logo The Players, Composers and Conductors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael G. Finegold

Michael G. Finegold

Michael G. Finegold – Artistic Director of ECMP, Flutist, Composer, and Northern Essex Community College Professor Emeritus of Music enjoys a diversified career in music. Michael founded the Essex Chamber Music Players at Northern Essex Community College in 1999 while Professor and Coordinator of Music.
He studied flute with Doriot Dwyer, former principal flutist of the Boston Symphony while doing post-graduate work at the New England Conservatory. He studied with flutists Samuel Baron and Thomas Nyfenger as a graduate student while working on his Masters of Music and Masters of Musical Arts degrees at the Yale University School of Music.
He studied music composition with Jan Meyerowitz, Tenafly, New Jersey (1960), and Joseph Manieri, Brooklyn, New York (1965). As a composition minor-performance major at the Yale School of Music, Michael studied composition with Gunther Schuller (1966-67), Richmond Brown (1968) and James Drew (1969). In recent times he has consulted with William Thomas McKinley of Reading, Massachusetts and other composers.


Michael has performed with symphony orchestras, theater orchestras, jazz groups and given many recitals. In 1994 with pianist David Pihl, he recorded William Thomas McKinley’s Romances #2, Secrets of The Heart for the MMC (Master Musicians Collective) label. In 1995 he recorded and performed in concert McKinley’s Concerto for Flute and Strings with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague, Czechoslovakia for MMC. In 1998 he premiered Georgetown, Massachusetts composer Ray Loring’s Celebration for Flute and Strings composed for Mount Ida College’s Centennial. In 1998 he performed as soloist NECC faculty member J. Windel Brown’s About Time, and Mitch Hampton’s Pop Goes The Concert Hall: The Swingin’ Seventies with the Czech Radio Orchestra when they visited the United States performing at Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Everett Collins Center in Andover. In February of 1999 Finegold recorded these works in Prague with the orchestra. In 2000 he and internationally renowned clarinetist Richard Stolzman recorded Mitch Hampton’s The Four Humors with the Warsaw Philharmonic. In 2001 he performed the Joachim Quantz Flute Concerto in G Major as guest soloist with the Essex Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ian Carter White, at the Rogers Center For The Performing Arts, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. In 2002 he premiered and recorded Marc Rossi’s Dance To The Music of Being and Fantasy in Adi Talam with ECMP. In 2003 he recorded William Thomas McKinley’s Three Movements for Flute and String with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava, Slovakia. Romances #2, Secrets of The Heart, Three Movements for Flute and String and About Time are now available on MMC Recordings.

Michael’s music composition work include: Quintet for amplified Flute, Violin, Piano, Bass and Drums (1969) performed at Sprague Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Salon Musings (1998) composed for and performed by the Thuringer SalonQuintett at Carnegie Recital Hall, Barge Music in New York City, and on tour throughout the United States and Europe, and Rave Reflections for Flute, Cello and Piano (2006) for the Essex Chamber Music Players to be premiered November 19, 2006 at Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  He has also composed several jazz works: Remember The Time, Flautist’s Intrigue, In Pursuit of Nirvana, Dark and Somber, Way Would, Flowers In Autumn, and Wisteria for his jazz group The Essex Jazz Ensemble.


Michael and pianist David Pihl are founding members of the Essex Chamber Music Players. From 2001 -2006 Michael was chosen for inclusion on the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) roster in the Category of Performing and Touring. The MCC Roster is a list of high-quality Massachusetts artists across a wide range of artistic disciplines who are qualified to give performances and/or conduct school residencies. Past honors have included receipt of the Fromm Fellowship in Contemporary Music while studying at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.

