Punta Gorda Symphony performs Spiritualist
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, the Punta Gorda Symphony, in Florida, performed Kenneth Fuchs’s Piano Concerto ("Spiritualist," After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler). Pianist Jeffrey Biegel, who organized the commissioning of the work and for whom the work was written, was the soloist, and Music Director Raffaele Ponti conducted. The performance ended the orchestra’s season just before the start of the coronavirus epidemic. The review in the Port Charlotte Sun reported, “The reaction was tumultuous.”
Marine Band performs Rush
At the President’s Day Gala Concert on February 17, 2020, the United States Marine Band performed Kenneth Fuchs’s Rush (Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra) with Timothy McAllister as soloist. Guest Conductor JoAnn Falletta presented an all-American program, including works by five living American composers. This distinguished band, known as “The President’s Own," was established in 1798 by President John Adams and was conducted by John Philip Sousa from 1880 to 1932. The band, directed by Colonel Jason K. Fettig, plays with exceptional musicality. The performance took place in the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland, a strikingly modern concert hall with outstanding acoustics.
Superb performance of Rush by the Buffalo Philharmonic
On December 8 and 9, 2019, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, performed Kenneth Fuchs’s Rush (Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra). This performance was distinguished for highlighting the jazz elements in the piece. Reviewing the concert in The Buffalo News, Leonidas Lagrimas wrote, “Fuchs’ output includes many works for wind band, and ‘Rush’ showcases his mastery of the alto saxophone’s versatility in a symphonic setting. World-renowned saxophonist Timothy McAllister's brilliant, crowd-pleasing performance was equal parts rock-star swagger and supremely polished musicianship.” Read the review in The Buffalo News »
UCONN Magazine features Kenneth Fuchs
UCONN, the alumni magazine of the University of Connecticut, featured Kenneth Fuchs, professor of music composition, in its summer 2019 issue. In the article, Fuchs recounts how a high school teacher, promising to perform anything Fuchs would write, started him on the path to becoming a composer. Fuchs urges his student composers to write as much as possible and when they’ve finished a piece, he tells them, “You have to find the players you have written it for, get them to rehearse it, and hear what it sounds like immediately so you can know if the choices you made are those you really want. That was such a profoundly important gift that my high school teacher gave me.” Read the article: Master Class »
Concerto for alto saxophone published
Among the works featured on Kenneth Fuchs’s GRAMMY Award-winning album is Rush (Concerto for Alto Saxophone), which was commissioned by Ryan Janus, principal saxophonist of the United States Air Force Academy Band, and a consortium of saxophonists and ensemble conductors. The work is composed in a two-movement form, each about seven minutes in duration, connected by an extended cadenza for the saxophone soloist. The first movement, which begins with a short cadenza that introduces the thematic material of the work, is a rhapsodic Adagietto with transparent textures. The second movement, which begins with an extended cadenza that introduces blue notes into the harmonic language, is cast in the form of a jazz-inflected passacaglia with ten variations and a coda. Solo part and piano reduction available at Hal Leonard.
Fifth disc with the London Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Fuchs continued his series of recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra on August 21–22, 2017, at Abbey Road Studios, along with conductor JoAnn Falletta, producer Tim Handley and engineer Jonathan Allen. The disc, released on August 10, 2018, includes three concerti and a song cycle for countertenor and orchestra:
- Piano Concerto ("Spiritualist," After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler), with pianist Jeffrey Biegel
- Poems of Life, (Twelve Poems by Judith G. Wolf for Countertenor, Violoncello and Orchestra), with countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen
- Rush (Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra), with saxophonist Timothy McAllister
- Glacier (Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra), with guitarist D. J. Sparr
Falling Man at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, as part of its commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, presented Falling Man at the museum on October 7, 2016. The performance, as a monodrama, featured baritone Jarrett Ott, musical direction by Kevin Stites, and projections using original photos from 9/11, including photos from the museum’s collection. The presentation was in artistic partnership with The Juilliard School and Steinway & Sons. Following the performance, Don DeLillo, the author of the text (adapted by J. D. McClatchy), joined artist Eric Fischl and Kenneth Fuchs in a discussion of artistic responses to the events of 9/11. See a video of the performance here »
American Brass Quartet commissions brass quintet
American Brass Quintet with the composer
The American Brass Quintet commissioned Brass Quintet No. 2 “American” and presented the première performance on July 27, 2016, at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The commission came about because trumpeter Hanzlik and the composer are colleagues at the University of Connecticut. The American Brass Quintet is performing the work during the 2016–2017 season on tour in China, Brazil, and throughout the United States.
