two Improvisations for solo piano will be given its world premiere by pianist Danny Spiegel, in conjunction with a new work for dance by choreographer Gabriela Sevillano.
All of these performances will be open to the public, and I hope to see some of my friends and colleagues who are local to the Charlotte area there!
June 14, 2012
In a few days I'm heading to Lake Wylie near Charlotte, NC to attend the inaugural Charlotte Composers Workshop! At 7:30 pm on Friday, June 22, my piece Monograms for guitar and string quartet will be premiered as part of the first Composers Concert at the Davis Theatre, 65 Union St., Concord, NC. I'll be taking part in other concerts and festival events as well, including a collaboration with a festival choreographer. More details as soon as I have them.
Meanwhile, another performance of my Three Street Pieces is in the works for August, featuring my esteemed Stony Brook colleagues Megan Shumate (clarinet) and Phil Rowan (double bass) at Caffe Vivaldi in Manhattan. Once again, further details will be posted as soon as I have them.
I hope to see some of you at these events!
May 12, 2012
I'm privileged to have an upcoming performance of my music in Baltimore, MD at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. On Tuesday, May 15th, my piece Mandarin Ducks will be included as part of a joint recital with ace oboist Ursula Sahagian Mills (who also happens to be my niece) and Elizabeth Honeyman on English horn. This concert will be held at 8:30 p.m. at the Peabody Conservatory, in room 308C.
May 6, 2012
May is the season for graduate recitals, and I'm pleased to announce that several upcoming recitals will feature me and my music. For starters, my Three Street Pieces will be performed tomorrow, May 7th, in the Wang Center Chapel at Stony Brook University, as part of double bassist Josh Schwalbach's doctoral recital. Josh's recital starts at 3:00 p.m., and on my piece he'll be playing with clarinetist Sarah Koop.
Then on Thursday, May 10th, I'll be playing trumpet as part of Scott Litroff's doctoral recital at 12:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall at Stony Brook. We'll be playing the Charles Mingus composition "The Clown", and my understanding is that this is the first known performance of this piece since Mingus himself performed it.
April 25, 2012
A brief update to say that on Friday, May 4th, I'll be performing with Ray Anderson, Michael Smith, Josh Perry, and Keenan Zach at the Stony Brook University Café. We'll be playing several original compositions written by ensemble members, including my jazz tune An Addiction. Hope to see you there!
March 8, 2012
Spring is in the air, and so are the ducks! On Friday, March 9th, at 5:00 p.m., Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing Mandarin Ducks as part of the Micro-Exhibit Opening and Concert at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT.
Then on Thursday, March 29th, Oboe Duo Agosto will be performing the Ducks again, at a 10:55 a.m. concert in the Hubbard Music Center Performing Hall at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT.
Both of these performances will also feature works by other contemporary composers, including my own colleagues from the Hartt School, so please come support new music!
February 4, 2012
Coming up this week are my inaugural performances of 2012. For starters, I'm playing with Ray Anderson and the Imaginary Numbers this Tuesday, February 7th, in the University Café at Stony Brook from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., as part of the first of a new series of talks called Science on Tap. I'll be playing trumpet in a sextet that includes James Kerr, Josh Perry, Michael Smith, Keenan Zach, and of course the inimitable Ray Anderson. Our featured pieces will include my composition Ebocativo, and possibly one or two others as well.
I hope to see you there -- but if you can't make it, additional performances for Science on Tap are planned for March and April. For more information, call Val at (631) 632-2133, or search for "SBU Science on Tap" on Facebook.
Then on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing Mandarin Ducks as part of their special concert program, "Storytelling Oboes", at the Prosser Public Library in Bloomfield, CT. They'll also be presenting several other works by my colleagues at the Hartt School, so please come show your support for contemporary composers with Connecticut connections!
Finally, I've received word of several other good things in the works, including a May performance of my Three Street Pieces by double bassist Josh Schwalbach. More info soon.
November 12, 2011
Some more performances are in the works for December. First, come see an evening of jazz at Stony Brook University's Staller Center on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. I'll be playing trumpet in a sextet with James Kerr, Josh Perry, Michael Smith, Keenan Zach, and the great Ray Anderson. Our featured pieces will include my composition Ebocativo. I hope to see you there!
Then, for Illinois folks who missed September's concert by Oboe Duo Agosto, they'll be playing Mandarin Ducks again at Westminster Place, Presbyterian Homes, in Evanston, IL. The concert will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2011, at 7:15 p.m. Please see Oboe Duo Agosto's performance calendar for more information.
October 20, 2011
Just a reminder that tomorrow night the Sylvanus Ensemble will be playing several of my compositions, as part of their concert at the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts on October 21, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.. Featured pieces of mine will include Mandarin Ducks, an arrangement of Three Street Pieces, and Elegy in its original version for viola.
I'm looking forward to seeing friends old and new in New York tomorrow night!
