David Alpher

Michael Redmond wrote in the Newark Star-Ledger: "Alpher's music is all his own, and it is remarkably good. One can view Alpher's work as an extension of Bernstein's melodic style; as such, it is remarkably rare."

David Alpher's music has been commissioned and/or performed by some of the United States' foremost ensembles and soloists. This list includes An die Musik, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, Manhattan String Quartet, Voices of Change, New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, Scarborough Chamber Players, Janet Packer, Robert Honeysucker, D'Anna Fortunato, Nmon Ford-Livene, Jonathan Cohler, Charles Neidich, Lila Deis, Douglas Riva, Grace McFarlane, Robert J. Lurtsema (as narrator), and many others. Las Meninas: Variations has had 25 different performances worldwide, since its premiere in 1985. But a different list of commissions reflects Mr. Alpher's insistence that music cannot be arbitrarily separated from the other arts, or from the texture of American life; these projects were originated by less likely sources: Dr. Nelson Goodman (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Harvard University) and the San Jose Center for Poetry and Literature (now Caesura Center), for example. Eleven of his compositions have been printed by Brixton Publications and New Boston Editions. Two of these works, The Walrus and the Carpenter and Land of the Farther Suns, were finalists in the National Flute Association's 1996 Newly Published Music Competition.

Mr. Alpher has also been active as a pianist, festival director, and lecturer. As pianist, he performed in a nationally-televised PBS concert with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw, Jerry Hadley and Harolyn Blackwell, as well as on German television. His festival credits include Tanglewood, Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Arcady, and Rockport. On recordings, he can be heard on the Angel CD American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster (with Mr. Hampson, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and Garrison Keillor). He was a founder and, for ten years co-artistic director of the Rockport (Mass.) Chamber Music Festival. There, in 1991, he conceived of and produced the Composer and Audience Seminar, in which he brought together George Crumb, the late Stephen Albert, and Simon Sargon to join him in a fiercely honest dialogue (with an uninhibited audience) about the wall that had come to separate composer and audience in our time. That dialogue has inspired a number of lectures that Mr. Alpher has given on this topic, as well as on the meaning of "classical" music in contemporary life. He is a native of Washington, D.C., a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, and a member of ASCAP.

Other artists featured on this CD

Jonathan Cohler, clarinet, is recognized internationally as a virtuoso. Fanfare magazine has compared him to three giants ­"one thinks of Dinu Lipatti or Youri Egourov, or . . Reginald Kell" ­ and dubbed Mr. Cohler's performance "superhuman." The Clarinet magazine recently declared Mr. Cohler "an absolute master of the clarinet, technically and tonally." In addition to his work as a soloist, Mr. Cohler is an active chamber musician and conductor, collaborating frequently with members of the Emerson and Muir String Quartets, the Moscow Conservatory Trio, the Boston Chamber Music Society and many distinguished soloists. He has toured the U.S., Japan, Europe, China, and South America and has performed at many festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, and Newport. Jonathan Cohler is Music Director and Conductor of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra and the assistant conductor of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of the New England Conservatory, where he is a member of the clarinet and chamber music faculties. He is also on the faculties of the Hartt School of Music and the Longy School of Music, and holds a degree in physics from Harvard University.

Maureen Gallagher, viola, is a member of some of New York City's most distinguished chamber ensembles, including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St.Luke's Chamber Ensemble, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, and Speculum Musicae. In addition to extensive touring with Orpheus nationally and internationally, Ms. Gallagher also performs several weeks a year with a chamber orchestra in Mito, Japan, and has recorded several CDs with them under Seiji Ozawa. She teaches at Columbia University and each summer at the Affinis Music Festival in Iida, Japan. She has played chamber music as a guest with the Tokyo, Emerson, Orion and Cleveland Quartets, as well as with violinists Robert Mann, Sandor Vegh, Felix Galimir and many others.