Emmanuel Feldman, Violoncellist

Hailed by John Williams, Grammy award winning composer and conductor as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist”, Emmanuel Feldman enjoys an active career as a soloist and chamber musician.  With a repertoire ranging from Bach to Ligeti, Mr. Feldman has concertized throughout Europe and North America. He has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, New England String Ensemble and many others.  An avid chamber musician, he was invited to participate in the Marlboro Music Festival and has collaborated with fellow artists Gilbert Kalish, Robert Levin, Joy Cline Phinney, Yehudi Wyner, the Borromeo String Quartet, and soloed with pop and jazz artist Bobby McFerrin.  In the Boston Globe Richard Dyer wrote  “Feldman was superb” in his recent Celebrity Series debut.  His solo CD on Albany Records “Rider on The Plains” featuring Virgil Thomson’s Cello Concerto was part of producer Blanton Alspaugh’s 2008 nomination for a Grammy award (Producer of the Year) and was hailed as an “excellent recording…the concerto sounds exhilarating in this bracing and confident performance” by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times.  He also has several CD’s on the Naxos, Arsis and Zimbel labels.  A consummate advocate of new music, he has premiered cello works by composers Aaron Kernis, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, and many others.  Co-founder of Cello e Basso with bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman, they have been called “a musical Lewis and Clark” by NPR’s Ron Schacter. He has performed at the Pablo Casals, Schlesswig Holstein, Yellow Barn, Killington, and Summit Music Festivals.  A Curtis Institute graduate with studies at the Paris Conservatory, Mr. Feldman currently is on the cello faculty at Tufts and Brown Universities and New England Conservatory.

Website: Emmanuelfeldman.com

 



David Pihl

David Pihl, Pianist

David Pihl, of Worcester, Massachusetts, studied at Boston University School of Music and received his Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Lowell School of music. His principal teachers have been Michael Kramer and Anthony di Bonaventura. He also studied vocal accompanying in Europe under Elly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen. He has performed widely in the Worcester, Boston and Lowell areas, and, together with Michael Finegold, co-founded the Essex Chamber Music
Players. He has performed as a soloist and as a vocal accompanist in Munich, Germany. Mr. Pihl recorded and performed William McKinley's "Secrets of the Heart" for flute and piano for Master Musicians Collective (MMC). His most recent recording on the MMC label was John Mitchell's "Music for Woodwinds Vol. 1" with internationally-acclaimed clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. In reviewing Mr. Pihl's recordings for "Fanfare", Philip Scott called his playing of "Secrets of the Heart"
"brilliant" and commented that he was "a rock" on the performance of John Mitchell's "Music for Woodwinds." David Pihl has also recordedWilliam Thomas McKinley's Concerto in Two Movements for Piano and Orchestra. In addition to recording for the MMC label, David has performed and recorded piano solos and art songs of Langston Hughes' poetry by Stephen Peisch. He also recorded the recently released Jonathan Sachs' "Litanies" and "Ghost Horses" for Parma Recordings.

David Pihl has taught music at Worcester State College, Northern EssexCommunity College and Becker Junior College. He is the staffaccompanist for the Theatre Dept at Holy Cross College and has been theaccompanist for the University of Massachusetts - Lowell Chorus. Hecurrently teaches at Lawrence Academy.

Upcoming musical releases include another collaboration with RichardStoltzman for the Parma label on Marie Barker Nelson's "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano". Mr. Pihl is currently planning to record the worldpremiere of "Twenty-Four Etudes for Piano" by William Thomas McKinley and "Three Movements for Piano" composed by Marc Rossi and inspired by the teachings of philosopher J. Krishnamurti.

 

John Sullivan

 

John Sullivan, Tenor

John M. Sullivan has been a Vocal Fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood and soloist with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Sarasota Opera, Mississippi Opera, Mobile Opera, Opera Deleware, the Banff Festival, Canada and the Nissei Arts Festival in Tokyo. Locally, Mr. Sullivan has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera and has been tenor soloist with many choral organizations throughout the Boston area. He is the Music Department Head of the Newton Country Day School.

