Biography

Through concerts, festivals for new music, radio and TV performances in Germany (Westdeutscher Rundfunk [WDR]; Sudwestdeutscher Rundfunk [SWF] ), the American pianist and composer Paul Terse has become known as an interpreter of important new music for piano. In addition to his performances as a soloist, Paul Terse has also performed in a Cello/Piano Duo with his wife, Gabriele Terse.

As a composer primarily for chamber music, his works have been performed in Europe, Brazil and the United States (Various chamber music works performed at “Kammermusik aus den U.S.A.”  in Cologne, Germany; “Featured Composer” at the international festival for new music “East Meets West” in Houston, Texas,1989; Composer’s Portrait by the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation 1995; Composer’s Portrait by the City of Leverkusen, Germany 2003 with works for brass quintet and low brass trio; winner of the Vaillant Composition Prize for his  “Archaic Variations” at the Bergische Biennale für Neue Musik und Kunst 2004; “Sinfonietta”  for symphony orchestra, premiered at the Symphonic Concert marking the 75th double anniversary of the Musikschule der Stadt Leverkusen and of the City of Leverkusen, 2005; “Tuberry’s Piece” for Concert Jazz Band premiered in 2006 at the 24th Leverkusener Jazz Festival; Art Song Cycles from the poem cycles of Else-Lasker-Schüler’s “Styx” and Nelly Sachs’ “Fahrt ins Staublose” in “STYX-IV”,  the Holocaust Memorial Concert presented  by the international Else-Lasker-Gesellschaft at the Musikhochschule in Wuppertal and at the Musikschule der Stadt Leverkusen, Germany 2015.

Paul Terse has written radio programs on historical recordings for the Deutschlandfunk in Cologne and is a co-publisher of the first comprehensive book in Germany on American music of the Twentieth Century, Amerikanische Musik seit Charles Ives (1987). As a musicologist, Paul Terse has presented diversified lectures ranging from the music of George Crumb to Gregorian Chant in Europe, Brazil, and Lebanon. Under his artistic directorship the new music series “Kammermusik aus den U.S.A.” advanced to become a respected platform for the presentation of highly divergent new music of the United States.  During its ten years of  existence at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne,  ca. 150 chamber works of established and lesser-known American composers were performed—among which were numerous world premieres and European first performances.

Paul Terse graduated in Piano Performance of the University of Iowa/USA (BM 1967; MA 1970; MFA 1972) and in musicology from the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (PhD 1981).

Describe your music

Impromptu Fantasy for Piano (2019) Trio for oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (2018) Psalm 42 "Judica me Deus" SATB a capella (2018) Proteus Solo Oboe (2015); Toccata  Symphonic Wind Orchestra (2015); Vier erotische Lieder from the“STYX“ cycle of  poems from Else Lasker-Schüler. Sop, EH, Perc, SQ (2014) Eclogue op. 9a Vl, Ob, and Vcl (1992/2015); String Quartet Nr. 3 (2013); Beckx Marsch. Small Marching Brass Band, Perc.(2011); Fahrt ins Staublose Art Song Cycle. from the cycle of poems of the same name von Nelly Sachs. Sop, EH, Perc, SQ (2011);Genie der Nacht Tone-Poem. Sym.Orch. (2010); Interlude  Vcl,  Pno (2010) Nocturne  String Orch (2008);  Grosso! Concerto Grosso (an Arabesque) Accordeon Orch., Perc. (2007); Tuberry’s Piece Concert Jazz Band (2006); Sinfonietta  Sym. Orch. (2005); Missa Brevis Latin.SATB (2005) Archaic Variations Fl, Cl, Vl, Vcl, Pno, Perc.(2004) FantafaresiaBrass5 (2004); Fanfare Brass5 (2003); Circus Music Brass5 (2003); Quirinus-   Variations Brass5 (2002); Missa Latin.SATB (2001); Suite in Four Movements for Hrn, Tromb & Tba (1995);  String Quartet  Nr. 2 (1989); Three ‚ Aequalae‘ Brass 5 (1991); Rhapsodic Variations for Perc 4 (1990); Tsuro No Ongaeshi for Sop, Wind 5, Perc, Dancer) (1989); Munera Orgel (1988); Intermezzo Brass5 (1984)

Additional info

„Terses Music emotionalizes. Along with the perfect mastery of  techniques such as strict counterpoint or forms of variation, it is the lyricism that fascinates, blending contemporary European figuration and oriental references. The texts are handled with a deep musical perspicacity.” (Westdeutsche Zeitung 30. May, 2015)
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“Is his music really typically American…or could it be that there are roots in the European tradition? Perhaps one should create a new category—that of the composer as a World Citizen—because there are so many influences that stamp his musical language. Of course  American culture is mixed in when he utilizes jazz elements, a big-band sound or other specific musical textures. But at the same time, Terse also makes extensive use of European cultural history, having a deep understanding of Italian Renaissance music, Wagner, ancient sacred music, and even of weird hits of the 1960s. And he utilizes or quotes the entire spectrum in order to create something unmistakably new.” (Rheinische Post 29/30 Nov. 2003)