June 2019 News   

Discussing my Clarinet Sonata with Jennifer Hidgon in Hong Kong

The big highlight of the first half of the year for me was getting to spend two weeks in Hong Kong as a composer fellow at the
Intimacy of Creativity 2019 festival !  This was my first time to Asia and I had a great time exploring the city and hanging out with all the composers and performers.  I got to revise the 3rd movement of my Sonata for Clarinet and Piano based on feedback from Jennifer Higdon, Bright Sheng, the other composer fellows and performers, and students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.  It was then performed twice by members of the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble from the Curtis Institute of Music.  To top it off, this was the view each morning from my hotel room!

Back here in the US, my Dona Nobis Pacem for SATB Choir has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition!  The choir will premiere the work at Yale in November and they are going to bring me out to New Haven for the performance. I look forward to attending!

Speaking of my Dona Nobis Pacem, I was fortunate to have the work read beautifully by the Eastman Chorale conducted by Joesph Taff this past semester, you can listen to it
here .  The chorale also read my new choral work Jesus Wept, a slow lament that uses only the two words of the title.  This great reading was conducted by Noemi Binag, have a listen to it here

I'm happy to share that I am one of 20 semifinalists in the 
Alexander Zemlinsky Prize for Composition from the University of Cincinnati!  This prize is only awarded every six years and is quite substantial: first prize is $30,000 (!) to write a new ballet that will be premiered and commercially recorded by the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, 2nd prize is $20,000, and 3rd prize is $10,000!  Five finalists will be announced by Sept. 1 and the three prizes awarded by October 1. Wish me luck!

In March, I got to travel to Ithaca, NY where my Kyrie Eleison for SATB Choir was performed as a finalist in this year's
 Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest by the East Lyme High School Choir (CT) conducted by Anthony Maiese. While my piece didn't take home a prize, I received a nice performance and had a great time working with the kids and meeting the other composers.  I recently turned the piece into the first movement of a four-movement Missa Brevis, and a few of the other movements were premiered by my alma mater Algonquin Regional High School Chamber Choir, conducted by Kathrine Waters, in April.  You can listen to the Kyrie and Sanctus movements here.

This past semester I also had the opportunity, along with 3 other Eastman composition students, to write a work inspired by a landscape painting in Rochester's
 Memorial Art Gallery.  I chose this painting called Three Trees, Winter by Harold Weston:
I then composed a piece called Breathing Winter's Air for Flute, Violin, Alto Saxophone, Horn, Bassoon, and Electric Guitar, where I tried to portray the many different types of snowy hills of varying degrees of steepness that are layered in the painting.  I did this by using smaller and larger arches of pitches and dynamics in the flute, violin, saxophone, horn, and bassoon parts, but always in a subdued way that never breaks the general sense of clam and stillness that the painting exhibits.  Then the trees are represented by the guitar which almost exclusively plays rich chords which mimic the trees' verticality and form a kind of harmonic landscape for the other instruments to gently move through.  I got to conduct a group of Eastman students in the premiere performance at the gallery alongside the painting. Listen to the recording here .

I was fortunate to have another choral work of mine premiered this past semester at Eastman, my Bennington for 12-part SATB Choir, conducted by Connor Doran.  This work is a real experiment and was an exercise in giving up control of the aspect of music I am most attached to, which is harmony.  In the work, I don't give any specific pitches at all but let the singers choose any pitch in their upper, middle, or low range of their voice at any given time, while all the other musical aspects are still tightly controlled by me.  The result is that the harmonies are always unexpected, shifting, and different in each performance.  If that makes you curious to hear what it sounds like, then click the video below to see the performance!
Speaking of Bennington, I'm glad to have been invited to be a composer fellow at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference for a week at Bennington College in late July!  Many of you may remember that I taught at the college from 2014-16, so I'm thrilled to return and hang out with my good friend Allen Shawn  who will be Composer-in-Residence that week.  I just completed a new piece that will be premiered at the conference called Are We Not Drawn Onward to New Era? for 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Horn, and Double Bass. 

