Sunday, December 20, 2009

A rare and fascinating website devoted to composition

I recently stumbled upon this website, which is run coincidentally by a fellow who is a new faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where I got my doctorate. Composition:Today is one of the handful of sites I've encountered that deals with the nuts and bolts of composing classical music in this day and age. Although it is aimed at, and probably mainly of interest to, composers, it is a very valuable place to look in on now and then for listeners and contemporary music aficionados as well. I would also put the Naxos record label's blog and Sequenza 21 in this category. Bookmark all three of these if you want to take a detour away from the dead German and Austrian guys, or mass pop culture, or both, and keep up on current trends in what my more famous colleagues are up to.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Help us finish up the production costs for the new David Gaines CD!

The new chamber music CD/digital download will be released in early 2010 on the Navona Records label (and distributed by Naxos). You'll finally get to hear:
  • ...and dispel the miseries of the world (2008) for baritone saxophone and chamber orchestra (written for and recorded by the Seattle baritone saxophone hero James DeJoie, with members of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirk Trevor)
  • Suite Of Changes (1993) for viola and mallet percussion (featuring the amazing young Japanese marimba virtuoso Fumito Nunoya)
  • the delightful little Jubilee (2005) for euphonium and piano, featuring the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's principal trombonist, Robert Kozanek, for whom I wrote my new trombone concerto (which we will hopefully record for Navona next year....more about that later).
However, we need a little bit of help to zero out the production costs, so we've started a $500 fundraising campaign with Click on the widget below to contribute via can use a credit card if you don't have a PayPal account. Any amount....$1, $5, $10, $100, or anything in welcome, and everyone who contributes $25 or more will receive a compact disc signed by the composer and a mention in the album's liner notes. If you choose to contribute at this level, make sure to leave your mailing address in the comments box at PayPal.

And thank you!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Trombone Concerto premieres in Czech Republic

Robert Kozánek gave virtuoso performances of my new trombone concerto last week in Kroměříž, Czech Republic in the beautiful Assembly Hall of the archbishop's castle (a UNESCO world heritage site). He was ably assisted by his father, Viktor Kozánek, conducting the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatory Orchestra. Robert asked me to write the concerto in honor of the conservatory's 60th anniversary when we met in Slovakia last year.

Click here to see videos on YouTube of each of the four movements from the premiere performance on 9/25/09 (there was an additional performance for conservatory alumni and family members the following afternoon).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

DG nominated for 2009 Just Plain Folks Award in Contemporary Classical category

The first movement of Duo (1993) for flute and tuba from the Music For Winds album is nominated in the Contemporary Classical category at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Awards, which will be broadcast live on the web on Saturday, August 29th at 3pm PDT/6pm EDT at

Friday, July 03, 2009

New recording of "Duo for flute and tuba" forthcoming

Amy Ridings, flutist for Double Play (the only fulltime professional flute and tuba duo), wrote me the other day to tell me that they've recorded the first two movements of Duo for flute and tuba for a CD release sometime this fall. She sent along pre-release excerpts and they are delightful.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recordings available for FIVE MINIATURES and HEAVY METAL LULLABY

Recordings of Five Miniatures (1983) for flute & euphonium and Heavy Metal Lullaby (2009) for music boxes, glockenspiels (bells), and celestas are now available for downloading exclusively at InstantEncore:

Lullaby is $0.49, as is each track of the Five Miniatures. The complete Five Miniatures is $1.99. You can, of course, stream each track online for free. Purchasing these recordings supports contemporary music, as well as this particular contemporary composer.  :-)

Excerpts from the 2nd and 3rd movements of the baritone saxophone concerto are available for listening at InstantEncore as well (complete recording to be released later this year on the Navona Records label) -- excerpts from the new trombone concerto (to be premiered in September in the Czech Republic) will be posted there shortly.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The explosion in classical music digital downloading

Here's a fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal that focuses on one man's new enterprise but also surveys the general scene regarding availability of classical music on the internet versus compact disc purchasing (which is declining precipitously, as you're no doubt already aware). Once the availability of lossless audio the specs for which are indistinguishable from compact discs (or, eventually, SACD and DVD-Audio) becomes commonplace in the downloading environment, look for CDs to become audiophile/fanatic-only items, as SACD and DVD-Audio always have been.

Monday, April 27, 2009

World premiere of the David Gaines euphonium concerto

Twenty-two years after I submitted it as my master's degree thesis at American University, my concerto for euphonium and orchestra is finally getting a public performance -- in its euphonium and piano version, that is. Euphonium soloist Richard Demy will be performing it as part of his graduate euphonium recital at George Mason University's Harris Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia on May 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call the George Mason University Music Department at (703) 993-1380.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The rest of this isn't noise

I've mentioned Alex Ross in the past somewhere on one of my web pages but he's worth mentioning again. Alex is the music critic for The New Yorker and focuses on classical music, but he can speak intelligently about Radiohead and Bob Dylan, too. His book The Rest Is Noise: Listening To The Twentieth Century should be required reading for people interested in orchestral music who are gamely trying to pull themselves out of the 19th century. Now that we're well into the 21st, I think that's a pretty good strategy for most classical music audience members to adopt.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Matthew Mireles, euphonium performs James Curnow's Symphonic Variants (Part 1)

One of the handful of concertos for euphonium and orchestra that have actually been performed.......if you're curious about what a euphonium sounds like in front of a symphony orchestra, you could do a lot worse than this performance. Bravo.

Friday, January 02, 2009

DG will be at the US Army Tuba-Euphonium Conference January 30th & 31st!

I'll be at the 2009 US Army Tuba-Euphonium Conference at Fort Myer in northern Virginia on Friday & Saturday January 30th & 31st, under my publishing alter ego, Verda Stelo Music. I'll have sheet music on hand for most of my compositions that feature trombone, euphonium, or tuba, including both the full score and the piano reduction of the orchestral euphonium concerto, as well as both of my CD's (The Music Of David Gaines and Music For Winds). Please stop by the vendor area to say hello and get acquainted with my music.

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