 

Charlotte Russell

Charlotte Russell, Soprano

Charlotte Russell has appeared as soloist with the Boston SymphonyOrchestra, the Indian Hill Orchestra, the Montanea Festival (Switzerland), and in recital at Fruitlands Museums, Follen Church, the Fitchburg Public Library, Northern Essex Community College, Middlesex Community College, Indian Hill Music Guest Artist Series, and the Church of St. Anne (Jerusalem).  She has premiered songs written for her by Arthur Koykka and Francis Judd Cooke, and has also sung the premiere of several songs by Stephen Peisch.  Charlotte studied voice with Donna Hewitt-Didham and Jo Estill, and as an intern with Ms. Estill was invited to teach at Duquesne University and California State University at Hayward.  She is now a Certified Master in the Estill Voice Training System, which she teaches at Indian Hill and New England Conservatory.  She also teaches voice at St. Mark's School in Southborough and in her private studio, is Music Director at the Union Church of Stow, and enjoys her work as a choral clinician throughout the northeast.  She has a special interest in unusual repertoire and vocal physiology.

Guest Performers

Sarah Pelletier, Soprano

Praised by the Boston Globe for possessing “virtues of voice, intelligence and musicianship… with purity of tone and expression”, soprano Sarah Pelletier demonstrates these qualities in all her performances.

She has appeared as a guest artist at Spoleto Festival USA, Bard Music Festival, and Aldeburgh Festival, UK.  Past seasons include a solo recital on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage; Britten’s War Requiem, Berg’s Wozzeck and Schwantner’s Magabunda with New England Philharmonic; Kraft Settings of Pierrot Lunaire with Boston Musica Viva; Bach B minor Mass with San Francisco Bach Choir; Handel’s Messiah with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Schumann’s Genoveva and Handel’s Ariodante with Emmanuel Music; and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with Princeton Festival Opera.  Ms. Pelletier toured with Maestro Seiji Ozawa to Japan, China, and Italy performing Madama Butterfly and Peter Grimes at Saito Kinen Festival and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. 

Ms. Pelletier has received Vocal Fellowships at Tanglewood and the Ravinia Festival. She has given solo recitals at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Goethe Institute.  A lover of Contemporary Music, she has premiered works by Ross Bauer, Gordon Beeferman, Howard Frazin, John McDonald, Eric Sawyer, Andy Vores, James Yannatos, and Arlene Zallman with performances under the direction of Lukas Foss, Keith Lockhart, Robert Spano, John Harbison, and John Rutter.  She has performed for Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, “Music in Time Series” at Spoleto Festival USA, and Santa Fe New Music. Ms. Pelletier is recorded on Chesky Records. She currently serves on the vocal faculty at Princeton University.   

