Concert II - the summer past and future


 Gordon Beeferman

Gordon Beeferman,  composer

Gordon Beeferman, composer

Gordon Beeferman, a native of Cambridge, and graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin, was the winner of Collage New Music’s first Composition Contest for Young Composers, in 1995, when he was still a teenager. Later that season, Collage premiered the work, No One Will Listen to Songs, a searing setting of Russian poems for baritone and four instruments. It was music that set a very high bar for later entries to the competition, and musicians and audience members alike were stunned by its power. Now twenty years later, Collage returns to his recent music, his gripping Rites of Summer (east coast version), from 2015, at the Longy School, on Sunday, January 15, 2017, 8 pm.

Gordon studied composition at the University of Michigan School of Music and the Eastman School, and he now lives in New York City, working as a composer, pianist, and improviser. As an eclectic and omnivorous musician straddling many genres, he has created and performed innovative opera, chamber and orchestra music, avant-jazz, and numerous collaborations with choreographers, writers, and video artists. And he has been an active member of the New York contemporary music scene since 1998, has performed at venues and series including Roulette, MATA, and the Vision Festival, and his recordings have been acclaimed by magazines including The Wire, Jazz Review, and Cadence. 

His varied projects include bands that perform his compositions: Other Life Forms, a quartet, and Music for an Imaginary Band, a septet—“a commanding avant-jazz ensemble” (Time Out New York). “Four Parts Five,” an extended work for his new quintet, was just released on Innova Recordings in 2015 – “Packed with humour, mischief, and an urge to dance” (The Wire). Since 2003, Beeferman has composed two operas with librettist Charlotte Jackson: “The Rat Land,” praised as “complex and daringly modern” by The New York Times, and “The Enchanted Organ: A Porn Opera,” scenes of which have been performed to sold-out theater and nightclub audiences in downtown Manhattan. 

Notable commissions and performances of Gordon’s music have come from the New York City Opera Orchestra, Momenta Quartet, Minnesota Orchestra, Albany Symphony, California EAR Unit, Talea Ensemble, Quartet New Generation recorder collective, and others. He has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the BMI Foundation, and Concert Artists Guild, three BMI Student Composer Awards, a Tanglewood fellowship, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Copland House, and Ucross. Beeferman’s recordings are available on Innova, OutNow, Generate, Genuin, and Summit Records. Gordon is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.

To learn more about Gordon Beeferman, please click here to visit his website.

Daniel Strong Godfrey

Daniel Strong Godfrey,  composer

Daniel Strong Godfrey, composer

Daniel Strong Godfrey moved to Boston two years ago to become Professor and Chair in the Department of Music at Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media and Design. Before coming to Boston, he had served at various times as Professor of Composition, Composer-in-Residence, Director of the School of Music, and Chair of Composition at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music. He has also held visiting faculty appointments at the Eastman School of Music, the Indiana University School of Music, and the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Godfrey earned B.A. and M.M. degrees in composition from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Daniel has earned awards and commissions from the J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Center), the Bogliasco Foundation (Liguria Study Center), the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the Indiana State University/Louisville Orchestra Competition, the National Repertory Orchestra/US West Foundation Competition (First Prize), the Maine Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts (Met Life Fellowship) and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, among others. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and is co-author of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books.

His works are recorded on Albany, CRI, GM, Innova, Klavier, Koch, UK Light and Mark compact disks. Both The New Yorker and The Rest is Noise listed Koch International Classic's release of his string quartets as one of 2004's ten best classical CDs. In June 2007, Koch released another all-Godfrey CD, this one with seven chamber works featuring principal players of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Daniel’s music has been performed by the Austin Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, U.S. Marine Band, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chicago Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, Earplay, Ensemble X, Kentucky Center Chamber Players, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Society for New Music, St. Louis Symphony Chamber Series, VocalEssence, and the Cassatt, Lark, Manhattan, Miami and Portland string quartets, with performances in Canada, Europe, Japan, Latin America, on Taiwan and throughout North America. 

To learn more about Daniel Strong Godfrey, please click here to visit his website.

Marjorie Merryman

Marjorie Merryman,  composer

Marjorie Merryman, composer


Marjorie Merryman has long been considered an essential member of the Boston musical community, even though she now lives in New York City. Marjorie entered Brandeis University as a graduate student in 1972 where she studied with, among others, Seymour Shifrin, and where she earned her PhD in Composition. She has taught at Brandeis and MIT, and in 1979, she joined the faculty at Boston University, where she was a leader at the School of Music for many years. She is now Provost and Senior Vice-President at Manhattan School of Music, having served on the composition faculty since 2007.

Marjorie works have been commissioned and performed throughout the United States and in many countries in Europe and Asia, including Boston-area organizations Collage New Music, Cantata Singers, Newburyport Choral Society, and New England Philharmonic. She has received prizes from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walter Hinrichsen Award, the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music, the WBZ Fund for the Arts, and ComposersInc (Lee Ettelson Award). Other awards include fellowships or grants from Tanglewood, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the National Endowment for the Arts–Meet the Composer program. She has been Composer-in-Residence of the New England Philharmonic and the Billings (MT) Symphony Orchestra, and she has served on the boards of the New England Composers’ Orchestra, the Lily Boulanger Foundation, Alea III, and many others. Recordings of Marjorie’s music can be heard on the Koch and New World labels. 

To learn more about Marjorie Merryman, please click here to visit the Manhattan School of Music website.

Seymour Shifrin

Seymour Shifrin,  composer

Seymour Shifrin, composer


Seymour Shifrin was an essential part of the faculty of Brandeis University from 1966 until his death in 1979, at the age of 53, and he had a deep influence on the many composers who studied with him. His own music is of the highest order, some of it uncompromising, but all of it beautifully engaging and exquisitely crafted. Time Magazine called him "one of the most significant composers of his generation."

Shifrin was born in New York City and educated at the High School of Music and Art and at Columbia University; his most influential teachers were William Schuman, Otto Luening and Darius Milhaud. Before coming to Boston, Shifrin taught at the University of California, Berkeley. His commissions included those from the Koussevitsky Foundation, the League of Composers—ISCM, the Fine Arts Foundation, the Fromm Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He received the Bearns Prize, the Copley Award, the Horblit Award and Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. His Satires of Circumstance, issued by Nonesuch Records, received the Koussevitsky International Recording Award in 1970. Two years later, his Three Pieces for Orchestra (1958), a Naumburg Award-winning composition, again received the Koussevitsky Award. Shifrin's Serenade for Five Instruments, String Quartet No. 4, Chronicles, and other works may be heard on CRI recordings; his Cantata to the Text of Sophoclean Choruses, for chorus and orchestra, may be heard in Cantata Singers performance on New World Records. 

To learn more about Seymour Shifrin, please click here to visit his Wikipedia page.

Carl Schimmel

Carl Schimmel,  composer

Carl Schimmel, composer

Winner of Columbia University’s Joseph Bearns Prize and the Lee Ettelson Award, composer Carl Schimmel has received honors and awards from many organizations, including the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, New Music USA, and ASCAP. His works have been performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and at other venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

He has received performances and commissions from the California EAR Unit, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, North/South Consonance, saxophonist Taimur Sullivan, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Lucy Shelton, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

A graduate of the Yale School of Music (MM) and Duke University (PhD), he is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.

To learn more about Carl Schimmel, please click here to visit his website.