Robert Honeysucker, baritone, has thrilled audiences in recital, concert and opera. He has sung with the Boston Symphony, the Opera Company of Boston, the Boston Lyric Opera, Connecticut Opera, Opera Ebony and Sacramento Opera, among many other companies. Recent performances include The Rake's Progress with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, Falstaff with the Boston Lyric Opera, Porgy and Bess at New England Conservatory, Madama Butterfly (Sharpless), Don Giovanni (title role), and The Barber of Seville, the last three in Auckland, New Zealand. Mr. Honeysucker has sung the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Boston Symphony and the Portland Symphony. He is a founding member of Videmus, the Boston Aria Guild, and co-founder of the Jubilee Trio, which presents American art songs including those of underperformed African-American composers. Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer named Mr. Honeysucker Musician of the Year in 1995. Robert Honeysucker has made several recordings and is on the faculties of the Longy School of Music, the Boston Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory Extension Division.

Myron Lutzke, cello,is well known to audiences as a performer on both modern and period instruments. He is currently principal cellist of the Orchestra of St.Luke's, the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra of Boston, the New York Collegium and the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and is a member of the Mozartean Players, St.Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the Aulos Ensemble and the Bach Ensemble. He has been an artist-in-residence for the last twenty summers at the Caramoor Festival and has been soloist at the Caramoor, Ravinia, Tanglewood, and Mostly Mozart festivals. Mr. Lutzke is a faculty member of the Mannes College of Music in New York and the Brixen-Initiative Academy in Italy.

Robert Lynam, string bass, has performed with the most prestigious large ensembles of New England, including the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Boston Ballet Orchestra (of which he is a regular member), the Boston Lyric Opera, the Opera Company of Boston, the Wang Theater Orchestra, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lynam holds the Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the New England Conservatory, where he studied bass with William Rhein and Harry Portnoi, as well as privately with Edwin Barker.

Martha Moor, harp, has had a distinguished career encompassing the breadth of harp repertoire from the Middle Ages to Mahler to the Wintersauce Chorale's blend of jazz and standards. Noted for her performances of Debussy and Ravel chamber music, she has also premiered many new works with Alea III, Composers in Red Sneakers, and the Harvard Group for New Music. Ms. Moor has enjoyed a lengthy tenure as Principal Harp of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. She has recorded with these groups as well as with Emmanuel Music, the Zamir Chorale of Boston and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. She has played in many productions of opera and musical theater, and with many popular vocalists. Educated at Wells College, Fontainebleau, New England Conservatory and Lesley College, Ms. Moor teaches privately in Boston. Her claim to be the only harpist ever to have performed Smetana's The Moldau with 41 accordions remains, as yet, uncontested.

Jean Newton, harpsichord, holds an M.A. in harpsichord performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music and a Ph.D. in English literature from the City University of New York. She studied harpsichord with Louis Bagger, Paul Maynard, and Elaine Comparone. An active recitalist and chamber musician until 1986, Ms. Newton premiered Atlantic Legend in her formal debut at Merkin Hall in 1983. She was a founding member of the Cantabile Chamber Players, and a member of the New York Baroque Ensemble, New York String Ensemble, and Musica Antiqua. Ms. Newton served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music from 1974 to 1984. In 1986, she temporarily retired from professional life to raise her two children. She is currently Grants and Public Relations Officer at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y., where she also teaches harpsichord and Baroque chamber music.

Kenneth Radnofsky, saxophone, has appeared as soloist with the world's leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus under Kurt Masur, Dresden Staatskapelle, and Boston Pops. Mr. Radnofsky made his New York Philharmonic debut in 1996, also under Maestro Masur, and his Carnegie Hall debut several years earlier with the New York premiere of Gunther Schuller's Concerto. Mr. Radnofsky has commissioned many American composers, including David Amram, Christopher Theofanidis, Larry Bell, Donald Martino, Morton Subotnick, Milton Babbitt, Ezra Sims, Roger Bourland, and John Harbison. Mr. Radnofsky is executive director of World-Wide Concurrent Premieres, Inc., and has made several solo recordings. A Texas native, he now lives in Boston, where he is Professor of Saxophone at Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory, and Associate Director of the Community Music Center of Boston.

Return to Ongaku Records, Inc. Home Page