Lois Shapiro, Pianist

Warmly acknowledged for her imaginative and insightful performances
("Shapiro produces and inspires musical magic"; "Lois Shapiro conjures enchantment", Boston Globe; "...Lois Shapiro's amazingly opinionated and fresh traversal of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 has to be the highlight of the current concert season." The Jewish Advocate), Lois Shapiro has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the US and abroad. A winner of the prestigious Concert Artists Guild Award, and a finalist in the Affiliate Artists Competition, she has recorded on the Afka, MLR, MSR, Centaur, Channel Classics, Pierrot, and MLAR labels. Indeed, her CD with cellist Rhonda Rider for Centaur was chosen by The Boston Globe as One of the Best Recordings of 1996.
 The broad spectrum of her interests and affinities is reflected in a repertoire of considerable scope, with many premieres to her credit. An accomplished fortepianist as well, Ms. Shapiro has given numerous performances of the l8th and l9th century repertory on period instruments.
These appearances include an all-Schumann concert of solo piano and chamber music with instruments of the E. M. Frederick collection, the Boston premiere of Schumann's Introduction and Allegro for piano and orchestra, Opus 134 -- a performance which was enthusiastically reviewed in The London Times-- and recent period instrument performances of the complete cycles of Beethoven cello sonatas, variations, and piano trios.
Ms. Shapiro has been a guest artist at Columbia University, the Frick Collection, the Phillips Collection, Corcoran Gallery and National Gallery (American Music Festival) in Washington, D.C., the Rialto Center in Atlanta, Museum of Fine Arts and Jordan Hall in Boston; the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series and the Chicago Art Institute; the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and the Museum Vleeshuis in Antwerp, Belgium. She has appeared in live broadcasts on WQXR, WGBH, WFMT, Baltimore Public Television and Belgian Radio and Television.
    From 1995, she and her piano trio Triple Helix--including Bayla Keyes, violin, and Rhonda Rider, cello--have given numerous highly acclaimed concerts and lecture recitals and have premiered many works written for them. Cited by the Boston Globe as one of the top chamber ensembles of Boston, and chosen as Musicians of the Year in 2000, they were Artists- in- Residence at Wellesley College-- an innovative program consisting of engaging interdisciplinary lecture -recitals, chamber music masterclasses and concerts-- from 1999 to 2012, and are currently Artists-in-Residence at Rivers Conservatory of Music, Rivers School, in Weston, MA.
     Formerly an instructor of piano at Smith College, Brandeis University, and the New England Conservatory, Ms. Shapiro is currently on the faculty of Wellesley
College. She has given numerous masterclasses and lectures on subjects such as the nature of musicianship, as well as late Beethoven piano sonatas and Robert Schumann's music in relation to the early 19th century intellectual and aesthetic milieu.
   As an expression of her abiding interested in inspiring music-lovers of all ages, Ms. Shapiro has created an intergenerational orchestra and, in collaboration with the Longy School of Music Dalcroze Department, a series of engaging and highly popular family programs in which she has performed as narrator and pianist. She is a 2011 recipient of an AlumniVentures award from the Yale University School of Music, to create and implement interdisciplinary programs in the Boston public schools.
   She received her musical training at the Peabody Institute (BM), Yale
University (MM), the New England Conservatory (AD),
Her teachers include Leon Fleisher, Katja Andy, and Gyorgy Sebok.

 Richard Dyer, of the Boston Globe, described Ms. Shapiro's unique artistic qualities in the following way: " She is a wonderful artist and a dangerous person to work with... What makes her dangerous is her imagination and her insight; these lead her directly into what is most interesting about the music. And her technical resources are such that she is able to do exactly what her imagination and insight intend... Shapiro has the great gift of making everything she does sound inevitable even when it is surprising.

http://triplehelixpianotrio.org/wordpress/

Andrew Kohji Taylor

Hailed for profound musical expression and artistic sensitivity, Andrew Kohji Taylor is expanding an international reputation by captivating audiences with probing musical insight, luminous tone, expressive phrasing and technical mastery. Inevitably, audiences are drawn into his passionate devotion to music. The Boston Globe writes, “Though he has technique to burn he wears it lightly,” and praises his “gorgeous virtuosity” and “sheer scrupulousness of playing.” In a review of his Washington D.C. debut recital, The Washington Post deemed him “exceptionally soulful,” and for a recent performance at the Smithsonian Museum, the Post noted his “fine-tuned perceptive powers and obvious joy of music making.” Born in Boston, Mr. Taylor began to study the violin at the age of four and at nine began studying with renowned pedagogue Dorothy DeLay who remained his teacher through the end of High School. The late Henryk Szerying noticed Taylor’s talent at a young age and became his mentor for many years. Taylor has also worked with Masuko Ushioda at the New England Conservatory of Music, Syoko Aki at Yale University and Uwe Martin Haiberg at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Mr. Taylor has given solo recitals in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, and Washington DC. He has appeared throughout Europe as a soloist with conductor Daniel Harding and has toured extensively with the Prague Virtuosi, the Janacek Chamber Orchestra and the Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble. He made his New York concerto debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with Gerard Schwarz and The New York Chamber Symphony, and has recently given a recital at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. In May of 2008 he performed at Boston’s symphony hall with the Boston Pops orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart. Highly sought after as a chamber musician, Mr. Taylor can be heard regularly at music festivals including the Marlboro music festival, the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Festival, and has toured throughout the United States with the “Charles Wadsworth and Friends” chamber music series. His quartet in Berlin was selected by Henle publishing to present the late quartets of Beethoven in a series of several concerts in Germany, and was featured by the Berlin Philharmonic to play one of Hindemith’s quartets as part of his 100th birthday celebration. Currently second violinist Christoph Von der Nahmer is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic and cellist Manuel Von der Nahmer is a member of the Munich radio orchestra. Recently, Mr. Taylor has been invited on several occasions to participate in Seiji Ozawa’s chamber orchestra in Mito Japan. Taylor is a frequent guest of Boston’s WGBH radio and his recitals have been heard on NPR’s “Performance Today,” NHK Japan, WFMT Chicago, WETA Washington DC, and “Voice of America.” He was recently featured on WCVB television, in a special program titled, “Guys on the Rise”, and in a documentary about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that has been viewed nationally on ABC.