Piano Concerto — première performances
Composer Kenneth Fuchs, Music Director Kevin Rhodes, and soloist Jeffrey Biegel take their bows in Springfield, Massachusetts. Photo: Wendy McCann
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel organised a commission by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, in Massachusetts, and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, in West Virginia, to underwrite the composition of a piano concerto by Kenneth Fuchs. On March 12, 2016, the Springfield Symphony performed the première of Piano Concerto ("Spiritualist," After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler). Music Director Kevin Rhodes conducted and Biegel was the soloist. On May 20, 2016, the Wheeling Symphony performed its première of the work, with Music Director André Raphel conducting and Biegel again as soloist.
Falling Man (text by Don DeLillo, adapted by J. D. McClatchy) — stage première
Baritone Jarrett Ott, composer-conductor David Krane, Kenneth Fuchs, and stage director Eugenia Arsenis at a rehearsal of Falling Man
The Center for Contemporary Opera asked Kenneth Fuchs if Falling Man might be performed as a monodrama for piano and baritone voice. Concluding that the Orchestral part was too complex to reduce to a satisfactory piano score, Fuchs turned to David Krane, a Broadway composer with 40 years of experience. Krane reduced the score to a work for 8 players and directed the performance given at Symphony Space in New York City on April 29, 2016. In addition, Krane suggested projecting original photographs from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and suggested the 9/11 Memorial Museum as a possible source. The museum welcomed the idea and made available photos by Roberto Rabanne, which projectionist Justin West put together with other photos from 9/11 to make a moving backdrop for the performance. The soloist was baritone Jarrett Ott, named one of 25 “Rising Stars” by Opera News.
Here and Now Series at BargemusicBaritone Roderick WIlliams, the Delray String Quartet, and musicians from the University of Connecticut performed music of Kenneth Fuchs at Bargemusic, a unique floating venue at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, New York, on April 3, 2015. The program consisted of
- Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Four Poems by William Blake for Baritone Voice and Chamber Ensemble) — New York Première
- String Quartet No. 5 (“American”) — New York Première
Delray String Quartet records String Quartet No. 5 (“American”)
Luo, Cotik, Fuchs, Fleischman and Jaffé
After performing String Quartet No. 4, the Delray String Quartet commissioned String Quartet No. 5 (“American”), which the quartet premièred in 2012 and recorded at the Hit Factory in Miami, with producer Judith Sherman and with the composer present. It is one of three performances on Fuchs’s disc of chamber music released by Naxos. The quartet members were Mei Mei Luo and Tomas Cotik, violins; Richard Fleischman, viola; Claudio Jaffé, cello.
Glacier (Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra) — world première
Music Director Matthew Savery, soloist Douglas Maher, Kenneth Fuchs Photo: Bozeman Daily Chronicle
In celebration of Matthew Savery’s 20th anniversary as Music Director and Conductor of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, in Bozeman, Montana, the Orchestra commissioned Kenneth Fuchs to compose a new work for electric guitar and Orchestra. The Orchestra performed the première of Glacier on March 8, 2015, with Savery conducting and Douglas Maher as electric guitar soloist.
Release of Fourth Disc with the London Symphony Orchestra
In August 2014, Naxos released the fourth disc of music by Kenneth Fuchs performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta. The recording features baritone and Naxos artist Roderick Williams and was produced by Grammy Award-winner Tim Handley. Repertoire includes: Falling Man (for baritone voice and orchestra); Movie House (seven poems by John Updike for baritone voice and chamber ensemble); and Songs of Innocence and of Experience (four poems by William Blake for baritone voice and chamber ensemble). The recording was completed at Abbey Road Studios in London, August 30–September 1, 2013. Physical discs and digital formats were released worldwide on Naxos American Classics.
JoAnn Falletta, Roderick Williams and the LSO record Falling Man in Abbey Road Studio One.
