The focus of today’s show was recent music for viola, because for the second half of the show I conducted an interview with Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero, the principal violist for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nicolai Roslavets – First Viola Sonata, Lawrence Power, violist
Garth Knox – Viola Spaces (Eight Concert Studies), Garth Knox, violist
Kajia Saariaho – Je sens un deuxième coeur, I. Je dévoile ma peu, Saariaho Trio
Krysztof Penderecki – Cadenza for Solo Viola, Mauricio Cespedes, violist
George Rochberg – Viola Sonata, First Movement, Mauricio Cespedes, violist
Thomas Pasatieri – Sonata for Viola and Piano, First Movement, Mauricio Cespedes, violist

Errata: I mistakenly declared the Arditti String Quartet to be an American string quartet when in fact they were founded in the UK. Garth Knox, whose Viola Spaces I featured prominently in the show was born in Ireland and raised in Scotland. This is what happens sometimes when you riff, people!

Listen here:

The focus of today’s show was recent music for guitar (and one piece for lute).

Sting – Fragile, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
William Kanengiser – Mbira, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Ian Krouse – Labyrinth on a theme of Led Zeppelin (5 movements), Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Led Zeppelin – Friends, from Led Zeppelin III,
Steven Rosenhaus – Lute Concerto, Mvt 2, Sonata Samba, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, live recording
Charles Griffin – From the Faraway Nearby, Goldspiel-Provost Classical Guitar Duo
Redneck Manifesto – Soundscapes Over Landscapes, Dublin Guitar Quartet, from Deleted Pieces
Pat Metheny – 45/8, Santa Fe Guitar Quartet, from Journeys
Paulo Bellinati – Baiao de Gude,San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Black Opal
Dusan Bogdanovic – Stir Fry, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Compadres
David Burdick – Episode in Compound Meter, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Silhouette
Clarice Assad – Bluezillian, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Chasing Light
Hermeto Pascoal – Bebe, Sergio & Odair Assad, from Latin American Music for Two Guitars
Astor Piazzolla – Tango Suite, Sergio & Odair Assad, from Latin American Music for Two Guitars
David Evan Thomas – Thrum, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

Listen here:


I did no interviews for the November 10 show, nor was there any special thematic focus. Just good music. The playlist was:

Jimi Hendrix/Maya Besier – Little Wing, from the album Uncovered
Laurie Anderson – O Superman
Dosia McKay – Glossolalia, performed by NeoQuartet (via Soundcloud)
William Susman – Camille, in 3 movements (Vitality, Tranquility, Triumph), performed by Octet, from the album Scatter My Ashes
Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel, performed by Angele DuBeau and La Pieta
Eleanor Sandresky – Lullabye, from A Sleeper’s Notebook
Charles Griffin – Murmuring in Comala, performed by Ana Cervantes, from Rumor de Paramo
Alex Shapiro – Bioplasm, performed by the Los Angeles Flute Quartet, from Notes from the Kelp
Tina Davidson – Blue Curve of the Earth, performed by Hilary Hahn
Lisa Bielawa – Roam, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, from In Media Res
Paul Schoenfield – 4 Parables, performed by the New World Symphony

You can hear the show here:


10553576_719635338091452_4262318597060907318_nStarting on October 13, I began hosting a 2-hour radio show on WPRK 91.5 FM in Winter Park, Florida, the basement radio station of Rollins College.The show airs from 2-4PM EST and streams live here. Just click on the Listen Live! button. On November 3, 2014 I began recording the show. The Facebook page for the show is here. You can hear the second half of that show below.

This particular show was a somber one, as it was dedicated to the music of John Joshua Alvarez (1981-2014), a local guitarist and composer.

The playlist for the entire show is:

Meredith Monk – Gotham Lullaby Remix, from Monk Mix: Remixes & Interpretations of Music by Meredith Monk, Vol. 1
David Maslanka – Mother Earth, University of New Hampshire Wind Symphony
David Maslanka – Symphony #2, Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Adam Silverman – Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink, Mvt. 1
Maya Beiser – Wish You Were Here, from Uncovered
Gary Barlow – Dying Inside
Heitor Villa Lobos – Etude #7
John Alvarez – Dirty Little Ditty
John Alvarez – Rocking Out With My Butthole Out Blues
John Alvarez – Space Spunk
John Alvarez – In the Beginning
Bob Dylan/Antony and the Johnsons – Knocking at Heaven’s Door

Tagged with:

10649908_10154803100720644_2559681895381466296_n Pianist Ana Cervantes will give the New York premiere of my …like water dashed from flowers…, a piece that borrows elements from the folkloric song La Zandunga and Nahuatl poetry translated into Spanish. The piece is somewhat demanding and includes aspects of ritual and song, where the pianist is asked at times to recite text, sing, play a rattle, stomp her foot (wearing ankle bells), or utilize other extended techniques, often while playing the piano at the same time.

The piece was composed as part of a multi-composer commissioning project and CD recording entitled Song of the Monarch: Women in Mexico. Nearly 20 composers from around the world were commissioned to respond to the theme, which conflates the varied historical roles played by women in Mexican history and the annual autumn migration of Monarch butterflies into Mexico.

