Symphonies and Concertos
Symphony No. 2 (37 minutes)(four movements) 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Grand Rapids Symphony, Marion Philharmonic, World Youth Symphony Orchestra Symphony. No. 2 was commissioned in memory of Robert Madura, who was Principal Cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony in the late 1980’s. While learning the solo cello part of my Concerto for Two Cellos, Bob succumbed to cancer. His tragic death touched the hearts of the orchestra and the community. Music Director Catherine Comet, requested a “long work that featured the cello.” To a large degree, this is a “cello symphony” requiring a strong cello section.
Symphony No. 3 (30 minutes)(3 movements) 220.127.116.11. 18.104.22.168. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Grand Rapids Symphony. Commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony, the purpose of Symphony No. 3 was to complement and contrast Symphony No. 2 in a single compact disc recording by Koss Classics. The challenge presented to me was to create a work that contrasted with the passionate and dramatic intent of my second symphony. With that in mind, I set out to compose a more neoclassic work, both in spirit and in structure.
Symphony No. 4 (26 minutes) 22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Gulf Coast Symphony. Composed at the 50th anniversary of the close of World War II, Symphony No. 4 is dedicated to the men and women, now recognized as the “greatest generation,” who fought so valiantly for freedom and hope for America and all countries around the world.
Symphony No. 5 (22 minutes) (4 movements) 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. Timp. Perc. (3). Pno. Harp. Strings
Reston Community Orchestra. Neo-classic in style and exuberantly American in spirit, Symphony No. 5, is a great orchestral showcase giving every family of instrument ample timbral display. Loads of fun in every movement.
Symphony No. 6 (23 minutes) (4 movements) 220.127.116.11. 18.104.22.168. Timp. Perc. (2). Strings (Optional: picc, bass cl,additional tpt, tbn, tuba)
Scheduled East Coast Premier April 2012 - Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. “I wrote this as a personal expression, not as a commissioned work. I believe it works as an audience-pleaser because it is concise, loaded with orchestral color, filled with strong melodies, robust in its rhythms and loaded with luxuriant harmonies. Most of all, it is unpretentious! It will take people from their problems, not leaving them groaning in misery. It expresses why audiences go to symphony concerts. Did I mention that it is unpretentious? Well, it is!”
Music of the Canvas (26 minutes) (3 movements) 22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Canvas is based upon the paintings of Abstract Expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart. I selected three of Richard’s paintings and created musical portrayals of each. While never intending so, the work became a dazzling concerto for orchestra. It requires three very fine trombonists, a strong harpist, a good bassoonist and a quality bass clarinetist.
Vertical Shrines (30 minutes) (3 movements) 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Vertical Shrines was commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony in 1988. It is a series of three tone poems that describe places that have height as the common element: Niagara Falls, Devil’s Tower and the National Cathedral. Although intended to be performed as a group, each tone poem stands on its own and can be programmed as an independent work. All three are rich in melodic content and orchestral color.
Concerto for Two Cellos (23 minutes) <(3 movements) 3. (2nd dbls. Alto) 2.2.2. 220.127.116.11. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
Chicago Symphony Orchestra,San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned for David Teie and Steven Honigberg, the Concerto for Two Cellos took me from an unknown composer to instant recognition on a national level. Thanks to Slava (Mstislav Rostropovich), who commissioned, conducted and coached me through the concerto, my life has never been the same. It has been performed more than 50 times by scores of orchestras, including Chicago, Minnesota, Milwaukee, San Diego, Evansville to name a few and featured on two national tours by the National Symphony. Every performance ends in a standing ovation.
Piano Concerto No. 2 (30 minutes) (3 movements) 18.104.22.168. 22.214.171.124. Timp. Perc. (2). Harp. Strings
Bershire Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Florida Philharmonic. Commissioned for the virtuoso pianist Frederick Moyer, Piano Concerto No. 2 is built like the powerhouse piano concertos of the Romantic era. It is filled with virtuoso display, deep emotional passion, expansive melodic writing and much dialogue between soloist and orchestra. Movements one and two are serious. In contrast the finale is based on jazz-influenced themes, teasing motives, mocking orchestrations, spunky harmonies, all in a fun-loving spirit and high-paced rhythm. In the hands of a great pianist, this concerto will knock the socks off the audience.
Concerto for Alto Flute (20 minutes) (3 movements) Scored for strings and alto flute
National Flute Conference, London Symphony Orchestra This unique format of alto flute and strings gives ample opportunity to develop a strong dialogue between soloist and orchestra, without covering up the alto flute. Over the course of the three movements, the string orchestra moves from a sparse accompanying role, to an equal player with the solo flute. Much writing is given to allow both the lower register of the alto flute to portray its haunting beauty, and to explore the facile nature of the instrument. The spirit of the entire concerto is “edgy.” The harmonies are rather sharp-edged, focused on minor and modal scales, the melodies are based less on lyricism and more on motivic construction. The rhythms are frequently incessant and rather hard hitting at times.
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra (23 minutes) (3 movements) 126.96.36.199. 188.8.131.52. Timp. Perc. (3). Harp. Strings
North Texas State Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. The Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra is a relatively early work (1986) that explores the unique qualities of the saxophone, i.e., its facility as a woodwind, and the edgy nature of its brassiness. To a large degree, the spirit of the entire concerto is anxious; a certain restlessness abounds. At times the music turns abrupt and terse. While the focus is naturally on the saxophone, the orchestra plays a significantly large role in the concerto.