September 7, 2011
For those in the Chicago area, Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing my piece Mandarin Ducks as part of their concert on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., in the Auditorium of the Northbrook Public Library in Northbrook, IL. This will be the first North American performance of Mandarin Ducks since the official premiere in Thailand, and the first time I've ever had a piece played in Illinois.
If you can't attend the Chicago concert, never fear: next month in New York, Oboe Duo Agosto will be playing Mandarin Ducks, and other pieces of mine as well, as part of their concert at the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts on October 21, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.. The concert will also include works by Brazilian composers. More details to follow!
In other news, I'm pleased to announce a new CD release by my mentor and friend Stephen Siegel. Entitled Fire, Fleete & Candlelight, the CD has been released in Germany on the Spektral label, and is currently available for download at Amazon (click here) and iTunes (search for "Stephen Siegel"). For those who prefer to purchase a physical copy, it should be available in the United States early next year. This is epic, heroic music, deeply felt and beautifully heard and crackling with energy -- inimitably Stephen, from the first note to the last. Don't miss it.
July 31, 2011
Coming up in August are two performances by Oboe Duo Agosto of my new piece, Mandarin Ducks. Oboe Duo Agosto are of course my friends and colleagues Charles Huang and Ling-Fei Kang, whom I met at the Hartt School, and whom some of you will also know as members of the Sylvanus Ensemble. This piece was written especially for them, and is a set of seven miniatures for oboe and English horn.
The official premiere will be given at the inaugural conference of the Asian Double Reed Association at the College of Music at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. My piece will feature as part of a concert and presentation by Oboe Duo Agosto entitled "The Asian-American Experience Enriches the World of Oboe Playing". Also featured will be a newly commissioned work by Hartt composer Feng-Hsu Lee. The conference runs from August 16-19, 2011, but I'm not yet sure on which date my piece will be performed. This will be my first performance in Thailand, and I'm very honored to have my music be part of the conference.
There will also be a preview performance on Monday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m., at the South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA, as part of a masterclass under oboe legend Bert Lucarelli. Further details will be posted when I have them, and if you can't make the August 8th concert, rest assured that additional stateside performances of Mandarin Ducks are in the works!
April 11, 2011
Short notice, but on Wednesday night (April 13, 2011) at 8:00 PM in the Recital Hall at Stony Brook's Staller Center, I'll be playing a concert of improvised music with Ray Anderson (trombone), Ryan Nestor (drums), Lisa Preimesberger (bass clarinet), and Phil Rowan (double bass). We'll be playing one of my tunes, three of Ray's, and one by Thelonious Monk.
We're the only group on the program, so it'll be a shortish concert -- do come! However, if you're unable to attend, we'll be repeating a similar program at an outdoor concert in May. Details forthcoming.
April 5, 2011
This coming Friday, clarinetist Cheyenne Bland will be playing my Three Street Pieces at her master's degree recital, together with double bassist Elliot May. Here's the concert info:
Date: Friday, April 8th, 2011, 8:00 pm
Venue: Longmire Recital Hall, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
This performance will be the first time my music has ever been played in Florida! Cheyenne is one of the excellent musicians I met at last summer's Wintergreen Festival.
In other news, I'm pleased to announce that I am one of six recipients of the 2011 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student at Stony Brook. My heartfelt thanks go to all my students past and present for all that they wrote on my behalf, as well as to the members of the Music Faculty for their kindness and support.
Other performances are coming up soon, including an upcoming performance of my Donizetti at Ivry by ace cellist (and fellow Wintergreen alum) Clerida Eltimé. Details forthcoming!
March 3, 2011
This Saturday, March 5, 2011, at around 3:30 PM EST, my piece "On the Beach" will be featured as part of Ncounters: The Audible Past, The Mutable Future, a conference hosted in Edmonton by the University of Alberta Graduate Music Students Association. I won't be there in person, but will offer some brief comments beforehand (and a Q&A afterwards) via Skype videoconferencing. There may be a stream available of the event -- if so, I'll be sure to post a link here.
Meanwhile, more good things are in the pipeline -- watch this space!
October 10, 2010
It's been quite a while since my last update, but there's lots of music coming up in the next few weeks. First and foremost, this Friday, October 15, at 8:00 p.m., I'll be giving a composition recital at the Staller Center Recital Hall, in collaboration with the wonderful Sylvanus Quartet. The centerpiece of the recital will be The Wood Between the Worlds, which was originally written for and commissioned by the Quartet, and which they played at several concerts in Taiwan this summer. Other pieces will feature members of the group in various configurations, including performances of the Nocturne and Three Bagatelles by pianist Wen-Hui Lily Lin.
Then on Wednesday, October 27, also at 8:00 p.m., my string sextet Eirenicon will be performed at the Recital Hall as part of the Fall 2010 Stony Brook Music Department's Composers' Concert. This hasn't been 100% confirmed as of this writing, so don't book those hot-air balloon flights just yet.
