Composer Robert Paterson Celebrates World Premiere of THREE WAY, New Recordings and More in 2016-17

Composer Robert Paterson Celebrates World Premiere of THREE WAY, New Recordings and More in 2016-17The 2016-17 season is an exceptional year for Robert Paterson, the New York-based composer whose music has been praised for its elegance, wit, rhythmic vitality, and wonderful sense of color that "often seems to shimmer."

He will have the first evening-length, fully-staged opera production of his career: Three Way, a trio of comic operas with libretto by David Cote "about craving and connection," co-produced by Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects, will have its world premiere in Nashville and its New York premiere at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music.

Three recordings will be released featuring Paterson's music: an all-Paterson disc by the Claremont Trio featuring three works spanning 20 years, Sun Trio, Moon Trio, and Elegy for Two Cellos and Piano; a recording by the American Brass Quintet featuring Shine, a 2015 work by Paterson that the quintet commissioned; and an upcoming release by the flute, viola, and harp ensemble The Aureole Trio featuring Embracing the Wind, a 1999 work that has been performed internationally.

And in addition to Three Way, new works by Paterson to be premiered in 2016-17 include Sea Glass for two harps and five-octave marimba, commissioned by the SeaGlass Carousel/The Battery Conservancy of lower Manhattan, which will receive its world premiere performance by Duo Scorpio; and the song cycle Night Songs, which will have its world premiere on a program by the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. The New York premiere of In Real Life, a song cycle about online dating, will be presented by American Modern Ensemble on a program with arias from Three Way; and the New Amsterdam Singers will perform the New York premiere of Life Is But a Dream, a work featured on Paterson's recording Eternal Reflections.

Recent performances of Paterson's music include Ghost Theater, commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Dark Mountains with Jaime Laredo and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and A Dream Within a Dream, commissioned by the Chamber Choir of Europe. His work The Book of Goddesses, performed by the ensemble MAYA on recording, was named one of the Top 10 favorite pieces of the year by NPR's Best Music of 2012; his most recent recording is the highly-praised Eternal Reflections, a disc of choral music performed by Musica Sacra conducted by Kent Tritle. He is the founder and artistic director of American Modern Ensemble, and he directs the affiliated record label, American Modern Recordings (AMR), which is distributed by Naxos.

Three Way, Co-Produced by Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects

Three Way is a trio of one-act operas that, in the composer's words, "explore the future of love, sex, and power with a balance of humor and drama." "The Companion" is about what happens when Maya decides she wants more from her android lover, Joe, and consults a technician, Dax, with surprising results. "Safe Word" explores the unexpected dynamics of a session between a dominatrix and her businessman client. And "Masquerade" dramatizes a party at a mansion in which four couples don masks and shed their outer selves.

With a libretto by playwright, librettist, and journalist David Cote, Three Way is written for eight singers and chamber orchestra. "The Companion" and "Safe Word" have been seen in workshop and semi-staged performances presented by American Opera Projects and Fort Worth Opera Frontiers Showcase. Reviewing "The Companion," Opera News said, "Composer Robert Paterson and librettist David Cote have created an effortlessly funny, clever and deeply resonant opera, in which the music and the story fuel one another to create an entertaining and meaningful theatrical experience," and I Care If You Listen magazine said, "Paterson's score showcased an excellent musical vocabulary and flowed beautifully."

The world premiere of the work in its entirety, directed by John Hoomes, will be presented in a three-performance engagement by Nashville Opera on January 27, 28, and 29, 2017, at Nashville's James K. Polk Theatre. The cast features singers Eliza Bonet, MeLisa Bonetti, Samuel Levine, Wes Mason, Danielle Pastin, Courtney Ruckman, Jordan Rutter, and Matthew Treviño, with the Nashville Opera Orchestra conducted by Dean Williamson.


The New York premiere, an engagement of four performances of the same production, presented by Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects, takes place on June 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2017, at BAM (the Brooklyn Academy Of Music) with the same cast and the American Modern Ensemble conducted by Dean Williamson.

Excerpts of Three Way can be heard at the American Opera Projects project page, and on Robert Paterson's website:

Recordings in 2016-17

Three recordings by three prominent American ensembles slated for release in the coming season feature Paterson's music, including one all-Paterson disc:

· The Claremont Trio (Emily Bruskin, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; and Andrea Lam, piano), who have been called "one of America's finest young chamber groups" by The Strad magazine, will release an all-Paterson recording featuring Sun Trio (1995, revised 2008); Moon Trio (2015); and Elegy for Two Cellos and Piano (2006-8), featuring guest cellist Karen Ouzounian. "Rob's music is descriptive and poignant, vibrant and thrilling," said Emily Bruskin. "These trios take you on a wild ride filled with colorful gestures and gorgeous panoramas." The disc is scheduled for release in December 2016 by American Modern Recordings, distributed by Naxos.

· Shine, a 2015 work commissioned by the ABQ and Rick Teller, is featured on, and lends its name to, a new recording from the American Brass Quintet (Kevin Cobb and Louis Hanzlik, trumpets; Eric Reed, horn; Michael Powell, trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone), called "the high priests of brass" by Newsweek. The recording is scheduled for release in December 2016 by Summit Records. An excerpt of Shine can be heard on the quintet's media page:

"The American Brass Quintet was excited to have a chance to work with Rob Paterson and get him writing for brass quintet. Shine is a challenging, rewarding and effective piece that has stopped the show at every performance. Working with Rob was like having another member in the quintet - he knew how to solve technical issues without sacrificing the integrity of the music."

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