Composer

Winning Composition Premier now on YouTube!

My magnificent Summer Flute Academy colleague Stephanie Wagner is back from holiday, and thus the recordings from the concerts at the Academy are going online! (She's the IT whiz amongst us). They are on the Academy site, FaceBook page or YouTube.

The first one I'd like to draw your attention to is the fabulous performance by André Cameira (flute) and Patrícia Pires (alto flute) of Ricardo Matosinho's work "Traveling". It is extremely well-written and fun to listen to—bravo to the performers and the composer, who received First Prize in the Academy's 3rd Composition Competition for Works for Flutes

As soon as the work is available—it will be published by Scherzo Editions before the end of the year—I'll let everyone know. Until then, enjoy listening, and to the composer: keep writing for flutes, please!

Composer Ricardo Matosinhos, Patrícia Pires and André Cameira. Photo © Susana Neves /AFV

Composer Ricardo Matosinhos, Patrícia Pires and André Cameira. Photo ©Susana Neves/AFV

Summer Flute Academy Composition Competition - WINNER!

A quick entry about the First-Prize Winning work from the 3rd Composition Competition of the Summer Flute Academy: "Traveling", for flute and alto flute duo, by Ricardo Matosinhos. The work is in four movements, each very picturesque and extremely well-written for both instruments, with a touch of extended techniques here and there, but very accessible to any listener! The composer, also a horn player, is now composing for flute, and all we can say is WELCOME!! The work will be edited and published by Scherzo Editions before the end of 2016—you can order it online

We professors of the Academy were particularly proud that two advanced participants gave the work's premier at our final presentation, in the Teatro Helena Sá e Costa in Porto, and extremely well and beautifully played it was! The performers were André Cameira, flute, and Patrícia Pires, alto flute — BRAVO!! Here's a photo of these two fine players with composer Ricardo Matosinhos after the performance. Cheers to all, and on to next year's competition, dear composers!

Flutists André Cameira and Patrícia Pires, with composer Ricardo Matosinhos, center

Flutists André Cameira and Patrícia Pires, with composer Ricardo Matosinhos, center

Bravo, Scherzo Editions of Lisbon!

At the last three editions of the Summer Flute Academy, we have been pleased to include João Vidinha, owner-founder of Scherzo Editions. Scherzo Editions has been busy publishing works by Portuguese and foreign composers, mostly living ones, for a variety of instruments and ensembles. As João has described it, he is looking for "fresh" compositions, music that is well-written and stylistically interesting, without following any particular "school". 

Scherzo Editions is a fundamental element in the Academy's annual Composition Competition for Works for Flute, in that the winning works are subsequently published by Scherzo. Not only is this great for the winning composers, but also for us flutists, since the emphasis at Scherzo is on attention to the legibility and practicability of the score for the PERFORMER! Scherzo's editions are truly a joy to look at and to play from!

Recently, along with publishing all the required commissioned works for the Portuguese Young Musicians' Prizes, Scherzo received a FIRST PRIZE in the American National Flute Association's Newly Published Music Competition—right alongside long-established editors such as Bärenreiter Verlag and Theodor Presser Company, which is an amazing achievement! The winning work, by the Portuguese composer André M. SantosO motivo da menina Laite, for solo flute, will have its US premier at the NFA Convention in San Diego, California, later this month! To purchase, order directly from the Scherzo site. Bravo Scherzo Editions and André M. Santos!!

João Vidinha of Scherzo Editions, with the NFA prize-winning work, at the Summer Flute Academy

João Vidinha of Scherzo Editions, with the NFA prize-winning work, at the Summer Flute Academy

Happy 90th Birthday to THE PROFESSOR

I've just discovered that the composer Karl Kohn, my dear Professor of Music at Pomona College, celebrates his 90th birthday today, so this entry SIMPLY MUST be dedicated to him. Professor Kohn was the towering figure of the music department for years, and for good reason. Born in Vienna he escaped to the U.S. with his family as a teen, was educated at Harvard, and has received numerous grants and fellowships, as well as being on the board of the famed "Monday Evening Concert Series" of mostly new music in Los Angles for 20 years. His works are published by Carl Fischer, among others.

At Pomona, he received us as freshmen: lumps of unformed musical material with extremely little culture (for someone from Vienna, especially), and through patient if occasionally dramatic means somehow, by senior year, turned us into near-musicians! (I suspect he'd have loved to begin teaching us at exactly the moment we graduated!). We heard Ligeti for the first time in a duo-piano performance with his also-gifted-pianist wife, Margie, and it was ELECTRIFYING. We discovered that Machaut and Josquin were just as clever as Stravinsky, rhythmically. We were taken to task if we turned in illegible work (pre-computer era): "You expect musicians to have time to try to read this garbage?" followed by the sound of your score being torn to shreds! Or, "you expect professional musicians to sit on stage and play 10 notes in the entire piece?? Write them something to play!". We eventually got the idea!

Now he is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor—retired with benefits—and is still busy composing and leading a life in music. I was honored to perform at a concert at Pomona last February, and in a way, knowing he was in the hall was all I needed to know I had to play my best. Thank you dear Professor Kohn, and many happy returns of the day!

Composer Karl Kohn with Raj Bhimani, piano soloist and member of Syrinx: XXII in February 2016

Composer Karl Kohn with Raj Bhimani, piano soloist and member of Syrinx: XXII in February 2016