Ana premiered the piece at the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2010.
The details of the current performance are:

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
November 17, 2014
7:00 p.m.

Admission: FREE for AS Members; $20 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. $10 student tickets will be available for purchase at the door with ID.


Silvia Berg (Brazil) El sueño … el vuelo (2010)
Joelle Wallach (USA) Lágrimas y locuras, mapping the mind of a madwoman (2011)
Alba Potes (Colombia/US) Desde el aire: seais instantes (2010)
Paul Barker (UK) La Malinche (2010)
Charles B. Griffin (USA) …like water dashed from flowers… (2010)
Horacio Uribe (Mexico) El viaje nocturno de Quetzalpapálotl (2010)
Jack Fortner (USA) Retrato de Malintzin (2010)
Georgina Derbez (Mexico) Un vuelo para Ana (2011)
Anne LeBaron (USA) Creación de las Aves (2011)
Gabriela Ortiz (Mexico) Preludio y Estudio (2011)


1080p-cf-vets-orlandoThe Central Florida Composers Forum and Timucua Arts Foundation are pleased to announce a series of concerts to benefit and honor American military veterans. We will present Canines for Veterans, a program of brand new music and poetry on November 9, 10, and 11 in Winter Park, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Proceeds from these concerts will be donated to K9s for Warriors, a Florida-based charity that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

The concert will feature patriotic standards and new compositions by Florida composers written for the Sovereign Brass and in the case of the performance at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, two new pieces for choir. Premieres will include a new piece by me called Threat Perception as well as works from composers Larry Adams, Stan Cording, Benoit Glazer, Susan Lackman, Keith Lay, Daniel Saylor, Tim Stulman, and Rebekah Todia. Local poets include Alice Friedman, Carlton Johnson, Holly Mandelkern, Jane Peterson, Al Rocheleau, and Ruth Titus.

The concert will be performed three times:
•Nov. 9, 7:30pm
Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium
5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park, FL 32792
Tickets: $20

•Nov. 10, 7:30pm
University of South Florida School of Music Concert Hall
4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620
Tickets: $20

•Nov. 11, 7:30pm
Community Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville (Atlantic Beach)
150 Sherry Dr, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Tickets: $30

The performances are sponsored by the Bryce L. West Foundation, Herschel Lasik, the Timucua Arts Foundation, and Full Sail University.


BACHMy Die Freudenkrone: Ehrerbietung zu J.S. Bach for Choir, Organ and Timpani will be performed August 29 at the Riga’s Dome Cathedral by the choir Intis (directed by Ilze Valce), percussionist Normunds Everts and organist Lotars Džeriņš as part of a larger, 7-concert series in the three Latvian cities of Riga, Liepaja and Jurmala devoted to the music of JS Bach and music inspired by him. Commissioned by the City of Liepāja for organist Lotars Džeriņš to premiere at the VI International Organ Music Festival in Liepāja, Latvia in 2007, the title of this work translates to The Crown of Joy: Homage to J.S. Bach. The title derives from the text from the chorale movement (verse six) of Bach’s Cantata BMV 103. For this piece, I used that chorale melody (with my own harmonization), along with fragments taken from his toccata and fugue in D dorian (BMV 538).
The program for the entire concert series (in Latvian) was uploaded here:


white_house_oThe new documentary film about one of the most unique venues in Orlando will receive it’s premiere screening at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 23rd and 24th.

Benoit Glazer and his wife built a concert hall in their Orlando home to share unique experiences of music and art with everyone.
Montréal-born Benoit Glazer has been making music professionally since 1981. He is a trumpet player, arranger and a conductor for Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba in Orlando, Florida. His love for music runs deep, so deep, in 2007 he and his wife built a concert hall in their house. Just about every Sunday night strangers (who become friends) gather in their living room to share a unique experience of music and art. Admission is a dish, snacks or a bottle of wine. They’ve hosted over 400 concerts, musicians from 24 countries along with 300 artists. The Timucua white house is quickly becoming a cultural icon in Orlando.
Production Team
Director : Steve Radley
Screenwriter : Steve Radley
Cinematographer : Steve Radley
Editor : Steve Radley
Film production and Sales : Prod.: Steve Radley, Restless Realm Films, 1135 Summerlin Ave. Orlando, Floride (États-Unis), tél.: 407-758-0268,
Steve Radley graduated in communications from the University of Wisconsin. He has produced and directed short video web vignettes for various companies.
Saturday August 23, 2014 – 12:40 PM – CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15
Saturday August 23, 2014 – 07:30 PM – CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15
Sunday August 24, 2014 – 04:40 PM – CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15

The documentary opens and closes with excerpts from my string quartet, Set Fire to Have Light, which was performed at the White House during the time the documentary was being filmed in May 2013.


