Celebrate America With American Composers

Happy Independence Day from Reference Recordings!

Celebrate America with American Composers Chris Brubeck, Michael Gandolfi, and Lukas Foss!

Chris Brubeck:

BRUBECK - danza del soul: I. Introductions and Flirtations; II. The Loneliness of Secrets; III. Celebraçion de Vida. Artists: Wendy Putnam, violin; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Vytas Baksys, piano; Owen Young, cello; Lawrence Wolfe, bass; Daniel Bauch, percussion

Christopher Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer. During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck. Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles. An award-winning composer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody--a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”

Michael Gandolfi:

GANDOLFI - line drawings: I. Canon, Cut and Paste; II. A Farewell to Old Friends; III. Hidden Variable; IV. Obbligato Aria; V. Chickens. Artists: Wendy Putnam, violin; Thomas Martin, clarinet; Vytas Baksys, piano

Michael Gandolfi during recording session
Michael Gandolfi’s earliest musical involvement was in rock and jazz improvisation beginning at age eight as a self-taught guitarist. As his improvisational skills developed he became increasingly interested in music composition and began formal study in his early teens.

He received the B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as fellowships for study at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Mr. Gandolfi is the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His music has been performed by many leading ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

This season, Mr. Gandolfi's Geppetto’s Workshop, featuring Brook Ferguson Schoenwald, flute and Hugh Hinton, piano, will be performed at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, as part of the Conservatory’s Composers Series Concert.

Lukas Foss:

FOSS - central park reel; Wendy Putnam, violin; Vytas Baksys, piano.

Lukas Foss was a German-born American composer of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he was also active as a conductor.

Mr. Foss was the son of a philosophy professor and a painter. He studied music theory and piano privately with Julius Goldstein-Herford as a child and began composing at age seven. He studied composition with Noël Gallon, flute with Louis Moyse, orchestration with Felix Wolfes, and piano with Lazare Lévy in Paris from 1933–37 and then studied composition with Rosario Scalero and Randall Thompson, conducting with Fritz Reiner and piano with Isabelle Vengerova at the Curtis Institute of Music from 1937–39. He studied composition with Paul Hindemith as a special student at Yale University in 1939–40 and studied conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at Tanglewood from 1939–41. He is the recipient of more than 20 honorary doctorates.

Among his many honors are two Guggenheim fellowships (1945, 1960), the New York Music Critics' Circle Award (1945, for The Prairie; 1954, for Concerto No. 2 [piano]; 1961, for Time Cycle), a residency at the American Academy in Rome (1950–51), and a Fulbright Scholarship (1950–52). He was later elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1983) and his music was featured at a two-week festival in Buffalo (2003).

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