Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Douglas Anderson

Dr. Douglas Anderson conducting
We are pleased to announce and welcome New York based composer and conductor Dr. Douglas Anderson to the PARMA family!  We will be working with Dr. Anderson on the release of his "Chamber Symphonies" for various chamber ensembles, featuring fellow PARMA artists Eight Strings & a Whistle.  Dr. Anderson's Chamber Symphonies have been premiered and performed throughout the U.S. by Eight Strings & a Whistle and the di.vi.sion piano trio.

When asked about the meaning and inspiration behind his "Chamber Symphonies" from violist Ina Litera, Dr. Anderson answers,

"A Symphony, to me, is a piece that is its own world, in which a variety of things happen; a multiplicity of this and that. Haydn was, especially with his late symphonies, the first to create a little universe of itself. It doesn’t have to have every aspect of everything but it does have to have enough range and variety. Certainly other composers have expanded on that.

When I first called a piece of mine a Chamber Symphony (my first was a student work), clearly it was composed for a chamber group, but I was also at that time referring to the first Chamber Symphonies I had encountered as a conductor, which were Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. Although very interesting and subtle pieces, they didn’t quite create the whole world kind of thing; their intent was slightly different from that goal. So in my Chamber Symphonies, as I have written more, I have tried to go beyond where I think Schoenberg went, aiming for a diverse yet interconnected universe of music." 

Dr. Anderson studied at, and received three degrees from, Columbia University, culminating in a doctorate in music composition. He made his professional conducting debut at the Beacon Theater on Broadway, leading the Boston Ballet (with narrator Cyril Ritchard) in a run of Peter and the Wolf (1973), and since his debut has conducted a variety of ensembles and over 75 world premieres, including the first electronic music opera and the first concerto for steel drum and orchestra.

In addition to his compositions for chamber ensemble, Dr. Anderson is also a composer of works for orchestra, concerti, vocal music, electronic music, radio drama, jazz, film, opera, and musical threater. His music has been performed internationally, featured in various radio dramas, including NPR's "The Radio Stage," and programmed in international festivals.  He has also been recently recognized as the featured composer with the Brooklyn Symphony in 2014, premiering Dr. Anderson's clarinet concerto "Spirit Guide," as well as the Composer-in-Residence with "A Potpourri of Song," at St. Mary's Church in Brooklyn, NY
 (2013).

Dr. Anderson is currently wrapping up audio post-production for this project and we will have release details in the coming months.  Keep checking back for updates and in the meantime, you can listen to and watch a live partial recording of a live performance of "Chamber Symphony No. 4," beginning with the second movement.


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