As an exclusive artist for the Warner Classic label, his first three discs were released in Asia to overwhelming critical acclaim, including a recording of the Bach double with Alfred Genovese. Tokyo’s Ongaku No Tomo magazine wrote of his debut recording featuring Prokofiev, Janácek and Debussy with pianist Max Levinson, “limpid pure beauty – so luminous in such polished form – one feels that he is already establishing his own world of music.” Recently Warner classics released two recordings featuring works for violin and some of Mr. Taylor’s recordings were selected to be presented on these compilations alongside violinists, Gidon Kremer and Maxim Vengerov. He has also recorded for other labels including a concerto CD with Gerard Schwarz for the MMC label.

 

 

Composers of Current and Recent New Works

Marc Rossi

Marc W. Rossi (b. 1952)

Composer and jazz pianist Marc W. Rossi received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Composition from New England Conservatory.  His principal teachers were William Thomas McKinley and Donald Martino, (composition) George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre, Jaki Byard, (jazz studies) and Peter Row (sitar and North Indian music).  Since then he has continued private studies in composition and orchestration with Frank Bennett, and jazz improvisation with Charlie Banacos, and sitar with Peter Row.  Rossi's music has been performed here and abroad, and recorded by The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, SinfoNova, the Essex Chamber Music Players under Artistic Director Michael G. Finegold, concert pianists Jeffery Jacob and Cameron Grant, the New England String Quartet, soprano Margot Emery and pianist William Merrill, cellists Emmanuel Feldman, Rafael Popper-Keizer and Felix Simonian, Indian classical guitarist Prasanna, sitarist Peter Row, Indian violinist Krishnan Lalgudi, santoor player Satish Vyas, the Jimmy Giuffre 4, Stan Strickland and Ascension, and the Berklee Faculty Jazz Orchestra to name a few.  As a keyboardist he has performed, recorded, and toured with Stan Strickland and Ascension, George Russell's Living Time Orchestra, The Jimmy Giuffre 4, Bo Diddley, pianist/historian Lewis Porter, the Robert Moore Quartet, the Row and Rossi Project, the Living Geometry Duo, and the Marc Rossi Group (MRG).

Rossi's compositions have been favorably reviewed in Fanfare, The American Record Buyer's Guide, New Music Connoisseur, and The Boston Globe, and New Music Box.  His original MRG jazz CDs has been favorably reviewed in Jazz Times, The LA Jazz Scene, Downbeat, All About Jazz, Jazz.com, Abstract Logix, Jazzreview.com, and Morrice's Internet Jazz Review.  Rossi has been on the faculties of Tufts University and New England Conservatory, as is now a full time Professor at the Berklee College of Music where he has taught since 1989.  To learn more about Marc Rossi, please visit http://www.marcrossi.com/

David Bennett Thomas

David Bennett Thomas (b. 1969)

David Bennett Thomas is a composer living in the Philadelphia area, where he teaches composition, theory, and piano at The University of the Arts.  He holds degrees from West Chester University and The Peabody Conservatory; and studied privately with Lukas Foss. Thomas has composed music in many genres, most prolifically for chamber music and voice. Several recordings have been released of his works, on the Capstone Records label.  Thomas is also enjoys a second life as an active jazz pianist.  His website is www.davidbthomas.com, where you can find out more about his activities.

