Christopher Trapani

Thine Every Flaw

Christopher Trapani

Thine Every Flaw

About the Piece

Thine Every Flaw takes its title from a later verse of "America the Beautiful." It is primarily a 4-voice hymn that develops the melody's third phrase, resettled with unorthodox harmonic rules. The calm homophonic texture is broken by staccato interjections, then an abrupt climax that starts grandiose but begins to drag. It is an invocation for self-examination and repair, finished in the build-up to Election Day, and is dedicated to the memory of Congressman John Lewis.

About Christopher Trapani

The American/Italian composer Christopher  Trapani maintains an active career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Continental Europe. Commissions have come from Klangforum Wien, the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Modern, and Radio France, and his works have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre, Ruhrtriennale, IRCAM, and Wigmore Hall.

Christopher’s music weaves American and European stylistic strands into a personal aesthetic that defies easy classification. Snippets of Delta Blues, Appalachian folk, dance band foxtrots, shoegaze guitar effects and Turkish makam can be heard alongside spectral swells and meandering canons. As in Christopher’s hometown of New Orleans, diverse traditions coexist and intermingle, swirled into a rich melting pot.

Christopher Trapani was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, then spent most of his twenties overseas: a year in London, working on a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson; a year in Istanbul, studying microtonality in Ottoman music on a Fulbright grant; and seven years in Paris, where he studied with Philippe Leroux and worked at IRCAM. Christopher earned a doctorate in 2017 from Columbia University in New York City, where he studied with Tristan Murail, George Lewis, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Fred Lerdahl.

Christopher is the winner of the 2007 Gaudeamus Prize, along with commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, and Chamber Music America. His scores have been performed by ICTUS, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Spektral Quartet, amongst others. He is also the winner of the 2020 Barlow Prize.

Christopher has held fellowships at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Camargo Foundation, and the Bogliasco Foundation. In 2016-2017 spent eleven months at the American Academy in Rome as the winner of the Luciano Berio Rome Prize.

Christopher is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow. His debut CD, Waterlines, featuring performances by Talea Ensemble, JACK Quartet, and others, was released on New Focus Recordings in 2018. A second recording of Waterlines by ICTUS was released in 2020.

Christopher lives in New York City and Palermo.

Score Photos by Laura Migliorino
Score Photos by Laura Migliorino

About Discovery Composers

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