The Bechtler Music and Museum Series

The Bechtler Music and Museum program presents New Modern: Music Inspired by the Bechtler Collection January 25. The Bechtler Ensemble performs new compositions by local composers Craig Bove premiering a string sextet entitled Risen, with other works by John Allemeier, Ron Parks and Mark Lewis.


Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for general seating in the fourth-floor gallery. The concert starts at 6 p.m. A cash bar is available before the evening concert.

The Bechtler performance of Risen

At the Charlotte New Music Festival

I’m please once again to be a part of the Charlotte New Music Festival as faculty composer (and have been for three years now). Working with graduate composers is always an interesting and engaging experience. Also working with such talented and dedicated performers as the Freya String Quartet and (as always) Anatoly Larkin is a fulfilling experience. Many thanks to all involved for this participation.

Charlotte New Music Festival

At the Bechtler

Alan Yamamoto presided over and conducted a concert of new works that is part of the Music and Museum series at the Bechtler Museum on October 27th. Ron Parks from Winthrop and John Allemeier from UNC, and I shared the program with some guy named Mahler. Working in concert with maestro Yamamoto were the Bechtler Ensemble and the Out of Bounds Ensemble for new music who both played a role in in making this concert a reality. A program of new classical works by living composers is a rare sighting in Charlotte. Perhaps this combined effort will begin to change that…


Morton Feldman was an icon in new music…and my teacher. He was inside the incubator that was the New York music and art scene in the 1950s. His influences were not other composers, but the abstract expressionist painters that he would close the Cedar Tavern with on a regular basis…deKooning, Guston, Rauschenberg, Kline, Rothko…

But he was also a riot, a large man with long, slicked back hair and a Bronx accent so thick that I sometimes wished his lectures were close-captioned. He commanded the room. His patience was legendary. His students learned to stifle moans when, at the end of a two-hour piece we were listening to during class, he’d say, “play that again…” and he’d just sit back, and listen with his eyes closed. His metaphors were dense and, often indecipherable (for example, to a Hungarian graduate student in Morty’s orchestration class who was going on and on about Bartok – “Just because you invented paprika doesn’t mean you use it in every dish”). To this day, I wonder about the connection between rats, James Bond, and composing.

When you handed a piece of your music to Morty, you held your breath. He’d look at what you’d written, he’d look at it, listen to it in his head or at the piano…and listen to it again…and again, and he wouldn’t so much critique as pronounce. “Yeah, this is alright.” Alright was reason to celebrate.