Robinson McClellan ~ composer
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ANNOUNCEMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS
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I began Ascension Cantata when I was stuck at home during Hurricane Sandy as a "for fun" project, and completed it soon after. This cantata, on a beautiful libretto by my collaborator, Australian poet Robin Muir-Miller, and inspired by J.S. Bach's early chorale cantatas (BWV 131 in particular), is currently seeking premiere.
A Child in Nature, a secular choral work on a poem by my collaborator, Australian poet Robin Muir-Miller, received its premiere in October 2012 with The Esoterics, Eric Banks, director. More info and full TEXT here.
The piece was selected in 2014 for inclusion in Project Encore.
Zahra Partovi's film, Noise, featuring a song I wrote, premiered May 28, 2013, at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in NYC. The film was chosen for an award by New Film Makers and was screened in January 2014 at the Anthology Film Archives.
Invitation to a Marriage, my commission from the Macalester Concert Choir and director Mike McGaghie, premiered November 16, 2013 at Macalester, with a followup performance November 22 in Hawaii, conducted by McGaghie, with choral forces of the University of Hawaii Manoa, Miguel Felipe director.
In Spring 2013 I completed two new cantatas, one secular and one sacred, both premiered in May. Trinity Dancing Cantata premiered in Honolulu as part of Miguel Felipe's Cantata Project, and BQE: An Urban Cantata premiered in NYC as part of the Queens New Music Festival. For more info see my works page.
Ostorlab, my Rumi setting for voice and viola, on a translation by Zahra Partovi, premiered in May 2013. For this purpose I attempted to learn the Persian Dastgah mode... with the help of the very fun Just Intonation Toolkit.
My grandmother Anita Curtis, a wonderful sculptor, passed away in October 2012. Please get to know her work on this website I created for her during my last visit with her. She closely guided the look and content.
Buy Music by Heart, the paperless hymnal (includes songs I wrote).
The wonderful poetry of my collaborator Robin Muir-Miller is available online.
My grandfather, James T. McClellan, was an inspired sculptor, and a major role model for me as an artist. View his sculptures.
THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT MY MUSIC
- Gabriela Frank, composer
"Take McClellan's music as a reminder and a gentle
- Editor, Download.com
"This music is both smart and beautiful."
- Kimberly Dunn Adams, conductor
"...a vivid sense of atmosphere and
- Michael Miller, Berkshire Review
Daniel Neer and Alyssa Reit presented The Gyre on April 27 and 29 as part of a unique program called NARKISSOS at The Tank with a third performance at RAM's Queens New Music Festival on May 11. The piece received its second performance in January at Andrea Clearfield’s Salon.
Choral performances in 2013 included the UMass Dartmouth Chamber Choir and Mt. Holyoke Chamber Singers.
Plans are underway for the U.S. premiere of my nuclear-age cantata, This Ravelled Dust, inside the decommissioned Hanford B nuclear reactor. Learn more about the cantata in my NewMusicBox article, and in this very perceptive from a blogger in the UK.
The Rider University Choir, led by Philip Orr, presented Noorun, a choral arrangement of a 13th c. Armenian piece with a 12th c. Arabic text, Fall 2011.
My one-minute piece for solo harp was selected and performed by Alyssa Reit as part of Vox Novus Fifteen Minutes of Fame. May 29, 2011 in NYC
Three works were performed, and two premiered, on September 30, 2010 at Yale University. Lament for the Flowers received its first full performance with Matt Welch; Daniel Neer premiered two works: The Gyre and Gather Me
Stay tuned for the premiere of Nativity Kontakion, for Greek Byzanting chorus and strings, commissioned by Nektarios Antoniou.
ActorCor, where Robin is composer in residence, returned January 17, 2010 at All Souls Unitarian Church. The performance included the premiere of When Hafiz Sings, written for the occasion on a text by the 14th-century Iranian poet, translations by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Among the Signs, Robin's setting of Qur'an verses in English, was premiered in NYC as part of ActorCor's May 2008 debut, alongside arrangements of Anglican, Pakistani, Hasidic, and Armenian music, which Robin created for the project
Flight of the Earls, concerto for uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) and orchestra, commissioned by the Albany Symphony, was premiered September 27, 2007 with two further performances on the 28th and 29th in venues near Albany, NY
Sylvia Aiko Rider, mezzo-soprano, commissioned and premiered a new arrangement of a Gaelic folk song, Crying Not for You (inspired by the singing of Flora MacNeil), at Yale University April 14, 2007
A new setting of Sung Morning Prayer commissioned by and for Marquand Chapel, Yale Divinity School, based on Gaelic music, was heard on Wednesday mornings in January, February and March 2007
An Unwholesome Episode for Double Bass and Marimba was performed for the second time (now in its revised version) December 21, 2006 at Yale. The piece was premiered by NYC-based Fireworks Ensemble in 2005
Nunc Dimittis 3 performances in the Netherlands by Monteverdi Kamerkoor Utrecht, under the direction of Wilko Brouwers: November 3, 12, & 19, 2006
Beware the Sasannach! for Wind Ensemble, premiere by members of Yale Philharmonia, John Concklin, conductor, November 2, 2006. Sprague Hall at Yale University
Farewell MacCrimmon: Pibroch for SSA or SAB Choir was premiered July 7, 2006 at Ceolas, a Gaelic language and music school on the Isle of South Uist, in the outer Hebrides of Scotland; Jackie Cotter, conductor
George Bush's Notebook, 1779 (arr. 2006): Songs Without Overt Political Overtones for bluegrass quartet (gtr., mand., banjo, bass, plus cowbell) ... FOUR recent performances in 8 months:
Alleluia for choir was performed during Easter morning services at Battell Chapel, Yale University (Holland Jancaitis, conductor)
The Passion According to Mark was premiered by the choir of Christ Church Episcopal (Robert Lehman, director) in New Haven, CT on Palm Sunday 2006 (April 9)
Gone Today for orchestra was premiered by Yale Philharmonia (Shinik Hahm, dir.) on March 31, 2006 at Woolsey Hall in New Haven, CT
The Albany Community Chorus, directed by Benjamin Taylor, premiered Lighten our Darkness at Albany United Methodist Church, Albany CA on November 15, 2005
Trio Eos (a New York-based female vocal trio) premiered the piece they commissioned, The Woman Turns Herself into a Fish, as part of the Music at St. Paul's series at Columbia University on November 15, 2005
October 9, 2005: Organ Mass was premiered by Carson Cooman in Pittsburgh at Trinity Cathedral
August 18, 2005: Yale Schola Cantorum (dir. Simon Carrington) performed commissioned work, Nunc Dimittis as part of 3rd International Monteverdi Choir Festival. Esztergom, Hungary. Concert broadcast on Hungarian Radio
July 2, 2005: NYC-based Fireworks Ensemble (Brian Coughlin, bass, Julian Molitz, marimba) performed
May 15, 16, 17 2005: Yale Schola Cantorum performed Nunc Dimittis as part of Evensong services in the UK at Winchester Cathedral, Magdalen College at Oxford, and St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
April 28, 2005: Performance of I got a kiss of the King's hand for 3 oboes, english horn, and drone. Michael Barnett, Sarah Schram, Karisa Werdon, oboes; Kevin May, english horn; Robinson McClellan, bagpipe drone)
Dragon, by James T. McClellan