Traditionally, a Fantasy, or Fantasia, is a piece the freely uses thematic material. America is a country comprised of an interesting tapestry of various cultural influences. My work freely moves through various expressions of the tune America as representations of the fluidity of movement and weaving of different cultures in North America.
Trevor Weston’s music has been called a “gently syncopated marriage of intellect and feeling.” (Detroit Free Press) Weston’s honors include the George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California, Berkeley, a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony and a residency with Castle of our Skins at the Longy School of Music. Weston co-authored with Olly Wilson, chapter 5 in the Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington, “Duke Ellington as a Cultural Icon” published by Cambridge University Press. Weston’s work, Juba for Strings won the 2019 Sonori/New Orleans Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition.
Weston’s Flying Fish, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commission Project and the American Composers Orchestra, was described as having, “…episodes of hurtling energy, the music certainly suggested wondrous aquatic feats. I was especially affected, though, by an extended slower, quizzical episode with pensive strings and plaintive chords.” (New York Times). The Boston Landmarks Orchestra commissioned Griot Legacies for choir and orchestra, a work created with four innovative arrangements of African American Spirituals. Griot Legacies demonstrates Weston’s “knack for piquant harmonies, evocative textures, and effective vocal writing.” (Boston Globe) The Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, under the direction of Julian Wachner, recorded a CD of Trevor Weston’s choral works. The Bang on a Can All-Stars premiered Weston’s composition Dig It, commissioned by the group for the Ecstatic Music Festival in NYC.
A list of ensembles performing Trevor Weston’s compositions include Roomful of Teeth, The Boston Children’s Chorus, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue Choir, The Starling Chamber Orchestra, Castle of our Skins, Mallarme Chamber Players, The Providence Singers, Chicago Sinfonietta, Seraphic Fire, The Tufts Chamber Chorus, Ensemble Pi, The Amernet String Quartet, The UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, The Washington Chorus, Trilogy: An Opera Company, and The Manhattan Choral Ensemble. In addition to his creative work, Weston completed the re-orchestration of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto for the Center for Black Music Research in 2010.
Trevor Weston’s musical education began at St. Thomas Choir school in NYC at the age of ten. He received his BA from Tufts University and continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his MA and PhD in music composition. His primary composition teachers were T. J. Anderson, Olly Wilson and Andrew Imbrie and Richard Felciano. Dr. Weston is currently a Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Drew University in Madison, NJ.
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