Kenneth Fuchs at Sewanee Summer Music FestivalKenneth Fuchs was resident composer for four days in July 2014 at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival at the University of the South in Tennessee. The Sewanee Symphony, made up of advanced music students, performed Fuchs’s Atlantic Riband (for Orchestra) and American Rhapsody (Romance for Violin and Orchestra), with JoAnn Falletta conducting and Michael Ludwig as violin soloist. Fuchs also conducted seminars and gave individual instruction in composition. The following week, the Sewanee Symphony performed Fuchs’s Eventide (Concerto for English Horn), with Rossen Milanov conducting and on English horn, Luca de la Florin, who won the Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition at the festival.
Fanfare interviews Kenneth Fuchs — The New AmericanaFanfare magazine, in its September/October 2013 issue, published an extended interview with Kenneth Fuchs, in which he discusses life as a composer in the 21st Century, balancing commercial viability with artistic integrity, recent recordings, the state of public music education, and upcoming projects.
Rush on the National MallThe United States Air Force Band, under the baton of Commander Larry H. Lang, performs Kenneth Fuchs’s saxophone concerto, Rush, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, National Mall, Washington D.C., July 16, 2013. The saxophone soloist was TSgt Ricky Parrell.
Naxos releases CD of chamber music by Kenneth Fuchs
On April 1, 2013, Naxos released Kenneth Fuchs’s fourth disc on its “American Classics” label. The disc consists of three chamber works:
- Falling Canons was composed especially for pianist and host of NPR’s From the Top, Christopher O’Riley. The work grows out of compositional elements from Falling Man, an extended scena for baritone voice and Orchestra based on a fragment from Don DeLillo’s powerful post-9/11 novel Falling Man. The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, recorded Falling Man by Kenneth Fuchs for Naxos in August 2013.
- String Quartet No. 5 ("American") was commissioned especially for the Delray String Quartet, based in South Florida. The large-scale work embraces in sound and spirit the stylistic influences of the American symphonic school that have dominated Fuchs’s recent Orchestral scores. The music is alternately lyrical and playful, sometimes brusque and muscular, at times elegiac, and it is meant to suggest the resilience and brash optimism of the American spirit.
- Falling Trio was commissioned by American pianist Jeffrey Biegel for Trio21 with violinist Kinga Augustyn and cellist Robert deMaine. The première performance was given at Bargemusic, an enclosed floating chamber music venue moored under the Brooklyn Bridge with a picture window view of lower Manhattan and Ground Zero. For details, see the feature on this disc on the Naxos website.
Gramophone magazine video interview with Kenneth FuchsJames Jolly, editor-in-chief of Gramophone magazine, interviewed Kenneth Fuchs and conductor JoAnn Falletta after the recording of Fuchs’s third and most recent disc with the London Symphony Orchestra. Jolly has posted on Gramophone’s blog a video interview, “A session report – with photos – from Abbey Road for Kenneth Fuchs’s new Naxos album.” See the Gramophone interview with photos here.
Naxos releases third CD of music by Kenneth Fuchs
Naxos released a recording of works by Kenneth Fuchs on its "American Classics" label in August 2012. The CD features the London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of internationally known conductor JoAnn Falletta, with soloists Michael Ludwig, concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Paul Silverthorne, principal violist of the LSO. The CD was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the legendary recording facility in London, with Grammy Award-winning producer Tim Handley and engineer Jonathan Allen in charge of recording and production. The CD includes five works:
- Divinum Mysterium (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra)
- American Rhapsody (Romance for Violin and Orchestra)
- Atlantic Riband (for Orchestra)
- Concerto Grosso (for String Quartet and String Orchestra)
- Discover the Wild (for Orchestra)
The CD and individual tracks are available for download at Naxos, Classics Online and iTunes.
U.S. Air Force Band of Flight premières From the Field to the Sky
Kenneth Fuchs and 1st Lieutenant
Daniel W. Boothe
The United States Air Force Band of Flight, Daniel W. Boothe, Commander and Conductor, commissioned Kenneth Fuchs to write From the Field to the Sky (Celebration Fanfare for Brass and Percussion). The Band of Flight Concert Band performed the première as part of “Summon the Heroes: A Veterans Day Concert” on November 3. The concert paid special tribute to all veterans and their families and included two world premières, a variety of marches, vocal selections, patriotic music, and a concert finale featuring more than 100 children from the Kettering Children’s Choir. The Concert Band presented the piece on a tour of Michigan, including Battle Creek, Interlochen, Dearborn, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids.
