Endeavor was written for pianist Min Kwon as part of her America The Beautiful project. Scherzo-like, playful, and dramatic, this variation uses the initial falling third in the American the Beautiful melody and surrounds it with skittering, high register figures, while we hear the melody in high, long tones. This eventually builds into more strident and rich chords in the meatier middle and low register, with the theme apparent but transformed. The natural landscapes of America will always be beautiful, despite our failings and our struggles to unite, even in times of crisis, as we endeavor to form a more perfect union. Many thanks to Min Kwon for this wonderful project.
Earning widespread notice for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores, Pierre Jalbert has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and “immediately captures one’s attention with its strong gesture and vitality” (American Academy of Arts and Letters). Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Fromm Foundation commission, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Stoeger Award, given biennially "in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory", and an Academy award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Jalbert has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources, from plainchant melodies to natural phenomena. His music has been performed worldwide in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Barbican. Recent orchestral performances include those by the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Louis Langrée. His Violin Concerto was recently premiered by a consortium of three orchestras and soloists; Steven Copes with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Margaret Batjer with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Frank Almond with the Milwaukee Symphony. He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the California Symphony under Barry Jekowsky, and Music in the Loft in Chicago. Select chamber music commissions and performances include those of the Ying, Borromeo, Maia, Enso, Chiara, Escher, Del Sol, and Emerson String Quartets, as well as violinist Midori. Three new CDs of his music have been recently released: Violin Concerto, with Margaret Batjer and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Kahane, Piano Quintet and Secret Alchemy, performed by the Jupiter String Quartet and Bernadette Harvey, piano, and Piano Trio No. 2, performed by the Morgenstern Piano Trio.
Jalbert is Professor of Music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he has taught since 1996. He is co-founder of Musiqa, a Houston-based new music collective. His music is published by Schott Helicon Music Corporation, New York.
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