Collage New Music to Present The World Premiere Of Eric Nathan's SHORT STORIES

"Short Stories is about life at home-the beautiful, intimate, ordinary, little things that fill daily life that we may not always notice,"

By: Dec. 13, 2021
Collage New Music to Present The World Premiere Of Eric Nathan's SHORT STORIES

On Monday, January 17, 2022 at 8:00pm, Collage New Music will present the world premiere of composer Eric Nathan's Short Stories. Held at Pickman Concert Hall at the Longy School of Music, the concert will also feature the Boston premieres of Talia Amar's When a Dream Becomes Reality and Marjorie Merryman's Four Images, plus Andrew Imbrie's Pilgrimage in honor of Imbrie's 100th birthday.

Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, Short Stories (2021) was composed for Collage New Music, Founder Frank Epstein, and Music Director David Hoose in honor of Collage's 50th anniversary. At just over 30 minutes, "Short Stories is about life at home-the beautiful, intimate, ordinary, little things that fill daily life that we may not always notice," says composer Eric Nathan. The music draws on experiences from Nathan's time at home during the pandemic, including learning to play the harmonica. As he composed, Nathan thought of his chamber musician friends, many of whose lives also shifted during this period as they needed to make music primarily alone at home. Short Stories is structured in four musically interconnected vignettes. Each movement celebrates specific instruments as soloists, highlighting each member of the ensemble in turn. The "stories'' themselves are purely musical ones, told by the instruments.

Thoughts that guided Nathan as he composed for cello include, "me sitting alone at home watching the evening rain streak down the window and imagining I was somewhere far away. The feeling when music that I'm composing suddenly comes to life and I truly meet it for the first time." Guiding thoughts for clarinet and violin included, "the daily pas-de-deux between my dog and the rabbits in the yard. A chase-graceful, swift, eager, playful, frustrated. Coexisting, never quite meeting." Thoughts for piano: "The sounds of my wife practicing J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations wafting upstairs through the floorboards of my studio as I sit down to compose. Her escape into Bach, mine into my music." For piccolo and percussion: "Birds singing outside my window-always. The garage band jamming down the street. What if they spoke to each other? Life seems on pause, nature keeps moving on. What do the birds say about it all?"

Concert Information

Collage New Music: Concert I
Monday, January 17, 2022 at 8:00pm
Pickman Concert Hall at the Longy School of Music | 27 Garden Street | Cambridge, MA 02138
Tickets: $30 General admission, $25 Senior, $15 Student

TALIA AMAR: When a Dream Becomes Reality (2012) [Boston Premiere]
MARJORIE MERRYMAN: Four Images (2018) [Boston Premiere]
ANDREW IMBRIE: Pilgrimage (1983)
ERIC NATHAN: Short Stories (2021) [World Premiere]

Collage New Music

About Eric Nathan

A 2013 Rome Prize Fellow and 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, Nathan has been commissioned by leading ensembles and institutions including the New York Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Boston Musica Viva, Collage New Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Fromm Music Foundation, Barlow Endowment and University of Chicago's Grossman Ensemble. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has commissioned three works, including a chamber work, "Why Old Places Matter" (2014) for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and two orchestral works, "the space of a door" (2016), that Andris Nelsons and the BSO premiered in November 2016 and commercially released on the Naxos label in 2019, and "Concerto for Orchestra" which Nelsons premiered on the 2019-20 season-opening concerts, and was scheduled to repeat at Tanglewood in summer 2020.

Nathan's works have also been presented nationally and internationally at the New York Philharmonic's 2014 and 2016 Biennials, Louvre Museum, Library of Congress, the 2012 and 2013 World Music Days, Emily Dickinson Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center and at the festivals of Aldeburgh, Aspen, Cabrillo, Domaine Forget, MATA, Ravinia Steans Institute, and Tanglewood. In 2019, Yellow Barn featured Nathan's 50-minute dramatic song cycle, "Some Favored Nook," created in collaboration with librettist Mark Campbell, on opening night of its 50th anniversary season. Composer portrait concerts of Nathan's music have been presented by the Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble Berlin at the American Academy in Rome, by the Hudson Valley Music Club, and at the Tenri Cultural Institute (New York). In April 2020, the Longy School of Music was scheduled to present a portrait concert featuring the premiere of Nathan's evening-length work, "Missing Words" (postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic).