150th Anniversary CommissionThe Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, André Raphel, Music Director, commissioned Kenneth Fuchs to compose a fanfare-overture for Orchestra in celebration of the sesquicentennial of West Virginia statehood. The première took place at a commemoration concert on June 20, 2013. Following the Orchestral première, Fuchs created a version of the work for band, which will be performed by high school ensembles throughout West Virginia.
Sylvan Winds perform Autumn Rhythm
Sylvan Winds performed Kenneth Fuchs’s Autumn Rhythm (Idyll for Woodwind Quintet After a Painting by Jackson Pollock), on a program titled Art as Muse, at the Jack Tilton Gallery in New York City, May 23, 2012. The quintet members are Svjetlana Kabalin, flute; Kathy Halvorson, oboe; Pavel Vinnitsky, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; and Eric Davis, horn. For the ending of Autumn Rhythm, three instruments change to their deeper-pitched counterparts: flute to alto flute; oboe to English horn; and clarinet to bass clarinet. Hear the ending as performed by members of the London Symphony Orchestra:
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Hal Leonard publishes Canticle to the SunHal Leonard Corporation published the piano-reduction version of Canticle to the Sun (Concerto for Horn and Orchestra). Kenneth Fuchs wrote this concerto for Timothy Jones, principal hornist of the London Symphony Orchestra. The concerto is based on the hymn tune “All Creatures of Our God and King.” The solo part and piano reduction are available from Hal Leonard; Orchestral parts are available on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
Spartanburg Philharmonic premières Falling Man
Kenneth Fuchs takes a bow with baritone James Maddalena and music director Sarah Ioannides following the world première of Falling Man by the Spartanburg Philharmonic on September 10, 2011. The work sets to music the prologue of Don DeLillo’s searing post-9/11 novel Falling Man, with a libretto by poet J.D. McClatchy. The Spartanburg Herald-Journal called the work “remarkable,” with “Orchestral interjections of great beauty and power.” Falling Man is cast in the form of a dramatic scena for baritone voice and Orchestra. The work’s principal melodic and harmonic elements are organized around a falling 12-tone theme, fragments of which emerge at the outset, first in the Orchestra and then with the setting of the first line of text, “This was the world now, a time and space of falling ash and near night.”
Trio21 premières Falling Trio
Biegel, Augustyn, deMaine, Fuchs
Trio21 — Jeffrey Biegel, piano, Kinga Augustyn, violin, and Robert deMaine, cello — commissioned Kenneth Fuchs to write Falling Trio for the opening concert of their 2011–12 season and performed the world première at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, New York, on September 18, 2011. The trio is based on the theme of Falling Man and was performed with lower Manhattan and the rising Freedom Tower as the backdrop. The group recorded the work the following day. The Falling Man theme is organized around a sequence of 12 different descending pitches and is developed as a set of seven fantasy variations, each a canon on successive ascending scalar pitches. Falling Trio also features a lyrical “reconciliation theme,” interpolated twice in the work, with which the instruments attempt to reconcile the work’s tonal and non-tonal musical language.
JoAnn Falletta rehearses Canticle to the Sun in ChileMusic Director JoAnn Falletta and Principal Horn Jacek Muzyk, both of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performed Canticle to the Sun (Concerto for Horn and Orchestra) with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile, Santiago, Teatro Universidad de Chile, July 8-9, 2011. Read a review excerpt here.
Blog features Kenneth Fuchs’s choral musicRead the feature about Kenneth Fuchs’s choral music on the Yelton Rhodes Music blog Choralicious!