<January 2020>


Southard: Piano Sonata no 2
Southard: Homage to L. M. Gottschalk
Southard: Fantasy in B flat minor
Southard: Prelude No. 1 (Jazz) for Piano Solo
Southard: Prelude No. 2 (Drops) for Piano Solo
Southard: Prelude No. 3 (Homage to Nancarrow) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 4 (O Woozy Suzy!) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 5 (Precision) for Piano solo
Southard: Tidal Wave Rag for Piano solo
Southard: No-Name Rag for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 9 (Guante-ango) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 7 (Perfect Ostinato) for Piano Solo (2010)
Southard: Prelude No. 10 (For Ken Girard) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 14 (Berceuse) for Piano Solo
Southard: A Waltz for Diane
Southard: Prelude No. 13 (Waves)
Southard: Prelude No. 12 (88 Keys) for Piano
Southard: Prelude No. 8 (Chromatic) for Piano Solo
Rzewski: Down By the Riverside
Finzi: Eclogue for Piano and Strings in F major, Op. 10
Ives: Sonata for Piano no 2 "Concord, Mass 1840–60"
Gottschalk: Union, RO 269/Op. 48
Guarnieri: Valsa no 5
Guarnieri: Valsa no 9
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras no 4 for Piano, A 264
Guarnieri: Dansa negra
Nazareth: Odeon
Nazareth: Xangô
Villa-Lobos: A Lenda do Caboclo, W 166
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras no 4 for Piano, A 264
Guarnieri: Improviso II
Guarnieri: Maria Lucia
Guarnieri: Dansa negra
Santoro: 7 Paulistanas
Gnattali: Negaceando
Warlock: Folksong Preludes
Foulds: English Tune with Burden
Foulds: April – England, Op. 48 no 1
Foulds: Dance Tunes from Punjab
Foulds: Recollections of Ancient Greek Music
Southard: Concerto for Solo Piano and Solo Organ
Southard: Blazonry for 8 Percussionists
Southard: And Death Shall Have No Dominion
Southard: Chorale for Brass Quintet
Southard: Variations on a Hymn (Beecher) for Organ
Southard: Duo for Clarinet and Cello
Southard: Duo for Violin and Piano
Southard: String Quartet no 1
Southard: In My Craft or Sullen Art
Southard: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Southard: Music for the Film "Glava" (excerpt)
Southard: Piano Quintet 'New England'
Southard: Sonata no 1 for Violin and Piano
Southard: Quintette de Cuivres
Southard: Variazioni Semplici for Violin and Harp
Southard: Swansong for Cello and Piano
Southard: The Dove in the Ash Grove for Cello and Piano
Southard: Two Minutes for Saxophone Quartet
Southard: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Southard: "Breathing Winter's Air" for Sextet
Southard: In this short Life for Organ
Southard: "Winter Scene at Summer Lake" for 4-channel Fixed Media
Southard: Midnight Prayer for String Quartet
Southard: Mini-Concerto for Piano and 8 Players
Southard: Seven Short Studies for String Orchestra
Southard: Mini-Symphony for Chamber Orchestra
Southard: A Day of Sunshine for Chorus and Orchestra
Southard: Waltzing Dervish for Wind (powered) Ensemble
Southard: Do You Hear How Many You Are?
Southard: "Classical" Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra
Southard: Do You Hear How Many You Are? for Concert Band
Southard: Carousel for Concert Band
Southard: Showers over Peaks and Vales for Orchestra
Southard: No Interior do Rio de Janeiro for Orchestra
Southard: Uma Passacalha Brasileira for Wind Ensemble
Southard: The Glastonbury Wilderness for Orchestra
Southard: Um Ano no Brasil (A Year in Brazil)
Southard: No Interior do Rio de Janeiro for Wind Ensemble
Southard: Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble
Southard: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" for SAB choir
Southard: In the Spaces of Thought" for SATB Choir
Southard: "A Blessing of Discomfort" for SSA Choir
Southard: An Appalachian Trail Symphony: New England (Symphony No.1)
Southard: A Hymn of Life
Southard: "In this short Life" for SATB Choir
Southard: Berceuse for String Orchestra
Southard: "Lamentation" for String Orchestra
Southard: Missa Brevis
Southard: "Jesus Wept" for SATB Choir
Southard: "Bennington" for 12-part SATB Choir
Southard: "Dona Nobis Pacem" for SATB Choir
Gottschalk: Union, RO 269/Op. 48
Southard: Piano Sonata no 2
Finzi: Eclogue for Piano and Strings in F major, Op. 10
Ives: Sonata for Piano no 2 "Concord, Mass 1840–60"
Southard: Improvisation 1/31/10

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