Talk:Eric Ewazen

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Concerto for Marimba (1999) Program Notes[edit]

I saw the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra perform in The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, on November 1st, 2014; they did Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", Ewazen's "Concerto for Marimba" and Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 4". Roy Gussman was the conductor, and Greg Giannascoli was the soloist for the concerto. Anyway, I have the program notes, (written by Tom Avakian), and I'd like to copy down the part which is relevant to Ewazen, since there is relatively little information available about him. I realize this is not a "perfect" source and I'm not sure what the procedure would be for citing it, but I'll put it here anyway for other people to evaluate its worth, since there is very little information about Ewazen in general and no other description of this particular work that I'm aware of. Since this might just possibly be enough to create a short stub article for the concerto, or at least provide a source to confirm some of the things about his backround (e.g. studied under), here it is:

"Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ewazen received his Bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, and his Masters and Doctorate Degrees from the Julliard School, where he has been a faculty member since 1980. His teachers have included Samuel Adler, Milton Babbit, Warren Benson, Gunther Schuller, and Joseph Schwanter. He was composer-in-residence with the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, lecturer for the New York Philharmonic Music Encounter Series and Vice-President of the League of Composers-International Society of Contemporary Music. The composer describes this work in his own words:

'"Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra" was written in the summer of 1999, and premiered in the summer of 2000 by She-e Wu, who commissioned the piece, and the Moments Musicales Orchestra of Taiwan, under the direction of Paul Po Po Chiang. It was subsequently recorded by She-e Wu with the International Sejong Soloists. I have always loved the sound of the marimba since I first became acquainted with the instrument when I went to college at the Eastman School of Music. Its glorious golden tone, virtuosic and lyric capabilities and uniqueness has made it a favorite instrument of mine. It is also an instrument that has been continually evolving over the last several decades. Since I first began composing for it, an entire extra octave has been added below (in stages, interval by interval). Having written a Marimba Solo in 1989, called Northern Lights, I was eager to write the concerto for this "new, expanded" instrument.

The Concerto is in 3 movements, very much neoclassical in style. It is also a huge work requiring tremendous technique of the soloist, with regard to dexterity and musicality. The first movement opens with an introduction, a sonorous chorale which leads to a playful, energetic and joyful Allegro molto, with the marimba and the orchestra tossing melodies back and forth. The 2nd movement is an extended, lyrical song in an A-B-A form with the outer sections singing sweetly and gently and the middle section being quite dramatic, as the music soars. The final movement is a true rondo, influenced by my Eastern European roots, with folk-inspired music, gutsy and bold, alternating with playful contrasting themes. A grand return to the 1st movement chorale is the culmination of the piece, which leads to a final joyful coda.

I am grateful to my friends in the marvelous Monmouth Symphony Orchestra for introducing my piece to you this evening. A special thanks to Greg Giannascoli, whom I heard play the version of this concerto with wind ensemble accompaniment last season with the Princeton Wind Ensemble. He plays the work spectacularly, with amazing virtuosity and heartfelt expression.'"

So those were the program notes, for the Marimba piece at least. Like I said, I don't know if we can incorporate any of that into the main article, but the 'talk' section is 'unofficial', so please refrain from removing it from this page, at least, so that at least it's available to those curious enough to look 'beneath' the main article, even if we can't assimilate this source fully into our encyclopedic-description. Knightofcups89 (talk) 18:58, 14 December 2014 (UTC)