 

Eric Sawyer

Eric Sawyer (b. 1962)

The music of Eric Sawyer receives frequent performances on both coasts, including at New York’s Weill and Merkin concert halls and at Tanglewood, as well as in England, France, Germany, and most recently in Romania and Bulgaria. Recent performances include works on programs by the Brentano String Quartet and San Jose Chamber Orchestra.  His opera with poet John Shoptaw, Our American Cousin, on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, received its staged premiere from Boston Modern Orchestra Project in June 2008, and a recording of the opera just been released on the BMOP/sound label.  His chamber music compilation String Works and cantata The Humble Heart are available on compact disc from Albany Records.  Mr. Sawyer has received the Joseph Bearns Prize, a First Music commission from the New York Youth Symphony, and awards from the Tanglewood Music Center and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Harvard University.   He teaches at Amherst College where he is chair of the music department.

http://www.ericsawyer.net/

Harold Shapero (b. 1920, d. 2013)

Harold Shapero has lived most of his life in the Boston area, graduating from Harvard University in 1941.  Shapero has studied composition with Nicholas Slonimsky(1936), Ernst Krenek(1937), Walter Piston(1938), Paul Hindemith (1940), and Nadia Boulanger(1942). He was composer in residence at the American Academy in Rome in 1970.  As a composer, he has earned the Rome Prize, the Bearns Prize, a Naumburg Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and a Fullbright Fellowship. A fine pianist, he has given premieres of most of his keyboard and chamber works. Mr. Shapero has received commissions from the Koussevitsky Foundation, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the American Jewish Tercentenary, the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, the Ford Foundation, and George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet Company.  A recent revival of his Symphony for Classical Orchestra by conductor Andre Previn, has led to performances of this work by the Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and London Symphony Orchestras.  For over thirty years he served on the music faculty at Brandeis University, directing its Electronic Music Studio, and teaching theory and composition. Currently retired, he lives in Natick, MA.

J. Windel Brown (b. 1941)

J. Windel Brown has been a teacher at Northern Essex Community College since 1971 where he has taught in the Mathematics Department.  Many of his works have been performed locally and throughout Europe.  He has written 6 pieces for ECMP that have been performed since 2001.  A CD containing his Piano Concerto has been released on the MMC label.  The MMC Recording Company is currently broadcasting the last movement, Ritmico, from his piano concerto over the web at mmcrecordings.com. The Czech Radio Symphony premiered ‘Before Time’ with Michael Finegold as flute soloist in Boston and recorded it in Prague in 1999.  The London Symphony Orchestra recorded another of his compositions, ‘London Overture’, in 2000.  The Moravian Philharmonic performed the premiere of and recorded his ‘Symphony #2’ in 2003.  Locally the Chelmsford Community Band performed his ‘Chelmsford Fanfare’ in July of 2005 and ECMP performed his ‘Suite for Flute, Cello and Piano’ in November 2006.

 

Ray Loring 

We are saddened by the passing of composer Ray Loring (May 20, 1943 - September 6, 2008). He was a graduate of Yale University and the Brandeis Graduate School of Music where he received his MFA in music composition.  His teachers included Seymour Shifrin, Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero.   He was also a classically trained pianist.  He composed extensively for film and television, having received numerous commissions from PBS Nova, Frontline and the History and Discovery Channels.  He scored the music for "Saving the National Treasures" for Nova that aired in February of this year.  He had also provided the music for several important museum installations throughout the US.  Locations have included the Harry Truman Museum, the theater at the National Archives Rotunda, the Museum of the Mississippi, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.  In 2004 he was commissioned to provide an arrangement for the Astoria Jazz Band for inclusion in the Ninth Annual Festival of Women in Jazz held at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. We will miss Ray, his great friendship, contributions to the ECMP Board of Composers and the works he was intending to compose for ECMP.

