Works

Please con­tact me for com­mis­sions and to pur­chase scores.

Small Ensem­bles


Duet after Win­ter (2012)

Dura­tion:  c. 7.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  two violins

Pre­miere Saint Peter’s Church/Citigroup, NY, NY, 2013.

Writ­ten in response to the earth­quake and tsunami that dev­as­tated Japan in 2011.


Trans­for­ma­tions (2010)

Dura­tion:  c. 17.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  string quin­tet, tenor sax­o­phone
(Also avail­able for string cham­ber orches­tra & tenor sax­o­phone (2009))
Com­mis­sion:  The Clas­si­cal Sax­o­phone Project.  Pre­miere Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, NY, NY, 2010.

If this were a story, loss and regen­er­a­tion would be the themes.  The incar­nate dis­solves into the ethe­real, a heart-beat pizzi­cato becomes a time-ticking drum beat, and resolves into an easy bossa nova, tak­ing the lis­tener through an emo­tional process that is in the end, life-affirming.  As of its 2013 per­for­mance, the new title will be AND SO IT BEGINS.


The Beauty Way (2009)

Dura­tion:  c. 8.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  soprano, tenor & bass gam­bas
Com­mis­sion:  Empire Viols.  Pre­miere First Pres­by­ter­ian Church, NY, NY, 2009.

Inspired by the Taos air. Native Amer­i­can, African Amer­i­can, and Old Eng­lish folk tunes com­bine to explore what the Navajo call “the beauty way”, those times when we are in har­mony with all that is.


A Due (2008)

Dura­tion: c. 4’
Instru­men­ta­tion: bass, piano
Com­mis­sion: Basso Mod­erno, for their tour­ing reper­toire. Pre­miere, Hart­ford Women Com­posers’ Fes­ti­val, 2008.

Explores how the sound worlds of bass and piano over­lap and con­trast. The open­ing is an impro­visatory crescendo-diminuendo in which the play­ers to attune to one another. An equal part­ner­ship between the instru­ments, with some use of extended tech­niques. The over­all mood – med­i­ta­tive, lyri­cal, impassioned.


Strange Cohab­i­ta­tion (2007)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: Piano 4-hands
Com­mis­sion: The Lark Ascend­ing. Pre­miere Aus­trian Cul­tural Forum, NY, NY. 2007.

Three short char­ac­ter pieces inspired by Nancy Bogen’s story, Twelve Tone Blues. The piece describes the char­ac­ter and the rela­tion­ship of an old mar­ried cou­ple — a pair of oppo­sites who com­ple­ment each other, but some­times ruf­fle each other’s feath­ers. He’s a self-serious com­poser; she a whim­si­cal intel­lec­tual. Musi­cal jokes abound, as well as lyri­cism, and a chance for the­atrics if the play­ers are so-inclined.


My Amer­i­can Shtetl (2007)

Dura­tion: c. 18’
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano, nar­ra­tor
Com­mis­sion: Alaria. Pre­miere Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, NY, NY, 2007.
Bel Kauf­man narrating.

Two Sholom Ale­ichem sto­ries abridged, para­phrased and with added com­men­tary by his grand­daugh­ter, the author, Bel Kauf­man (Up the Down Stair­case). Tells the Jew­ish immigrant’s tale with humor and pathos, laugh­ter through tears. Music weaves strands of Klezmer dance tunes, Yid­dish songs, rag­ime, and jazz, with a mod­ern clas­si­cal approach.


Find­ing Accord (2005)

Dura­tion: c. 7’
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano
Com­mis­sion: Alaria. Pre­miere Saint Peter’s Church/Citigroup, NY, NY, 2005.

Explores the three voices of the piano trio as they go in and out of agree­ment with one another. Vio­lin­ist dou­bles on light per­cus­sion in a few places. Some sim­ple prepa­ra­tion of the piano.


Inci­den­tal Duck­lings (2003)

Dura­tion: c. 5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: vio­lin, cello, piano
Pre­miere, Saint Peter’s Church/Citigroup, NY, NY, 2004.

From funny to lyri­cal.  Dance and inci­den­tal music from the The Ugly Duck­ling. Three short move­ments — Duck­ling Dance, Ducks in Sum­mer, and Duck Etiquette.


Dia­logues with the Dis­tant Moun­tains (1987/rev. 2005)

Dura­tion: c. 8’
Instru­men­ta­tion: sax­o­phone and piano
Com­mis­sion Atlanta Music Teach­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion.
Early per­for­mances in Atlanta and Cal­i­for­nia.
Pre­miere of revised ver­sion, Saint Peter’s Church/Citigroup, NY, NY 2006.

