I'm thrilled to be a prizewinner in the Lydian String Quartet's 2015 composition competition! The big prizewinner is Steven Snowden, with Honorable Mentions going to me, David Liptak and Lansing McLoskey. Good company, and a wonderful honor from a great quartet. I have quartets on the brain at this point, since I've been commissioned to write a work for the Lark Quartet's 30th anniversary; the new piece will most likely be an octet for all the Larks, past and present. The premiere will be in 2016-17. Scheduled now also for fall '16 will be the premiere of my piano concerto with Gloria Cheng, and the Seattle Modern Orchestra conducted by Julia Tai. Julia conducted the smashing premiere of my violin concerto with Michael Lim and Philharmonia Northwest back in February. February also saw the premiere of my Nocturne (La nuit à Nouvelle Orléans, 1974) in New York with Molly Morkoski. It was a great day, with performances also of Corigliano and Harbison, and both John C. and John H. and I on hand to chat about each other's music; the whole thing was streamed and broadcast on Bronxnet TV. Looking back to January, Ekmeles's premiere performance of my That Human Dream for six voices, based on a poem by my daughter Sally, was spectacular. And finally my old friends Ensemble Nordlys performed the work I wrote for them in 2008, One Kindness in December, in Copenhagen.
Hey! The big news here is, I'm ditching the weird and slightly disingenuous 3rd-person for my News page. I write it, it's mine, so here's my news: looking back on the last season I realize how lucky I am to be a composer. 2013-14 saw the premiere, in Boston, of my new oboe quartet, Down/Up, with Peggy Pearson and Winsor Music (an inspired, singularly vibrant and successful enterprise this, the tangible manifestation of Peggy's great artistry and boundless spirit), performances of a bunch of pieces in New York, Georgia, Denmark and France by old friends and new, including One Kindness, with Accroche Note, in Strasbourg, and Deux chansons sur Robert Desnos, with Rachel Calloway and Ari Streisfeld, at The Stone, in New York. The season culminated with a rare and beautiful performance of my Shakespeare sonnet-cycle This Powerful Rhyme, at Tanglewood, with John Harbison conducting. New news includes the premiere of a new piece for 6 voices commissioned by Jeff Gavett and Ekmeles, for January 2015 at the DiMenna Center in New York, and the premiere of my Concerto for Violin with Michael Jinsoo Lim, and Philharmonia Northwest conducted by Julia Tai. Julia and I will also be collaborating next season on a new piano concerto for Gloria Cheng and the Seattle Modern Orchestra. Just getting down to work on that... As luck would have it, I have another chance to (finally) refine my piano writing with a commission from Molly Morkoski for a nocturne, part of a wonderful multi-composer project she's initiated; that will go up some time in February '15. There's also a concert coming in April at the World Trade Center, an intimate evening that will include Schubert, Tippett, Ravel, Godfrey and Waggoner. Check the Concerts page for details on all of this as they become available. What excites me most in all of this is that in each case I'll be working with soulmates, dear friends who just happen to be great artists. There is nothing to match this, and no review, no recording, no anointing-with-oil from on high can replace it. I love all of these people, and I can't wait to work with them again.Previous Posts... Another summer, another season of wonderful concerts. This year was our first as full-time artistic directors of Weekend of Chamber Music, the wondrous Catskills festival founded 20 years ago (!) by Judith Pearce. We did 5 great events, joined by friends new and old, including composer-in-residence John Harbison. The formidable team of John and Rose Mary played music of Mozart and Harbison; the rest of the festival had lots of Harbison, as well as Bach/Waggoner (emphasis on Bach); Stravinsky; Nicholas Maw; Beethoven; and a performance of You Are Too Beautiful by me and John at the Catskill Distillery. A great two weeks, matched only by two equally magical weeks in August, when we were guests at John and Rose Mary's beautiful festival in Token Creek, Wisconsin. There we premiered a new piece of mine written for the festival called Floating Bridge, after a story by Alice Munro, as well as music of Cowell; Ives; Anna Weesner; Harbison; and improvisations both independent and as underscore for beautifully-rendered readings of Shakespeare, thanks to actress Ali Schaffer. There's a lot coming up this season, including a new setting of Goodnight Moon; a new oboe quartet for Peggy Pearson and Winsor Music; as well as performances at Juilliard and Tanglewood. A rich, lucky time.
2012 - Andrew Waggoner was all over the place this summer, performing with his wife, cellist Caroline Stinson, with their group Open End, and with friends in New York, France, Denmark, and the Catskills. Waggoner was composer-in-residence at the festival Rudersdal Sommerkoncerter, near Copenhagen, and had works premiered there and at the Rencontres de musique de chambre in Strasbourg, France. Coming up this fall are premieres by the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble, a piece based on a cautionary tale from the Histories of Herodotus, which will be narrated by Elizabeth Ingram. Also on tap is the October 14th premiere at Cornell of Waggoner's Concerto for Guitar, composed for Kenneth Meyer and Ensemble X, conducted by Steven Stucky. The work will have its Syracuse premiere on October 30th, with Ken again as soloist, this time with the Society for New Music, conducted by Cynthia Johnston-Turner. November brings performances in New York with Ensemble Nordlys of Denmark and the new work Waggoner composed for them, called Summer. On the horizon is the April premiere, in New York, of Waggoner's Souffrir/symphonier, composed for the Cygnus Ensemble.
-Andrew Waggoner's new CD, Terror and Memory is now available from Albany Records. Fanfare Magazine raves, "his music has everything we have come to expect from the greatest of contemporary composers—confidence, originality, expressivity, and, above all, palpable meaning", and that the works on the disk are "highly original and compelling". You can find the disk at Albany's website, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CD Universe, ArkivMusic, most other online outlets, and iTunes.
-Andrew Waggoner has been awarded a 2009 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; part of the award will go toward the production of a new CD featuring Open End, among other ensembles
- Andrew Waggoner's music is now available from Subito Music; most of Waggoner's chamber music, as well as selected large ensemble and orchestral works, can be ordered directly from Subito
- The Approach, based on texts of Sally Waggoner, was premiered by soprano Hyunah Yu and the Newburyport Festival String Quartet at this year's Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Newburyport MA, August 9th - 17th
- Catena di cuori, , for flute and piano, was premiered in August 08 by flutist Mario Caroli at the Akiyoshidai Contemporary Music Seminar and Festival in Akiyoshidai, Japan; Catena... will also be performed this summer by Judith Pierce at Weekend of Chamber Music in Jeffersonville, New York
- My Penelope was given its string orchestra premiere with the Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields with David Curtis conducting, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, on May 3rd of '08
- Catenary (Memory Variations for 'cello and piano), was premiered by 'cellist Robert Burkhart and pianist Blair McMillen, in January in the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, and recorded over three days in February at the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Robert and Blair's CD, called 20/21, was released in October '09 on Centaur Records
- Stretched on the Beauty (Concerto for 4 'Cellos and Orchestra) was premiered in three fantastic concerts by CELLO and the Syracuse Symphony, with Daniel Hege conducting, November 16 17 & 18, 2007 at the John Mulroy Civic Center, Syracuse, New York
-Waggoner's CRI solo CD, Legacy, is now available from New World Records