“America” Variation unfolds in an impromptu manner, constructing itself out of motivic and harmonic fragments of Samuel Ward’s hymn, covering a considerable range of contrasting moods and energy fields. Its extemporaneous vibe reflects my view of America as a grand improvisation, a continuing work in progress.
Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed numerous orchestral, chamber, lyric, choral and operatic works. Frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, Mr. Moravec's next premiere is A Nation of Others, an oratorio about Ellis Island to a libretto by Mark Campbell for Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall. The premiere recording of Sanctuary Road (also to a Mark Campbell libretto) on Naxos has earned a 2021 Grammy nomination. Other recent premieres include The Shining for Minnesota Opera, A New Country, with mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano and the Bridgehampton Festival, The Overlook Hotel Suite for American Composers Orchestra, and Nocturne for Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. Other recent recordings include Music, Awake! with the Bach Society Chorus, The Blizzard Voices, an oratorio on BMOP Sound, Amorisms on Delos/Naxos, and Violin Concerto on Naxos.
A graduate of Harvard and Columbia universities, he holds the distinguished rank of University Professor at Adelphi University, and recently served as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as well as Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. His website is www.paulmoravec.com and his works are published by www.subitomusic.com.
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