Nathan's orchestral music has additionally been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and orchestras of Charleston, Charlotte, Daejeon, Louisville, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland as well as A Far Cry, Aspen Music Festival and New York Classical Players. Chamber ensembles have performed Nathan's work, such as International Contemporary Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Dal Niente, JACK Quartet, and American Brass Quintet. In addition, Nathan's music has been performed by sopranos Tony Arnold, Jessica Rivera, Lucy Shelton and Dawn Upshaw; violinists Jennifer Koh and Stefan Jackiw; baritone William Sharp; and pianists Gloria Cheng, Gilbert Kalish and Molly Morkoski.

Nathan began a four-year appointment as Composer-in-Residence with the New England Philharmonic in the 2019-20 season. He has previously served as Composer-in-Residence at the Chelsea Music Festival (New York) and Chamber Music Campania (Italy). Nathan has completed artist residencies at Yellow Barn, Copland House and the American Academy in Rome, and will be a fellow at Civitella Ranieri Foundation in 2022. Nathan has been honored with awards including ASCAP's Rudolf Nissim Prize, four ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, BMI's William Schuman Prize, Aspen Music Festival's Jacob Druckman Prize, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Leonard Bernstein Fellowship from the Tanglewood Music Center.

In 2015, Albany Records released a debut album of Nathan's solo and chamber music, "Multitude, Solitude: Eric Nathan," produced by Grammy-winning producer Judith Sherman, featuring the Momenta Quartet, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violist Samuel Rhodes, oboist Peggy Pearson, pianist Mei Rui, and trumpeter Hugo Moreno. (Le) Poisson Rouge presented a CD release concert of Nathan's music in October 2015. In 2019, Chelsea Music Festival Records released "Eric Nathan: Dancing with J.S. Bach," featuring conductor Ken-David Masur in Nathan's two suites of orchestrations of Bach keyboard works. In May 2020, Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project released a portrait album of Nathan's orchestral and large ensemble music on the BMOP Sound label. Nathan's music has additionally been released on Bridge Records.

Nathan is also a passionate educator and advocate for contemporary composers. He serves as Associate Professor of Music in composition and theory at Brown University's Department of Music. At Brown, he teaches a variety of subjects from composition to popular music history that engage students with and without backgrounds in music. In 2018, he was awarded Brown University's most prestigious award for junior faculty, the Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship, that recognizes excellence in teaching. He has additionally served as David S. Josephson Assistant Professor at Brown, Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College and has taught composition at the New York Philharmonic's Composer's Bridge program and at Yellow Barn's Young Artists Program.

Nathan completed his doctorate studying at Cornell with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra and Kevin Ernste, his masters from Indiana University studying with Claude Baker and Sven-David Sandström, his B.A. from Yale College where he studied with Kathryn Alexander, John Halle, Matthew Suttor and trumpeter Allan Dean, and a diploma from the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School where he studied composition with Ira Taxin. Nathan additionally was a composition fellow at Tanglewood, Aspen, Aldeburgh and the Composers Conference. For more information, visit

About Collage New Music
Praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as "among the finest artists of contemporary (or any other) music," the musicians of Collage New Music include some of the most outstanding instrumentalists and singers skilled in the musical intricacies, technical virtuosity, and emotional depth that new music requires. The ensemble includes some of the East Coast's finest musicians, including members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the area's extraordinary freelance community. Guest performers who have appeared with Collage represent a who's-who of brilliant artists, including conductors Seiji Ozawa and Gunther Schuller, jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, violist Roger Tapping, pop vocalist Cory Dargel, actors Vanessa Redgrave and Walter van Dyck, and singers Tony Arnold, Janna Baty, Judith Bettina, Charles Blandy, Janet Brown, Ilana Davidson, William Hite, Dominique Labelle, Mary MacKenzie, and Susan Narucki.

Collage's four decades of compelling music-making have placed it as a leader among adventurous ensembles that nurture that vital intersection of composer, performer and listener. The ensemble's repertoire, both wide and deep, reaches from classical twentieth century works, to extraordinary less-known older works, and to marvelous, brand-new creations of American composers. Its diverse programs include solo repertoire, music for larger ensembles, theatrical works, fully-staged chamber operas, and music with extensive electronics.

Collage New Music champions both young and established composers, and it has become a passionate advocate for the music of Donald Sur, Andrew Imbrie, Elliott Carter, Charles Fussell, Fred Lerdahl, John Heiss, John Harbison, Stephen Hartke, and many other American composers. The ensemble appears on the New World, Koch, and Albany labels, and its recording of Harbison's Mottetti di Montale was a 2005 Grammy Nominee for Best Performance by a Small Ensemble. Each season, Collage also hosts a different emerging Composer-in-Residence, and hosts its Collage Composers Colloquium, a day-long examination of young composers' music. Learn more at

Photo credit: Luyuan Nathan


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