Cervantes_MonarcaAs part of her tour to promote an upcoming CD release, pianist Ana Cervantes will give the Columbia premiere of my …like water dashed from flowers…, a piece that borrows elements from the folkloric song La Zandunga and Nahuatl poetry translated into Spanish. The piece is somewhat demanding and includes aspects of ritual and song, where the pianist is asked at times to recite text, sing, play a rattle, stomp her foot (wearing ankle bells), or utilize other extended techniques, often while playing the piano at the same time. Other composers on the program include Anne LeBaron (USA), Georgina Derbez, Gabriela Ortiz, and Mario Lavista (México), Alba Potes (Colombia), Silvia Cabrera Berg (Brazil), Horacio Uribe (México) and Tomás Marco (Spain).

Ana premiered the piece at the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico last year. This performance will take place at El Teatro Mayor on November 30 at 8PM in Bogotá, Colombia.

Tagged with:


The best of Central Florida’s contemporary classical music was highlighted on Sunday evening with passion and style. The location: Benoit Glazer’s downtown Orlando home, also known as ‘Timucua White House,’ where leading avant-garde, jazz and contemporary classical music acts from around the country perform almost every weekend to small, though dedicated circles of followers who have helped turned the Glazer home auditorium into a shrine of sorts for this rather esoteric kind of performing arts scene.

But it need not always be that way, since the audience for new classical music in Orlando is on the rise — virtually every seat in the house was taken — and organizations that promote and foster this kind of music in the area certainly exist. The concert was presented by the Central Florida Composers Forum, and performed by the string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. With a program made solely of pieces by eight local composers, all in attendance, and the talented quartet from Orlando’s premier orchestra, this was truly a celebration of local talent unlike anything else done before.

Glazer’s piece The Eve of Evil — a dark, yet deeply touching foreboding of the war with the Middle East that followed the September 11 attacks — had the Cirque du Soleil musician join the quartet on trumpet. The augmented ensemble also featured his children Camille and Jean-Marie, on cello and viola, respectively, and wife Élaine Corriveau on piano. The composition includes dissonant passages intermingled with touching triadic bliss. The structure consists of repetition of the main segments, underlining the contrast between them. The composer employs jazz elements, fugal passages and a clear homage to Le Sacre du printemps, toward the end.

“There’s a bit of rock and roll, a bit of Bartók and a lot of chickens,” said Danny McIntyre of his Dance of the Fearless Chickens. The piece was an inviting change of mood, with clucking and rolling from a quartet that seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

Full Sail’s Keith Lay presented the still unborn about the dead, for soprano, piano and quartet. Lay’s composition finds beauty in a somber mood and succeeds exceedingly at that. Soprano Julie Batman helped to beat the time while carefully belting the words by Nichita Stanescu, with piano accompaniment by Jamila Tekalli.

Also from Full Sail, composer Tim Stulman introduced his piece Two Tigers, Two Mice and a Strawberry, a saxophone arrangement of which was performed a week prior by the all-saxophone h2 quartet. With his programmatic Tracks of the North Woods, Eric Brook sought to paint a musical picture of an outdoor scene, with thrills along the way.

One of the best pieces featured was Karen Van Duyne’s For Four Strings. The functional simplicity of the title belies the scope of the music and imagination of the lone female composer of the event. The exciting piece, influence by Elliot Carter, strays from conventional harmony and finds peace, order and beauty in an unusual sound world. Each of the four strings has a clearly defined line and plays a role along the piece, with the viola representing a kind of longing or searching for something elusive. It is frequently interrupted by the other instruments, though, and struggles to find serenity until the composition comes to a close.

Thad Anderson’s piece for quartet and electronics Through-Line provided another interesting change of pace. Anderson, from the University of Central Florida, started the pre-recorded track, to which the strings played for the duration of the piece. Flutist Nora Lee Garcia had a difficult part to fulfill, playing over the often loud and dense atmosphere of unison strings and the electronics track. The composer succeeds with this piece in coordinating dynamics and phrasing, to create a flowing soundscape between the acoustic instruments and the waxing and waning track that pulsates beneath them.

The closing piece, titled set fire to have light, brought out the naked acoustic force of the string quartet. As with most of the pieces of the evening, first violinist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois played the main melody line, supported by second violinist Alexander Stevens. Furtive glances from Stevens at the Orlando Philharmonic concertmaster kept the group in sync and tight throughout. On the low register, viola player Mauricio Céspedes and cellist David Bjella rounded off this excellent ensemble. Charles Griffin’s closing piece had them play forte unisons toward the end, closing the concert with an air of triumph.

The Timucua White House is a place like no other in the Central Florida area, and for local aficionados of contemporary art music, it is the place to be. The last few concerts have been captured on video, along with post-event interviews, for an upcoming documentary on Benoit Glazer’s legacy to the music community of Orlando, made possible by dedicated organizations like the Central Florida Composers Forum, The Civic Minded Five and the Accidental Music Festival.

It is unfortunate that this could only be a one-off event, given the potential that this amazing program had and the evident success, at least in terms of attendance and support for local talent. My hope is that this event will not go unnoticed by the well-established classical music organizations in Orlando, as well as by emerging ones; the way to the future is in the music of the present.