Composer Kenneth Fuchs to Celebrate 60th Birthday
The American composer Kenneth Fuchs celebrates his 60th birthday tomorrow, July 1.
A prolific composer, Fuchs writes concert music for orchestra, band, voice, chorus, chamber ensembles, and musical theater. At 60, he continues to compose in a personal and lyrical voice that embraces the sound and spirit of the American symphonic school. He carries on the traditions practiced by the American masters of this style, including David Diamond, Peter Mennin, Vincent Persichetti, and William Schuman, his mentors at The Juilliard School.
In celebration of Fuchs' 60th, radio station WPBR in Princeton, NJ, on the morning of June 29, will present Fuchs's Divinum Mysterium (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra), and throughout the morning of July 1, New England Public Radio will feature his works.
The coming year will include significant performances and recordings of Fuchs's music:
Brass Quintet No. 2 "American," composed especially for the American Brass Quintet, will receive its world premiere at the Aspen Music Festival on July 27, with performances following in Asia, throughout the United States, and at Juilliard in October.
On October 7, The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, will present Fuchs's monodrama Falling Man, based on Don DiLillo's novel of the same name about the experiences of a 9/11 survivor. The presentation, adapted by David Krane from the original for orchestra, will feature rising star Jarrett Ott, baritone, and a video presentation of 9/11 photos, including many from the museum's collection.
On October 15, pianist Jeffrey Biegel and the Spartenburg (S.C.) Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sarah Ionnides, will perform Fuchs's Piano Concerto ("Spiritualist," After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler); the piece received premieres earlier in the year by its co-commissioners, the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling (W. Va.) Symphony Orchestra.
In February 2017, Fuchs's concerto for electric guitar, Glacier, will be performed by D. J. Spear and Florida's Space Coast Symphony Orchestra led by Aaron Collins; also in February, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, conducted by Dirk Brossé with soloist Michael Ludwig, will perform Fuchs's American Rhapsody (Romance for Violin and Orchestra) at the Kimmel Center.
In April 2017, JoAnn Falletta will lead the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Fuchs's orchestral Poems of Life (13 Poems by Judith G. Woolf for Countertenor, Violoncello and Orchestra). The performance will feature renowned countertenor David Daniels and his brother, Michael Daniels, principal cellist of the Virginia Symphony.
Another 60th year highlight is a chapter dedicated to Fuchs's music in Robert R. Reilly's Surprised by Beauty - A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music. Fuchs joins 20th and 21st century luminaries in Reilley's Benjamin Britten, Samuel Barber and Dmitri Shostakovich, among many other 20th and 21st century luminaries in Reilly's 2016 revised and expanded edition, available on Amazon.com. "Fuchs is an exemplar of the recovery of American music," writes Reilly; "He is endowed with a major melodic gift."
Fuchs has compiled an enviable catalog of recordings. For the Naxos "American Classics" label, the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta has recorded four discs of orchestral and chamber music. One disc was a 2005 GRAMMY® Award nominee, and another includes Fuchs's orchestral masterpiece, Falling Man. Other recordings include a disc of chamber music, also issued by Naxos, with Falling Canons (Christopher O'Riley, piano), Falling Trio (Trio21), and String Quartet No. 5, "American" (Delray String Quartet). The American Record Guide heralded Fuchs's String Quartets 2, 3 and 4 (American String Quartet), stating, "String quartet recordings don't get much better than this."
In August 2017, Fuchs will continue his recordings at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Falletta for a fifth disc to be released by Naxos in 2018. The recording will include Piano Concerto ("Spiritualist," After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler) with pianist Jeffrey Biegel; Glacier (Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra) with guitarist D.J. Sparr; and Rush (Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra) with saxophonist Timothy McAllister.
Finally, in 2017 Naxos will release a recording of Fuchs's complete band works performed by the United States Coast Guard Band, led by Band Director Lieutenant Commander Adam R. Williamson. The recording will include a new work composed especially for the Coast Guard Band.
Fuchs's music has achieved significant global recognition through such publications as Gramophone magazine and online through reviews and radio outlets including SiriusXM Satellite and various stations of National Public Radio. His music is available online through Naxos, Apple iTunes, and Amazon.
Kenneth Fuchs serves as Professor of Composition at the University of Connecticut. He received his bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Miami (cum laude) and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in composition from The Juilliard School. Fuchs's composition teachers include Milton Babbitt, David Del Tredici, David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, and Alfred Reed. His music is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, Edward B. Marks Music Company, Theodore Presser Company, and Yelton Rhodes Music and has been recorded by Albany, Cala, and Naxos Records.
For more about Kenneth Fuchs, visit kennethfuchs.com.