“Air” from Magic Carpet Music (2002) – Laura Schwendinger (United States)
The Suite was adapted for pianist Jenny Lin from the composer’s original work for flute, clarinet, violin and cello; Magic Carpet Music for Piano was premiered at Galapagos Art Space, NYC.
Ann adds: Schwendinger’s work utilizes time, register, and long contrapuntal lines to evoke the idea of air.
It’s quite abstract in its spaciousness, yet conjures an almost magical and ethereal quality.
“The first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize, Laura Schwendinger is a Professor of Composition at UW Madison. Her opera Artemisia just won the 2023 American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives award ($50,000), the largest award of its kind for opera in the US.
Schwendinger’s music has been performed by world-class ensembles and artists including Dawn Upshaw, the Arditti & JACK Quartets, Jennifer Koh, Janine Jansen, Matt Haimovitz, Ariana Kim, the Lincoln Trio, International Contemporary Ensemble, Eighth-Blackbird, New Juilliard, Boston Musica Viva, Collage New Music, Musiqa, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Aspen New Music Ensemble, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, among many others, at venues including Kennedy and Lincoln Centers, Berlin Philharmonic Kammermusiksaal, Wigmore & Carnegie Halls, Miller & Théâtre du Châtelet and Tanglewood, Aspen, Ojai, Ravinia, Talis, & Bennington Music Festivals, as well as the League of American Orchestras Composer in Residency with the Richmond Symphony.
Her numerous honors also include those from the Guggenheim, Koussevitzky, and Fromm Foundations; the Copland House, MacDowell, Yaddo, Bogliasco and Bellagio fellowships, Harvard Musical Association, Chamber Music America, Radcliffe Institute, ALEA III and two American Academy of Arts and Letters awards. Her music has been described as “evince(ing) an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft” (Chicago Tribune), “darkly attractive, artful and moving…” (NYT) and “shrewd composing, the genuine article. Onto the ‘season’s best’ list it goes” (Boston Globe)”. A San Francisco Classical Voice review of her opera Artemisia, titled “Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Proves That Great Opera Needn’t Be Grand” read “Artemisia is sumptuous on every level.” Colin Clarke wrote about her CD, featuring the JACK, QUARTETS (Fanfare) “the sheer intensity of the music is spellbinding…as if the passion of the composer shines through like a light.”