Three short move­ments, early 20th cen­tury French feel­ing com­bines with a bluesy aspect, and a bit of Bul­gar­ian rhythm.


Solo Works


Birds in the Night (2012)

Dura­tion:  c. 9’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  bass trom­bone
Com­mis­sion:  David Tay­lor, Juil­liard School, Mannes Col­lege.   Pre­miere Feb­ru­ary 2013, How­land Cul­tural Cen­ter, Bea­con, NY.

Schubert’s Dop­pel­ganger meets Bela Fleck in Africa.  Occa­sional extended tech­niques & impro­visatory sections.


Visions Fugi­tives (2008)

Dura­tion: c. 5′
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano
Com­mis­sion: Access Through Music
Pre­miere on a Min­nesota con­cert series, 2008.

Three short piano pieces inspired by the Taos air.


Bus­cando (2006)

Dura­tion: c. 9’
Instru­men­ta­tion: Harp­si­chord
Com­mis­sion: Arthur Haas, Pro­fes­sor of Music, Mannes Col­lege of Music, Stony Brook Uni­ver­sity.
Pre­miere Stony Brook, 2006.

A wan­der­lust of a piece one theme lead­ing to the next with inevitably or sur­prise. Oppor­tu­nity for embell­ish­ment and impro­vi­sa­tion harkens to the Baroque.  Level of vir­tu­os­ity can be tai­lored to your temperament.


Rant (2004)

Dura­tion: c. 6.5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: solo cello or bass viol
Com­mis­sion: Martha McGaughey, Fac­ulty, Mannes Col­lege. Pre­miere, Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, NY, NY, 2004.

A dia­logue of oppo­sites, the music explores a range of lyric and per­cus­sive pos­si­bil­i­ties. I hope that each per­former will make it his or her, own rant.


Voice and Piano


Chain Reac­tion (2008)

Text by Debra Kaye
Dura­tion: c. 4 ½’
Instru­men­ta­tion: soprano and piano
Com­mis­sion: Nancy Ogle, Pro­fes­sor of Music, Uni­ver­sity of Maine.
Pre­miere, Uni­ver­sity of Maine, cer­e­mony for Ful­bright schol­ars, 2008.

Joni Mitchell meets art song with a bit of drama queen thrown in, a global warm­ing song that is both lyri­cal and dra­matic, giv­ing the prima donna a chance to laugh at her­self, and strum the piano strings with a plas­tic fork. Tes­si­tura is mostly in the mid-range.


Slants of Light – Four songs on poems of Emily Dick­in­son (2003)

Dura­tion: c. 11’
Instru­men­ta­tion: mezzo or bari­tone and piano
Pre­miere, City Uni­ver­sity of New York, 2003.

The cycle includes the fol­low­ing poems: Not Know­ing, There’s a Cer­tain Slant of light, I Heard a Fly Buzz when I Died, and This is the Land the Sun­set Washes. Piano is equal part­ner to the voice.


Where You Are (2002)

Poem by Walt Whit­man
Dura­tion: c. 3’
Instru­men­ta­tion: tenor and piano
Pre­miere Sec­ond Pres­by­ter­ian Church, NY, NY, 2004.

Text:
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you,
As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Lit­tle you know the sub­tle elec­tric fire that for your sake is play­ing within me.


Where the Side­walk Ends – 21 songs with poems by Shel Sil­ver­stein (1990)

Poems by Shel Sil­ver­stein
Dura­tion: c. 25’
Instru­men­ta­tion: tenor, soprano, and piano
Sta­tus: Pend­ing acqui­si­tion of rights.

Shel Silverstein’s funny and clever poems set with sim­plic­ity and drama in a folk influ­enced mod­ern clas­si­cal style.


Count­ing Sheep (1988)

Dura­tion: c. 3’
Text: by Debra Kaye
Instru­men­ta­tion: 3-part poly­men­tric choral reading.

Pre­miere Jim Scott Recital Hall, Atlanta, GA, 1991.


Time to Rise (1998)

Poem by Robert Louis Steven­son
Dura­tion: c. 40 sec.
Instru­men­ta­tion: mezzo and piano

The poem:

A birdie with a yel­low bill, Hopped upon my win­dow sill, Cocked his shin­ing eye and said: “Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy head?”