Finally, clarinetist Alan Kay and double bassist Kurt Muroki will be performing my Three Street Pieces as part of Starry Night At Staller Center on November 4, 2010. One of my fondest memories of 2006 is hearing Alan play these pieces (with bassist Brendan Kane) at the Cape May Music Festival in New Jersey, so I'm very much looking forward to this. Like all the others listed above, the concert begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall.
I hope to see you at some or all of these events! For those who aren't in New York, there are another half-dozen performances of my music that are currently in the planning stages, and several of those are outside the northeast United States. You can be sure that I'll announce details here as soon as I have them.
P.S. One more note: at long last, Julian Palacios's book Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe has been released! This is the long-awaited update to his Lost in the Woods: Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd, which was originally published in 1998 to much acclaim. The new edition has been completely revised and much expanded, and features analysis and commentary by yours truly. Look for Dark Globe at your local bookstore, or via Amazon.com.
July 26, 2010
We're in the closing week of the 2010 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy and Festival, which has been great. I've met tons of wonderful people and artists, learned a great deal, and generally enjoyed myself thoroughly. The Stoney Creek String Sextet did a terrific job with the premiere of Eirenicon last Tuesday.
The next morning, we brought the piece to Monkeyclaus, a nifty recording studio at the base of the mountain, and did some good work (at the bright and early hour of 8:00 a.m.!). I'll be sure to post MP3s as soon as I have them.
My compositions will also be featured in a special, secret concert at Wintergreen this week. I'm not allowed to discuss any details, but I can say that if you attend all of this week's events, you'll be sure to hear some of my music.
Meanwhile, tickets are still available for the Sylvanus Quartet's August 13th performance in Taipei, the second of three upcoming concerts in Taiwan to feature my composition The Wood Between The Worlds. See the performances page for further details on these and other upcoming performances.
Finally, I've updated the Myspace site with recordings of some recent pieces, including Ajándék, The cold and sparkling silver of the sea, and The Wood Between The Worlds. Enjoy the music!
July 4, 2010
My new chamber work, Eirenicon for string sextet, will be premiered by the Stoney Creek String Sextet on July 20, as part of the 2010 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy and Festival. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Evans Center, and features a program of contemporary chamber pieces, all of which were specifically written for Wintergreen by the attending composers.
In other news, tickets are now available for the Sylvanus Quartet's August 13th performance in Taipei, the second of three concerts in Taiwan to feature my composition The Wood Between The Worlds. In addition to my piece (which concludes the program), each concert includes works by Handel, Schumann, and Jeffrey Rathbun.
See the performances page for further details on both of these performances!
(Updated on July 8, 2010)
May 20, 2010
At the risk of invoking the oldest Internet cliché there is: welcome to my new website! It's still in its initial stages, but for the moment, you'll be able to find updates about my professional activities as a musician and composer, including upcoming performances of my compositions. In time, you'll see downloadable scores and MP3s of my pieces, and other plans are afoot as well. Stay tuned.
In other news, school's just out, and a busy summer lies ahead for me. At the beginning of June, I'll be assisting with the 2010 International Computer Music Conference at Stony Brook University.
Then in July, I'll be in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for the month-long 2010 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy and Festival. A new chamber work (as yet untitled) for string sextet, written especially for the festival, will be premiered at the Evans Center in Wintergreen on July 20. I'm working on the piece now, so expect more info soon.
Shortly thereafter, the Sylvanus Quartet will be taking my piece The Wood Between The Worlds to Taiwan for a series of three performances in August, which I'm eagerly awaiting. Additional concerts featuring my music are coming up this fall. See the performances page for further details on all of the above!
(Updated on May 23, 2010)
My guitar orchestra piece Islands was performed in July 2008 at the International Suzuki Guitar Festival in Santa Clara, CA, by the ensemble for which it was originally written -- the Suzuki Guitar Orchestra of the Hartt School's Community Division, under David Madsen. I wasn't able to attend, but am told the piece was well-received. This marks my West Coast debut!
Another piece of mine intended for younger musicians, A Canon in Dorian Mode for string ensemble, was premiered by the Hartt Community Division's Intermezzo Orchestra under Katie Kennedy in May 2008. Shortly thereafter, in June 2008, it was performed in Maine by an ensemble directed by Laurie Kennedy. A third performance is planned for August 2008 in Italy, by an ensemble led by Eric Dahlin, and will be my Italian (and European) debut. When I have more specific details, I'll be sure to publish them on the performances page.
Finally, several of my compositions are prominently featured in the soundtrack to This Morning Broke Clear: Warner, NH in the Wake of the Civil War, 1860-1900, a documentary by New Hampshire filmmaker George Packard. Included are selections from the Eight Pieces for Piano and the Three Bagatelles. Premiered on April 19 to an enthusiastic reception, the film is now available on DVD from Parrot Creek.