Epilogue: End of the Dream was written just as the 45th President's time in office was drawing to a close, shortly before the terrorist break-in at the U.S. Congress and after months, if not years of taking to heart the decline of ethics and shared personal responsibility for others in America. This slow, lyrical piece uses the melody of America, the Beautiful in a poignant and reflective manner, and frequently vacillating between major and minor, hope and quiet despair.
Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis draws artistic inspiration from a vast and often surprising palette of sources. One of America's most honored composers, he has also won the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and Nemmers Award, and his music appears on major musical stages world-wide, performed and commissioned by many of America‘s foremost artists, including; the New York and London Philharmonics; Philadelphia Orchestra; San Francisco, St Louis, Toronto, Singapore, and Melbourne (AU) Symphonies; Los Angeles, Orpheus and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras; Walt Disney Company; Rose Center for Earth and Space at New York’s American Museum of Natural History; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and soloists including Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Sharon Isbin. Recent premieres have included his Fourth Symphony (“Chromelodeon”) for the New England Conservatory’s 150th anniversary and Nashville Symphony; concerti for cellist Joshua Roman, violist Paul Neubauer, and flutist Marina Piccinini; a work for the Borromeo String Quartet; a series of works for Tippet Rise Art Center; and a piece for the San Francisco Girls and Brooklyn Youth Choruses with The Knights for the New York Philharmonic Biennial. Most recently he scored and produced a film, Elegy for those we lost, with filmmaker Esther Shubinski for victims of Covid-19 and their families. Currently Kernis is writing an oratorio with poet and translator Peter Cole for Yale's Schola chorus, the Juilliard 415 period orchestra and San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
His works have been recorded on Nonesuch, Koch, Onyx, Naxos, Signum, Cedille, Virgin and Argo, with which Mr. Kernis had an exclusive recording contract, and many other labels. Recent recordings include his “Chromelodeon” with the Nashville Symphony, his works for flute with Marin Alsop and Leonard Slatkin with the Peabody Symphony and his Grammy-award-winning violin concerto for James Ehnes with Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony.
He is the Workshop Director of the Nashville Symphony Composer Lab and, for 15 years, served as New Music Adviser to the Minnesota Orchestra, with which he co-founded and directed its Composer Institute for 11 years. Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller's book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series.
As the artistic director of Center for Musical Excellence, I am always on the look out for new and undiscovered talents. They come to me, sometimes, by my colleagues’ recommendations and other times through young artists’ own research about our organization. Tyson Davis and Andrew Bambridge are currently on our roster of CME Young Artists, whom we mentor. Patricio Molina is a CME alumnus. Theo Chandler, Ji-Young Ko, and Daniel Newman-Lessler applied for our Grant program, and I got to know their work through that process. I decide on young artists when I notice a deep passion and drive within them, plus a certain kind of sparkle in the personality and lots of humility. In addition to musical talents, I believe these are the qualities that will take the young artists far. CME’s motto is "Moving Musicians Forward". I’ve chosen our Discovery Composers based on these qualities, whom we felt we could easily move forward.
- Min Kwon