Adam Schoenberg

Winter Music (2015)

Adam Schoenberg writes: Winter Music was commissioned by Quintet of the Americas, and is approximately 6 minutes in duration. Barber’s Summer Music proved to be the main source of inspiration, as I have always considered his woodwind quintet to be one of the best ever written for the medium. He was a true-American composer who, along with Ives, Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein, helped define the sound of American classical music. I have always felt connected to these composers, so I wanted to write a quintet that feels American in spirit. The theme that the Quintet of the Americas proposed to me was our universe, images of galaxies, planets, and stars. With this in mind, I thought about what it would be like to be on another planet. This lead me to think about my New England roots, and how I am now living in Los Angeles and experiencing my first winter. Combining all of these thoughts, images, and experiences into one artistic idea, I have come up with Winter Music: A companion piece to the first part of Barber’s Summer Music, and my idea of life on a single planet in one of the 170 billion galaxies located millions of light-years away from earth. That is, a fantasy world somehow paralleling and reflecting my first winter in Los Angeles: magically-warm, fairy-tale like, whimsical, light, airy, and full of love.  – program note from Flushing Library

The music of composer ADAM SCHOENBERG (b. November 15, 1980 Northampton, MA) has an ability to create “mystery and sensuality” (New York Times), and has been hailed as “stunning” (Memphis Commercial Appeal), and “open, bold, and optimistic” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). As the newest member of the Atlanta School of Composers, Schoenberg has been commissioned to write three works for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Recent commissions have also come from the Kansas City Symphony, Aspen Music Festival & School and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Atlanta Chamber Players, Quintet of the Americas, and The Blakemore Trio.

Schoenberg became the first Composer-in-Residence for the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern’s tenure for the 2012/13 season. Schoenberg is the 2012 BMI Composer-in-Residence for the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and the 2010-2012 guest composer for the Aspen Music Festival and School’s M.O.R.E program. He was a 2009 and 2010 MacDowell Fellow, and was the First Prize winner at the 2008 International Brass Chamber Music Festival for best Brass Quintet. In 2007, he was awarded ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Juilliard’s Palmer- Dixon Prize for Most Outstanding Composition, and a Meet the Composer Grant. He received the 2006 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has garnered further acclaim from ASCAP and the Society for New Music.

Performance highlights include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, New World Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Aspen Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony, Chicago Youth Symphony, New Juilliard Ensemble, and Boise Philharmonic Brass Ensemble. The American Brass Quintet released a CD of Schoenberg’s quintet as part of their 50th Anniversary CD, and Jack Sutte (Cleveland Orchestra) released a recording of Schoenberg’s trumpet sonata, Separated by Space. Schoenberg earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Juilliard School where he studied with John Corigliano and Robert Beaser. He also received his Master of Music degree from Juilliard and his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. A committed educator, Schoenberg is on faculty at UCLA where he teaches undergraduate orchestration. He has presented lectures and master classes at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard School, University of Kansas, University of Missouri Kansas City, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Blair School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival & School. Schoenberg currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, playwright and screenwriter Janine Salinas.