I'm a composer who has developed a unique idiom within the sphere of serious music that combines elements of classical, rock and jazz.
I first fell under the spell of classical music as a young child living on the East Coast and in Europe and Asia. In my early teens I became deeply involved in jazz (as a listener) and, later, with rock, the medium through which I eventually came of age in New York City as a player and writer. My interest in classical began to reawaken around the time I was 30, and it once again became my primary focus as my involvement with rock gradually faded in subsequent years.
Making the transition from songwriter to composer was an undertaking that took quite a while; during this period I made my living as a journalist, primarily as a foreign news editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. I now devote myself to composition full-time and live in San Simeon, Ca.
Many aesthetic currents have passed through our society and made their impacts during my lifetime, which places me among the first wave of Baby Boomers. It's been my goal to make some sense of all this and synthesize my own response in a fashion based on a first-hand grappling with these currents, not a view from the remove of an academic environment. I make no apology for the occasional use of rock elements in my compositions, as I believe there is indeed an artistically viable meeting place between serious and popular idioms that does not result in a compromise of expression or integrity.
I have produced six CDs of original compositions thus far. The first two were self-released. In 2012 the Delos label issued a recording of my orchestral song cycle "The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits," led by noted Los Angeles conductor Sharon Lavery and featuring seven Southern California vocal soloists. Delos released in February 2014 "Terrain of the Heart," a CD devoted to three soprano/piano cycles. The musicians were sopranos Jamie Chamberlin and Ariel Pisturino, and pianist Victoria Kirsch.
I was one of the winners of the 2014 Composition Competition held by the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles (ACF-LA) for “La Sonnambula,” part of the “Rainbow Songs” cycle recorded on “Terrain of the Heart.”
March 2016 saw the release of a Delos package containing the 103-minute chamber opera "Home Is a Harbor" (the libretto is mine) and the song cycle "The Palm Trees Are Restless," which sets the powerful poetry of Los Angeles writer Kate Gale and is performed by soprano Hila Plitmann and pianist Tali Tadmor.
A new Delos release in March 2018, "Time and Distance," features soprano Hila Plitmann and mezzo Janelle DeStefano. Tali Tadmor and Carol Rosenberger are the pianists for a varied program that includes two song cycles, two solo songs and a concert aria based on the Medusa legend. The texts are by Kate Gale, Joanne Regenhardt and myself.
Describe your music
The Invocation (2017) -- solo song for mezzo soprano and piano
Those Who Loved Medusa (2017) -- solo song for soprano, piano and percussion
Trio for Clarinet, Piano and Cello (2017)
The Ocean of Forgiveness: Five Poems of Joanne Regenhardt (2016) -- cycle for mezzo soprano and piano
In the Rear View Mirror, Now (2016) -- cycle for soprano, piano and organ
Home Is a Harbor (2015) -- opera in three acts for seven singers and chamber ensemble
The Palm Trees Are Restless: Five Poems of Kate Gale (2014) -- cycle for soprano and piano
The Benediction (2012) -- solo song for tenor or soprano and piano
Rainbow Songs (2011/2012) -- cycle for soprano and piano
The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits (2009/2010) -- song cycle for seven soloists and chamber orchestra
Gentle Spirit (2008) -- tone poem for orchestra
The Dark-Eyed Chameleon (2007) -- cycle for soprano and piano
The True Believers (2006) -- drama in three movements for soprano, baritone and orchestra
Mystic Brave Bird (2005) -- elegy for mezzo soprano and orchestra
Five Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke (2004) -- cycle for soprano and piano
One Long Peace (2003) -- elegy for soprano and orchestra
The Girl Made of Wood: Seven Poems of Pablo Neruda (2001) -- cycle for soprano and orchestra
art song/contemporary classical