|Born||April 18, 1954|
Brooklyn, New York
|Genres||Classical, Contemporary classical|
Robert M. Greenberg (born April 18, 1954) is an American composer, pianist, and musicologist who was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has composed more than 50 works for a variety of instruments and voices, and has recorded a number of lecture series on music history and music appreciation for The Great Courses.
Greenberg earned a B.A. in music (magna cum laude) from Princeton University and received a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied with Olly Wilson. He has served on the faculties of UC Berkeley, California State University, East Bay, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was chairman of the Department of Music History and Literature and Director of the Adult Extension Division. Dr. Greenberg is currently Music Historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances.
He has received numerous awards, including three Nicola De Lorenzo Prizes in composition, and three Meet the Composer grants. Additionally, he has received commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation of the Library of Congress, the Alexander String Quartet, XTET, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
A number of his works have been performed in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands. His music was published by the now defunct Fallen Leaf Press and CPP/Belwin (now part of Alfred Publishing Company) and is recorded on the Innova Recordings label.
Greenberg has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, and is the resident composer and music historian for National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered. He is also the Music Historian in Residence at San Francisco Performances, and hosts their "Saturday Morning Series" (a lecture combined with performances) with the Alexander String Quartet.
Greenberg has recorded a number of lecture series for The Great Courses on music history and the appreciation of music. He often relates the musical topics to other areas such as history, politics as well as to other music from different periods. Referring to Greenberg's lively style and sense of humor, the Bangor Daily News has described him as "the Elvis of music history and appreciation."
He is an artistic adviser at Composers, Inc.
A complete list of compositions is given on the composer's official web site. Selected compositions and notes are given below:
- Breaths, Voices and Cadenze (1981) String quartet #1
- By various means (1983) for clarinet quartet
- Theme and variations
- Quasi un madrigale (1985) four Italian songs for soprano and piano
- Il palatino / Aldo Palazzeschi
- Poesia d'amore / Salvatore Quasímodo
- La trombettina / Corrado Govoni
- Quasi un madrigale / Salvatore Quasímodo
- Child's Play (1988) String quartet #2 "...which captures the imaginative and playful energy of his daughter Rachel (then two years old)."
- I. Games (fast) 8:06
- II. Intermezzo: Dreams of Gold (Sogni d'oro) (slow) 5:35
- III. Dances (very fast) 6:51
- The Passing Years (1989) five songs for baritone and piano
- God gave me
- East Broadway
- The passing years
- Rabbi Elimelech
- At my wedding
- It Don't Mean a Thing (1990) for percussion sextet "...combines the sounds and style of Japanese Taiko drumming with the rhythmic swing of Duke Ellington."
- In Shape (1990) concerto in three movements for two pianos and marimba
- Dude ‘Tudes (1991) for solo piano "...attempts to transfer into sound some of the many moods and activities of his 22-month-old son Samuel."
- I. Orneriness/Contrary motion
- II. Building blocks/Chords 'n' stuff
- III. Dreams of play/Trills and tremolos
- IV. Dancin' fool/Quarter-minute waltz
- V. Angel's hair/Legato
- VI. Cruisin' with the dude/Octaves-R-Us.
- Iron balconies and lilies (1992) for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, soprano, and piano
- Prelude: A city by the sea / Anna Margolin
- Youth: Hay mowing / Moyshe Kulbak; When Grandma, may she rest in peace, died / Moyshe Kulbak
- Love songs: Longing / Rachel Korn; Ancient murdress night / Anna Margolin
- Children: If I had the Emperor's might, Lullaby / Traditional Folk song; Toys / Abraham Sutskever
- Age: Old age / Jacob Gladstein; Rest / Jacob Isaac segal
- On Trial (1994) concerto for solo vibraphone, flute, clarinet, bassoon, piano, violin, viola, and violoncello
- Among Friends (1995) String quartet #3. Commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation
- Funny Like a Monkey (2001) for piano quartet (string trio PLUS piano) "...coined by my 15-year-old daughter in order to address ... attempts at humor by both her younger brother and her hopelessly antiquated father."
- "Robert Greenberg". Classical Composer Database.
- Understanding the Fundamentals of Music. Vol. 2. Chantilly, Virginia: The Great Courses. 2007. pp. i. ISBN 978-1-59803-287-1.
- "Nicola De Lorenzo Prizes in Music Composition". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2010-11-27.. Although the prize was established in 1958, unfortunately this page only list winners 1997 to 2010.
- "Alexander String Quartet (Chamber Instrumental Ensemble)".
Among the most recently permièred are ... Among Friends, a Koussevitzky commission by Robert Greenberg.
- "Fallen Leaf Press".
- "Directory of Music Publishers: CPP/Belwin Music". Archived from the original on 2010-11-25.
- "Alexander String Quartet, Sur Pointe, Innova 111, Tracks 1-3 Child's Play". Archived from the original on 2010-12-02.
- "Flyer for Alexander String Quartet concert" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16.
In 2003, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News referred to Greenberg as "the Elvis of music history and appreciation," an appraisal that has given him more pleasure than any other.
- "Artistic Advisors: Robert Greenberg".
- "Robert Greenberg Works List". Robert Greenberg Music. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- "San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Program Notes, World Premiere February 18, 2002" (PDF).
- WorldCat: Breaths, voices, and cadenze : for string quartet pub 1982. OCLC 23136067.
- WorldCat: By various means : for clarinet quartet. OCLC 22997585.
- WorldCat: Quasi un madrigale : four Italian songs : for soprano and piano. OCLC 24550909.
- WorldCat: Child's play : for string quartet. OCLC 57044750.
- "Robert Greenberg Lecture – Philip Glass". Archived from the original on 2011-04-11.
...his Child's Play for String Quartet was performed at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.
- "Alexander String Quartet: Sur Pointe, back cover of CD". Innova Recordings.
- WorldCat: The Passing Years: five songs for baritone and piano (1989?). OCLC 57405882.
- WorldCat: It don't mean a thing : an original percussion sextet based on Taiko drumming, 1990. OCLC 30127675.
- WorldCat: In shape : concerto in three movements for two pianos and marimba pub 1991. OCLC 83133973.
- WorldCat: In shape : concerto in three movements for two pianos and marimba pub 1991. OCLC 25155097.
- WorldCat: Dude 'tudes : for piano pub. 1995. OCLC 34057194.
- WorldCat: Iron balconies and lilies : for soprano, piano, and chamber ensemble : 1992. OCLC 57669926.
- WorldCat: Iron balconies and lilies : for soprano, piano, and chamber ensemble. OCLC 28810549.
- WorldCat: On trial : concerto for vibraphone and chamber ensemble. OCLC 35892309.
- WorldCat: On trial : concerto for vibraphone and chamber ensemble (1994). OCLC 55985134.
- WorldCat: Among friends : string quartet no. 3 (1995). OCLC 37836278.
For the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, and dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky
- "San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Complete Repertoire List" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-07.
- on YouTube
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