Bernadette Speach

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Bernadette Speach (born January 1, 1948 in Syracuse, New York) is an American avant-garde composer.

Biography[edit]

Speach was a nun at St Joseph of Corondelet from 1966 to 1977, teaching music in parochial schools during that time. She studied with Nicholas Roussakis at Columbia University and with Franco Donatoni at Siena in 1976. After 1977 she left the sisterhood and acquired a Ph.D. at SUNY Buffalo, studying under Morton Feldman and Lejaren Hiller. She moved to New York in 1984 and married musician Jeffrey Schanzer. She served as director of Composers Forum from 1988 to 1990 and president of their board from 1990 to 1994; in 1995 she became director of The Kitchen. She is the president of the Buffalo New Music Ensemble.

Her music reflects a strong influence from Morton Feldman, but also is significantly influenced by jazz, including liberal use of improvisation.

Selected works[edit]

Note: this list is incomplete.

Vocal works[edit]

  • Telepathy Suite (1988)
  • A Set of Five (1989)
  • It Came to me in a Dream (1990)
  • Baobab 4 (1994)
  • Woman Without Adornment (1994)
  • Embrace the Universe for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano soli, with mixed chorus and orchestra (2001); words from The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Works for piano and guitar[edit]

  • Two in the Morning (1986)
  • Phill’s Phault (1988)
  • Blue (1989)
  • (1990)
  • It’s Your Turn (1990)
  • Sound Crowds (1990)
  • at the same time (1993)

Other instrumental works[edit]

  • Shattered Glass (1986)
  • Spero, gui (1986)
  • Les ondes pour quatre (1988)
  • Boppin’ Again (1989, rev. 1991)
  • Bone, Burned, Abandon/Creak (dance score) (1990)
  • Within (1990)
  • 9/8/89 (1990)
  • Almost Tadzio/Overbite Alarm (dance score) (1991)
  • Chosen Voices (1991)
  • Trio des trois I for violin, piano and percussion (1991)
  • Trio des trois II for flute, viola and harp (1991)
  • Trio des trois III for viola, cello and piano (1992)
  • Avanzando (1993)
  • Complaints (1993)
  • Walking Again (1993)
  • Parallel Windows – Unframed (1995)
  • Viola for viola and piano (1999)

Solo piano[edit]

  • Inside Out (1987)
  • a page upon which … (1989)
  • and so it is … (1990)
  • Resoundings (4 hands, 1990)
  • Walking Again (1992)
  • Angels in the Snow (1993)
  • When it Rains, Llueve (1995)

References[edit]

  • Gann, Kyle. "Bernadette Speach". New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Macmillan, 2001.
  • Biography at Allmusic.com