Introduction

A Few Influences:  H.G.Wells, Anton Rubinstein, Dmitri Shostakovich, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Jeannette Winterson, Paul Creston, Anton Bruckner, Erich Fromm, Gabriel Von Wayditch, Jean-Paul Sartre, Richard Strauss....

Biography

I am a musicial traditionalist with deep roots in Slavic predecessors such as Anton Rubinstein, Bohuslav Martinu, Sergei Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich.  I am also something of an outsider, with few significant connections to the musical establishment in Minnesota, which has helped lead to my enormous range of music for all sorts of ensembles, including the common (two string trios; several sonatas), the uncommon (a quintet for flute, viola, violoncello, and piano; a duet for viola and alto saxophone), and the unique (a quartet for viola, two saxophones, and trombone; a septet for flute, bassoon, horn, trombone, viola, doublebass, and piano).  I am also only the second composer in history to write pieces in all of the major and minor keys including the enharmonic keys, although as the first was Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770-1846), it may be taken that such a feat is not an automatic guarantee of fame.  My compositions, which have been performed both in the United States and internationally, include works for large and small orchestras, a chamber opera, ten string quartets, numerous other chamber pieces, works for choral ensembles, and dozens of songs and piano solos.  Several dance and drama groups have commissioned me to create new music for their productions. including the Geneva (NY) Summer Theatre, the Rochester (NY) Community Players, the On The Edge Dance Company (Norfolk, Virginia), and the Gonzo Group Theatre (St. Paul, Minnesota).

My view of what I do musically, and why I do it, is straightforward.  Composition is a dialogue between the composer and the music.  The duty of the composer is to create honestly, to hear what the piece requires and express it as fully as possible.  I enjoy working with performers to learn ever more fully the possibilities both of their instruments and their personal technique, and writing music which takes both into account.  Accordingly, I have written pieces which require virtuoso ensemble work, and I have written pieces which fall easily under the hands of amateurs.  My style is generally tonal, melodic, and formally conservative, but I do not eschew free atonality and even serialism, should the music's expressive demands require them.  Someone once asked Alessandro Scarlatti why he used a certain peculiar chord in one of his works; his answer, I think, has never been bettered as an explanation of why one writes as one does: "Because it sounds well."

I am also a widely published writer.  In addition to hundreds of book and concert reviews in various periodicals, and wine columns in two separate independent magazines, my writings on music, film, and philosophical topics have been published by such journals as The Clarinet (U.S.), Wagner (U.K.), CineAction (Canada), and Aspekt (Slovakia).  My first book, The Utopian Vision of H.G. Wells, was published in 2009; my second, Self and Society in the Films of Robert Wise, was published in August of 2010.  The latter received no reviews, apart from a dismissive squib by a superannuated English academic, but a thoughtful review of the former, by an important Wells scholar, may be found here:

http://www.academia.edu/643662/Review_of_The_Utopian_Vision_of_H._G._Wells_by_Justin_E._A._Busch

Traumspiel Press is currently issuing a series of limited edition fantasy story chapbooks, each showcasing a story of mine.   A Time For Death was published in March of 2017, Trust in August; The Grey Wisdom of Fear in the Summer of 2018; Reeb has just (February, 2019) been released.  The chapbooks are available at various bookstores scattered here and there; in the Twin Cities they are available at DreamHaven Books (Minneapolis) and SubText Books (St. Paul).

Describe your music

Some recent works will give an idea of what I have available for performers:
String Quartet #11 in F Major, "Estonian"
'Elegy for Lou Harrison' (Clarinet, Percussion, and Piano)
Piano Sonata #3
Piano Sonata #2
Sonata in a minor for Bassoon and Piano
Trio for Soprano Saxophone, Horn, and Piano
Sonata for Oboe and Piano
Sonata for Horn and Piano
Sonata for Violoncello and Piano
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Sonata for Trombone and Piano
Saxophone Quartet No. 2
Quintet No. 2 for Flute, Bassoon, Viola, Doublebass, and Piano
Quartet for Flute(s), Bassoon, Horn, and Doublebass
'The Sorceress of Zoom', Fantasy Septet for Flute, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Viola, Doublebass, and Piano
Bagatelles for Viola and Bassoon
'The Fate of Lowertown' for large chamber ensemble
Quartet for Flute, Viola, Violoncello, and piano
'Squamish Winter Skies', Rhapsody for Orchestra
Quartet, C Major, Flute and Strings
Quintet, F Major, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Viola, Violoncello
String Quartet #10 in g# minor
String Quintet in E-Flat Major
String Quartet #9 in c minor
'Elegy for Robin Wood' for Vibraphone, Clarinet, and Piano
String Quartet #8 in d minor
String Quartet #7 in a# minor
'Reflections': Nocturne for Celesta and Small Orchestra
'Laiuse' (tone poem for orchestra)

Interested in collaborating with

Anyone who will play my music or who wants to commission a new piece