Cho­rus


There is No Frigate Like a Book (2012)

Poem by Emily Dick­in­son.
Dura­tion:  c. 3’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SA Chorus

Pre­miere:  Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, 2012.

Miss Emily’s ”pranc­ing poetry” set in a bossa nova trib­ute to the plea­sures of reading.


There Was a Lit­tle Girl (2012)

Lyrics by Henry Wadsworth Longfel­low
Dura­tion:  c.  1’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  SA Chorus

Pre­miere Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, 2012

The famous poem with an Edward Gorey sensibility.


Time to Rise (2012)

Lyrics by Robert Louis Steven­son
Dura­tion:  c. 1’
Instru­men­ta­tion:  Unison

Pre­miere Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, NY, NY, 2012.

A birdie with a yel­low bill” hops through the piano as the voices sing an angu­lar but lyri­cal melody.  Adapted from 1998 bari­tone ver­sion, with poem from “A Child’s Gar­den of Verses”.


Ting-a-Ling Spring (2012)

Lyrics by Debra Kaye
Dura­tion:  c. 2’

Pre­miere, Mannes Col­lege the New School for Music, 2012.

Two min­utes of spring fever.


The­ater and Opera


The Ugly Duck­ling (1998)

Dura­tion: 1 hour
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano/vocal or piano, vocal, flute, trum­pet, bass, drums.
Pre­miere The West­side Y, NY, NY, 1998–1999. Extended run.

A musi­cal ver­sion of Hans Chris­t­ian Andersen’s clas­sic tale. Pro­duced by Lit­er­ally Alive Children’s The­ater (www.literallyalive.com). Pre­miere 1998, Lit­tle The­ater at the West­side Y. Addi­tional pro­duc­tions in 2000, and 2006. Over 100 per­for­mances. Favor­able notices in the NY Times.


The North Wind and the Sun (1992)

Cham­ber opera
Dura­tion: c. 21 min.
Instru­men­ta­tion: piano/vocal
Com­mis­sion: Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, 1991.

Pre­miere of choral ver­sion, Ft. Wayne, IN, 1992. Pre­miere of cham­ber opera at Stein­way Hall, NY, NY, 1998.
Excerpts from The North Wind and the Sun are avail­able for children’s chorus.


The Coun­try Mouse & the City Mouse (1998)

Poem by Richard Scrafton Sharpe
Dura­tion: c. 5’
Instru­men­ta­tion: mezzo and piano

A mini-opera, the song tells the famous story. Com­bines the sim­plic­ity of folk music and oper­atic styles. Piano is an equal partner.


For the Young
For Young Pianists


Get­ting Ready for the Guests (2000)

Dura­tion: 1’
Level: Advanced Begin­ner or Early Intermediate

The left hand plays a stac­cato, quar­ter note mid­dle C through­out, while right hand ven­tures into six­teenth notes. Inspired by the irreg­u­lar pat­terns in Scar­latti, stu­dents with a good ear can learn the piece by rote. Meant to evoke the rush­ing around and clean­ing up before the guests arrive, the piece ends with a laugh, the door­bell rings.


5 fin­ger pieces
By rote
Bought a Cat

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Young begin­ner — suit­able within the first weeks of lessons

This three-note song using mid­dle C, D, and E, tells the story of a child who buys a vari­ety of ani­mals and brings them all home. Lots of melodic rep­e­ti­tion makes it easy to learn, and a good song for train­ing the ear to hear skips and steps. There is also a chance for the child to insert the name of his/her sib­ling into the song.
Text by the composer.


Some­times I Run to Catch the Bus

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Expe­ri­enced young beginner

Easy to learn, a good song for train­ing the ear to hear scale-wise motion, skips within the tonic triad, and find­ing tonic, it ends with a leap to the tonic after the words – “Some­times I make it!” That can be a cause for dis­cus­sion – did you make it? Text by the composer.


Carol Has a Play Date

Dura­tion: 30 sec. or less
Level: Young beginner

This song stays within the 5-finger posi­tion and uses repeated notes, good for train­ing the ear to hear and coor­di­nate when the melody moves and when it stays the same. Text by the com­poser.
For teach­ing stu­dents to draw a tre­ble clef…


The Tre­ble Clef Song

The words of the song col­or­fully describe how to a draw a tre­ble clef…”You start with a fish hook…” At first the teacher can sing as the stu­dent draws the clef, soon enough the stu­dent learns the words. Helps even the youngest stu­dents to draw the clef successfully.