Kurt Rohde at the Copland House

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble violist and composer Kurt Rohde will be in residence at the Copland House in New York in summer,  2014. According to the Copland House foundation,  "The Copland House Residency Awards were inspired by Aaron Copland's exceptional legacy of support for his fellow composers. Based at Copland House, a National Historic Landmark , the Copland House Residency Awards have earned nationwide recognition. Gifted emerging or mid-career American composers  are invited to reside, one at a time, at Rock Hill, Aaron Copland's restored New York home. There, they can focus on their creative work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities."

Here's what Kurt is planning: "While at the Copland House, I will compose a new “pocket” concerto (meaning it will be short and involve a small number of players in order to make it easy to do) for cellist Michelle Kesler. This multi-movement work for solo cello and small ensemble will involve a number of doublings by all the players on “humble” instruments (kazoos, harmonicas, slide whistles, beer bottles, toy drums). My idea for this piece incorporates a number of “stations” located throughout the hall, among which the soloist will move as the piece progresses. It is my intention to have this physical movement mimic and represent the progression/development of proficiency that a player encounters as they learn their instrument. The journey from being a beginning player on the cello and growing over the years into a well-trained, seasoned performer will be articulated as the piece moves from beginning to end. To strengthen this concept, the soloist will begin the piece playing on a half-size student cello and end with their full-size, "mature" instrument. This piece has also received support with a commission from the Barlow Endowment for New Music Composition."

Congratulations and good luck, Kurt!

 Kurt Rohde, photo by Jeanette Yu

Kurt Rohde, photo by Jeanette Yu