Fall 2014 Update

Posted on October 25th, 2014 by by Mark Buller

I’m looking forward to a spate of performances, starting very soon! If you’re in the area, I hope to see you at any of these.  Composing has two main facets: all the long hours spent trying to churn out good material, then editing, engraving, editing again, creating parts, and editing further. Then there’s the public side, in which the composer gets to do publicity circuit and attend premieres, having handed off the work to someone else. While I do enjoy the creative process and the rewards that come with having created something unique, I rather prefer the latter! And in the space of two months, there will be over two hours’ worth of my music being premiered — a humbling amount, really.

–On December 8 at 8 PM, my new flute concerto premieres at Rice University. The concerto was written for my friend Aaron Perdue; Aaron and I both spent two years in the Da Camera of Houston young artist program, and he’s really a fantastic musician. I’ve scored the concerto for strings, percussion, harp, and celesta.

–On January 27, 7:30 PM, the Greenbriar Consortium will be premiering a new, reduced-orchestration version of Of Shrapnel and Blood, my oratorio on war poetry. Greenbriar is an ensemble comprised of musicians from the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. I’m boiling the big oratorio down to four singers and a dozen instrumentalists.

–Then, the Houston Grand Opera (via HGOco’s Opera to Go! initiative) will be premiering The Pastry Prince, the opera they commissioned from librettist Tony Silvestri and me; the first performances are January 29, 30, and 31, at the Heinen Theatre in midtown Houston. After these first six performances, the show goes on the road, and will be performed more than 60 times, ending with another performance at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in late Spring. This has been a huge project, and needless to say, all of us on the creative team are quite excited. I’ll post a bit more about the entire process, from initial planning, to libretto drafts, to the workshop, as we approach the premiere date.

–Since I was awarded the Sarofim Composition Award, I’ve been commissioned to write a new piece for piano and percussion for the AURA Contemporary Ensemble, the resident new-music group at the University of Houston. That piece will be premiered February 16 at 7:30 PM. It’s tentatively titled The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, named after the piece of the same name by self-styled “bluesologist” and social activist Gil Scott-Heron.

–Finally, there are a few more things coming down the pike, including a new work for string orchestra, tentatively scheduled for performance this Spring; and a second wind quintet. I’ll post about those when they’re nailed down. In the meantime, be sure to follow me on my Facebook page!