This Sunday NOVA presents the world premiere of a new work by Utah composer Morris Rosenzweig, his String Trio. What follows are notes by the composer on this new work as well as a short bio that includes upcoming and recent performances of Rosenzweig’s works.
My approach to writing music might best be summed up as direct impulse meshed with reason.
This piece contains a basic underlying narrative which--instead of being diverted by its many changes of texture, mood, tempo, etc.--relies on those apparent shifts in order to ultimately tell its particular type of "story."
In composing this work I intended to write a quickly moving network of interconnected episodes, each of various lengths and types that all contribute to the whole structure. Although not a conscious inspiration, this is a similar approach noticeable in certain paintings by Klee and many other artists, as well as in the work of countless filmmakers, for example.
The piece begins and ends quietly. It contains two fairly extended, uptempo, loud, contrapuntal passages. The first, relatively close to the beginning, the second, relatively close to the end which finishes off the business left open by the first. The other equally important characteristic episodes act as both individual agents whose specific properties connect with others by similar or contrasting association. While there are many temperaments contained in this trio, I intend that an overall sense of balance is achieved: soft/loud, sweet/bitter, high/low, polyphonic/monophonic, and so on.
My deep thanks to NOVA for their interest in my music and for including this trio on today's concert, AND to the remarkable musicians who have worked so hard and patiently to bring this trio to life.
Morris Rosenzweig was born October 1, 1952 in New Orleans, where he grew up among the tailors, merchants, and strong-willed women of an extended family which has lived in southern Louisiana since the mid 1890s.
His works have been widely presented throughout the United States and Europe, as well as in Japan, Argentina, Mexico and Israel. Among the noted groups who have brought these works to life are the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, “Piano and Percussion-Stuttgart,” the Leonardo Trio, the Abramyan Quartet, EARPLAY, the New Orleans Symphony, and the Utah Symphony. He has had the pleasure of collaborating with an array of distinguished soloists including Laurence Dutton, William Purvis, Curtis Macomber, Chris Finckel, Steven Gosling, and Daniel Druckman.
Six CDs of his recorded compositions are available on the Albany and New World labels.
Mr. Rosenzweig has received honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Bogliasco Study Center, the Argosy Foundation, two commissions and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, and support from the Alice M. Ditson Fund.
Recent and upcoming activities include:
- a retrospective concert of his music presented by the Trinity Artists Series, November 2012
- movements from Points and Tales, Florence, Cherubini Conservatorio, December 2013
- premiere of so as to, NOVA Series, November 2013
- performance of Angels, Emeralds and the Towers, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Oberlin, March 2014
- a multi-media collaboration with photographer Savina Tarsitano, (heard through mixtful eyes) premiered in Brussels, July 2014 to be followed by a series of upcoming exhibitions in Japan and Italy
- performance of Da Lives ah da Saints, Sonus Tone Festival, Magdeburg, Germany, October 2014
- performance of Piano Preludes and movements from Points and Tales, Jason Hardink, Libby Gardner Hall, January 26, 2015
- premiere of commissioned piece, A League of Notions by the Orchestra of the League, Miller Theatre, New York, June 11, 2015.
Presently Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Utah, he has formerly held positions at Queens College and New York University. Mr. Rosenzweig is director of The Louis Moreau Institute for New Music Performance, New Orleans; director of The Maurice Abravanel Visiting Composers Series, and artistic director of Canyonlands Ensemble. He was educated at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.