JUNE 7, 2017

It's a great pleasure to announce the release of the CD "The Big Green Apple", by the Emerald Trio. The CD, published on the prestigious Naxos label, includes my work "The Passions of the Present", for flute, violin and piano, commissioned in 2014 by the Emerald Trio. The CD costs $15 and will be available on Amazon, CD Baby and other online venues in the summer, but you can already order it by contacting me, so that you can have it before its official time.

The Emerald Trio (Karen Bogardus, flute, Orlando Wells, violin, and Matt Castle, piano) won the prestigious Continuo Arts Foundation competition in 2010, and is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in New York. They are incredible musicians and have been champions of my work for a long time. It's an honor to be part of this CD project that also includes works written for the trio by other New York composers such as Matt Castle, Dan Cooper, Milica Paranosic, Joseph Pehrson, Gene Pritsker and Carolyn Steinberg (plus Igor Stravinsky as a bonus).

My trio, as often in my work, combines tonal and atonal moments, lyrical and dissonant sections, and a superimposition of different moods and atmospheres. Some listeners have detected some klezmer as well as Southern Italian ethnic musical influences. Don't miss this opportunity to listen to some good new music!


It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of "Italian Connection", a CD with new Italian music for piano four hands played by the Five O' CLock Piano Duo. (Massimiliano Chiappinelli and Emiljia Pinto). The CD features the world premiere recording of my "Manhattan Suite", a very enjoyable and accessible piece that was commissioned a couple of years ago by the Milan-based Duo Miroirs. It also includes music by other Italian composers such as Aldo Cusano, Lorenzo Fiscella and Damiano D'Ambrosio.


The "Manhattan Suite" features five short movements that try to capture the feeling of five areas of Manhattan and the Village that are particularly dear to me. Here are the program notes that will shed some light on each movement:

The first movement, “ Old Penn Station ” , depicts the hectic pace of commuters coming to the City by train every morning. What older New Yorkers now call nostalgically the “Old” Penn Station was built in 1910 and had a pink granite facade with eighty-four Greek Doric columns. The interior, made of glass and steel, was a Beaux Arts masterpiece, and was one of the largest public spaces in the world. It was ruthlessly torn down in 1963, for financial reasons, despite the outraged protests of countless citizens, journalists and intellectuals. Its demolition led later on to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The second Movement, “ Jefferson Market Courthouse”, tries to capture the solemn and imposing atmosphere of this building, which was built in 1876 and originally served as a courthouse. Its design, called Victorian-Gothic, consists of a mixture of many different architectural styles, that include stone, glass, pinnacles and Venetian-like structures. Located at 10 th Street and Sixth Avenue, this red-brick building is now a branch of the New York Public Library.

The third movement, “ The Varitype Building”, is dedicated to this overlooked little gem, situated at the intersection of Cornelia Street and Sixth Avenue. This building, echoing in its design the much more famous Flatiron Building with its unmistakable triangular wedge shape (although much smaller in scale), was built in 1907, and has always evoked in me a feeling of dreamy and mysterious atmospheres, which are reflected in the music, suspended in time and without a regular pulse.

The title of the fourth movement, “ Ladies Mile”, refers to the area extending from 14 th to 23 rd Street and from 5 th to 6 th Avenue. It is called “Ladies Mile” because of its length, approximately one mile, and because from the second half of the 19 th century to the early part of the 20 th century it was the home of many of the most important and largest department stores in the city. Many of the imposing buildings here have beautiful cast iron facades, and are built in different styles, such as Beaux Arts, Neo-Renaissance and Romanesque Revival. The music brings to mind the frantic activity of many buyers going back and forth through the crowded stores.

The fifth movement, “ Saint Lukes's Gardens”, is dedicated to one of my favorite places in New York. It is an oasis of quiet and serenity that feels like miles away from the noisy and hectic streets of Manhattan. The gardens, part of the church of Saint Luke's in the Fields, are located on Hudson Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village. Here it is possible to relax, read, meditate, surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers, birds and (in the spring) dozens of butterflies. The music recalls all the birds and butterflies flying around, in and out of the blossoming flowers.