Air Force Academy Band records United Artists
The U.S. Air Force Academy Band (Colorado Springs, Colorado), has released Windscapes, a disc that includes Kenneth Fuchs’s United Artists. Lt. Col. Larry H. Lang, commander and conductor, commissioned the band transcription from the original work for Orchestra. Score and parts available here. Hear an excerpt from United Artists:
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Second Fuchs CD with the London Symphony Orchestra
Photo: Jim Bush
Naxos released a new disc of Orchestral and chamber works by Kenneth Fuchs recorded by conductor JoAnn Falletta leading the LSO. A conductor visiting London reported, "The Orchestra started raving about your music the moment I got here! And don’t forget: that praise is coming from the musicians." The disc is available for sampling and downloading at Amazon, Naxos and iTunes, and available for purchase as a CD at Amazon. Repertoire includes
- United Artists (for Orchestra)
- Canticle to the Sun (Concerto for Horn and Orchestra), composed especially for principal Timothy Jones
- Autumn Rhythm (Idyll for Woodwind Quintet After a Painting by Jackson Pollock)
- Fire, Ice, and Summer Bronze (After Two Works on Paper by Helen Frankenthaler), for brass quintet
- Quiet in the Land (American Idyll), for flute, clarinet, English horn, viola, and cello.
Kenneth Fuchs tracks available on iTunes
Three albums of music by Kenneth Fuchs — Canticle to the Sun and An American Place, both recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, and String Quartets 2, 3, 4, recorded by the American String Quartet — are available for sampling and downloading from iTunes. Also available is Christina’s World, recorded by the University of Miami Wind Ensemble. See links here.Left: 2005 Grammy® Award nominee, "Best Instrumental soloist with Orchestra" (Thomas Stacy, English horn, and JoAnn Falletta, conductor, for Eventide) and "Producer of the Year, Classical" (Michael Fine)
Air Force Band of Liberty records On Silver Wings
The U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty (Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts), has released On Silver Wings, a disc that includes Kenneth Fuchs’s piece of the same title. Lt. Col. Larry H. Lang, commander and conductor, commissioned three of the nine works, including On Silver Wings. Hear an excerpt from On Silver Wings, by Kenneth Fuchs:
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Paul Silverthorne performs Divinum Mysterium in Dallas
Fuchs, Simon and Silverthorne
Paul Silverthorne, principal violist of the London Symphony Orchestra, gave three electrifying performances of Divinum Mysterium (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra) under the baton of Geoffrey Simon with Symphony Arlington, the Garland Symphony Orchestra, and the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra in the Dallas metro area, February 17, 18, and 19. At Southern Methodist University on the 18th, Silverthorne, Simon, and Fuchs talked with composition students about the detailed collaboration that took place between the composer and the soloist and conductor. Dan Lazarescou, who holds a graduate degree in composition from SMU, wrote to Fuchs, "You proved that memorable music with beautiful melody can sound modern too. Congratulations!"
Blog features Kenneth Fuchs’s choral musicRead the feature about Kenneth Fuchs’s choral music on the Yelton Rhodes Music blog Choralicious!
Saxophone Concerto Commission
Ryan Janus, principal saxophonist of the United States Air Force Academy Band (Colorado Springs), is organizing a consortium to commission Kenneth Fuchs to compose a saxophone concerto. Fuchs will compose both a band and Orchestral version of the concerto. For more information about the project, visit Ryan Janus’s website at www.ryanjanus.com/commissions.html
Grand Symphonic Winds performs United Artists in ChinaKenneth Fuchs’s United Artists was the opening selection on two concerts performed by the Grand Symphonic Winds (below) during the 2010 World Expo Shanghai International Band Festival, April 25–May 4. Under the direction of Dr. Matthew George, the 55-member civic wind ensemble from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, performed United Artists both in Shanghai and at the National Center for the Performing Arts (known as “The Egg”) in Beijing.
Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs Canticle to the Sun
Photo: John Lindberg
Music Director JoAnn Falletta led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, with soloist David Wick, principal horn of the Orchestra, in a performance of Kenneth Fuchs’s Canticle to the Sun (Concerto for French Horn and Orchestra) on September 18th and 20th in Norfolk, Virginia. Maestro Falletta conducted the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra for the Naxos recording released earlier in 2008. Left to right, Wick, Falletta and Fuchs.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra premières Canticle to the Sun
Hartford Symphony photo:
Richard Todd, principal horn of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Edward Cumming in the première performances of Canticle to the Sun (Concerto for French Horn and Orchestra) on April 29 and 30, 2008, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, in Hartford, Connecticut. Right: Fuchs, center, confers with Cumming at a rehearsal with soloist Todd, right.