The Book of Etudes

This project is a set 21 semi-autonomous works for combinations of clarinet, cello, and piano, comprised of three trio etudes, nine duo etudes (three for each possible duo combination the three instruments), and nine solo etudes (three for each instrument). Three etudes have already been completed: a trio etude, premiered in 2006 by the Contemporary Music Forum at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.; Etude on 'Pymalion qui moult subtilz estoit, a duo etude for clarinet and cello was premiered in 2010 by counter)induction. Etude for Piano, No. 1 ("A Book of Etudes", Quire 1) was premiered by Alice Belem. Professor of Piano at Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais, in Nov 2016

This project invokes the etudes of Debussy or Ligeti, where the technical performative 'exercise' and the compositional 'study' are in dialogue. In "The Book of Etudes" these approaches are extended. They are studies in multiple senses: virtuosic and technically expansive, and also 'studied' as a book, or a painting. The Etude on 'Pymalion…' which draws heavily on Medieval musical practices but transforms the material into something rooted in the present; elsewhere, a systematic engagement with particular compositional devices, follows more traditional threads of the genre, such as the exploration of the trill as technique and as musicality in the first piano etude.

Commissioning Partners:

counter)induction; Ieva Jokubaviciute (Shenandoah University), Alice Belem (State University of Minas Gerais), Ning Yu (Yarn/Wire, George Washington University Elise Pittenger (Federal University of Minas Gerais); Schuyler Slack (cello, Richmond Symphony); David Jones (Principal clarinet, Washington National Opera), Benjamin Fingland (counter)induction, Dorian Wind Quintet), Gregory Oakes (clarinet, Iowa State University).

Upcoming Performances

  • Premiere: Ieva Jokubaviciute and Schuyler Slack. Shenandoah Conservatory, Winchester, VA 29 October 2017.

  • Liberty University. 4 March, 2018.

  • Newport News, Mildred McDaniel Concerts. 11 March, 2018

  • Premiere: counter)induction. New York, NY. Feb, 2018

  • Washington, DC Feb, 2018;

  • University of Pittsburgh, 17 March, 2018.