 

William Thomas McKinley (b.1938 )

One of the most highly regarded and well-known composers of his generation, William Thomas McKinley (b.1938) has been likened to “Ives on steroids” (Fanfare) and “Stravinsky gone mad” (Gerard Schwarz).  He learned both classical and jazz piano at a very early age, becoming the youngest member of the American Federation of Musicians at just twelve years old. To date, he has composed over 350 works, is listed in Groves' Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and has received commissions from the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Fromm Foundation, and the Naumburg Foundation. His many awards and grants include, among others, an award and citation from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and eight NEA grants. McKinley has studied with many renowned teachers and composers, including Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, and Gunther Schuller, and as a jazz pianist has performed, composed, and recorded with Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Eddie Gomez, Gary Burton, Miroslav Vitous, Rufus Reed, Roy Haynes, and Billy Hart, to name a few.

In 1992, McKinley founded MMC Recordings with the goal of connecting composers with the finest orchestras, conductors, and performers in the world, releasing their recordings, and creating an archive of modern classical music.  The label’s primary collaborators include luminaries such as clarinetist Richard Stoltzman (a long-time friend and supporter of McKinley and his music), conductors Gerard Schwarz, Marin Alsop, Carl St. Claire, George Manahan, Kirk Trevor, Gil Rose, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra, and many more.

In recent years, McKinley has become even more prolific, and his works are featured on releases from Koch, Delos, and RCA Red Seal in addition to those on MMC.  2006 saw the premiere of R.A.P. (Rhythm And Pulse), a double concerto for Richard Stoltzman (clarinet) and his son Peter (piano), with the Boston Modern Orchestra, and the Nonet for the Quintet of the Americas at Carnegie Hall.  In 2007, selections from McKinley’s Piano Etudes will be premiered at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and Gil Rose will conduct the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in the world premiere of his 7th Symphony, The Cosmos.  MMC Recordings is currently planning a retrospective CD to celebrate the composer’s 70th birthday.


Elaine Erickson

Elaine Erickson (b. 1940)

Elaine Erickson received a Master of Music degree in Music Composition from Drake University. She has won numerous awards, fellowships and residencies, including from the Ford Foundation (Contemporary Music Project), Meet the Composer, the Charles Ives Center (4 times, the National League of American Pen Women (including the $1000 Music Composition Award), the Pyle Commission Award from the Iowa Composers Forum, among others. She has done additional study in composition at the University of Iowa and at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Her teachers have been Francis Pyle, Richard Hervig, Jean Eichelberger Ivey and Robert Hall Lewis. She has composed 5 operas, 3 of which were performed at Peabody. She travels to schools throughout Iowa, presenting workshops involving her compositions, as an artist for VSA arts of Iowa. She is a published poet. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa

 

 

 

Roger Rudenstein

         I studied music with Fu Yuan Soong and Walter Hilse who taught me to make music that is entertaining as well as artful.  I’ve composed five full length operas and a musical,   of which five have already been performed in New York and New England (Faustus, an updating of the tale to the current age based on Goethe and Marlowe; Azazel, about a Jesus-like rebel;  Ulysses, based on the novel of James Joyce; Grace, the first full-length opera about AIDS based on the play by Edward Langlois and John Carmichael; and Onions, a musical for kids (performed at the Prescott Park Arts Festival).  These received some good reviews when the critics and the stars were in alignment (“gorgeous and rewarding”,”his music mirrors the profundity of Joyce’s words”) and some really terrible ones (“slunk into town”,”not art”).
         I have a large repertoire of recently-composed chamber works which reflect my reaction to the greed-based, warlike, national security state we suffer in.  This part of my work is dubbed The Nightmare of Reason opus. My new recording, State of the Union, is part of these works.
         I have won the Masterworks of the New Era award twice. I have a newly released recording on the MMC label called “State of the Union” and recordings coming out soon on the Masterworks label.
         I currently live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with my wife, Marilyn, and cats, Marshmallow and Huckleberry.

More info link: www.rogerrudenstein.com