The Inside Story: Andrew Schultz

Andrew Schultz, an Australian composer who is currently teaching music at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, studied music at the Universities of Queensland and Pennsylvania and at King’s College London, where he’s received awards and fellowships. In addition to Falling Man/Dancing Man, featured on Navona Records‘ most recent compilation album WINTER’S WARMTH, Schultz’s work Magnificat appeared on a past Navona Records compilation called FOUNDATIONSThe Music Trust declared that his piece “would sit well beside Bach.” Today, Schultz is our next featured artist for “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists.

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When did you realize that you wanted to be a composer?

I started improvising at the piano at an early age – say 7 or 8. It was something I loved to do for my own enjoyment – call it ‘play’ I guess. By my mid-teens, I was writing music and had totally caught the bug. Listening, improvising, filling books of music manuscript – it was highly addictive and completely absorbing. All aspects of the creative composing process fascinated me then and still do. It rarely feels like work.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate!  In my house there are no rules when it comes to chocolate: All’s fair in love and war and chocolate is my motto.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?

I’m very happy in my studio at home in Sydney and have it well set up to allow me to compose without interruption or technical hitches. But new places, cycling, and skiing really help to keep the creative juices flowing. So a ski-in-ski-out studio on top of a mountain in the Swiss alps would also be OK!

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What would you say to an artist performing your work that nobody else knows?

As little as possible – it’s all in the score and hopefully, the music will communicate itself.

What was your favorite musical moment on the album?

The passion and energy that Karel Martinek (organ soloist), the Moravian Philharmonic and Petr Vronský (conductor) brought to the second movement of my work, Deep Crossing.  There was no need to explain it to them – all the players picked it up straight away and played from the heart. The final moments of that movement with off-stage clarinets playing like distant sirens were powerful for me. I hope listeners can connect with the musical symbolism in this movement.

What does this album mean to you personally?

Works for solo organ and orchestra are rare so finding a way to see the work reach a wider public outside Australia was important to me. I hope that people will listen with open ears and minds and find enjoyment and some connection to the artistic ideals of expressive communication and technical delight that drive my work.

The compilation album WINTER’S WARMTH, featuring contemporary works for orchestra has been released on Navona Records and is now available to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, ArkivMusic, and is streaming on Spotify

April 2017 New Releases on Navona and Ravello Records!

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Happy Friday! Are you ready for another round of releases featuring new ensembles and artists, compilations, and re-releases? Well, take a deep breath and try to relax as you take in these big releases…


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DRESS CODE  |  Altius Quartet

A bold treat of fresh arrangements of popular staples, effortlessly combining the appeal of classical, jazz, and pop, in such pieces as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir”; Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; a-ha’s “Take on Me”; and a newer pieces Take It, an unlikely pairing of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


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REAWAKENING  |  Jeffrey Jacob

A collection of varied works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, showcasing composer Jeffrey Jacob’s lush, mystical style.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  |  Spotify


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ERGO  |  Zhen Chen

An impressive contribution to the decades-long legacy of composers blending Chinese and western instruments and musical materials.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify 


NV6090 - The Chamber Music Of Allen Brings - Front Cover

THE CHAMBER WORKS OF ALLEN BRINGS  |  Allen Brings

A triple re-release containing a collection of works for small ensembles comprised of a diverse selection of instruments.

Amazon  |  iTunes  | Spotify


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WINTER’S WARMTH  |  Andrew Schultz, John A. Carollo, R. Barry Ulrich, J.A. Kawarksy

An orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich, presenting conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


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SMALL STORMS  |  Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello; Sun Min Kim, piano

Features Bohuslav Martinů’s duos for cello and piano from the latter half of his life, with the performances of Blecha-Wells and pianist Sun Min Kim fully embodying the folkloric sensibility and conservative style that typify the composer’s oeuvre.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


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TWILIGHT REMEMBERED  |  McCormick Duo

A re-release of a collection of contemporary compositions for percussion and flute, including works from various composers.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Spotify


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RED LILIES OF BELLS GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS WHITE LILIES OF BELLS  |  Alla Elana Cohen

Previously compared to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, creative and evocative composer Alla Elana Cohen presents a collection of wildly imaginative works for string quartet, small ensemble, solo cello, and chamber orchestra.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  

*RED LILIES OF BELLS GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS WHITE LILIES OF BELLS will be released April 21st, however the album is available for pre-order.

 

The Inside Story: J.A. Kawarsky

Debut PARMA artist J.A. Kawarsky is a sixth-time recipient of the Composer Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the founder of the New Jersey Gay Men’s choir, and is currently an educator at Westminster Choir College. Today, Kawarsky is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the personalities and inner-workings of our artists. Read on to discover what “J.A.” stands for!

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J.A. Kawarsky

First Question should be “What does J.A. stand for?”  In truth: Julius Aaron.  The name “Julius was naming after my dad’s father.”  However, when I was a toddler, my sister who was 13 months older than I was, couldn’t pronounce Julius, and so she called me Jay Jay which continued until Kindergarten when I just became “Jay.”  Growing up in Iowa in the 60s and 70s, I feared the beginning of each school year when the teacher would call out for Julius, and the name brought on snickering from my classmates.  (That ended with the advent of Julius Erving, Dr. J. — which my first college students called me in the mid-80s.)

Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?

When growing up my favorite artists were James Taylor, Carole King, Marvin Hamlisch and Stephen Sondheim.  I remember wearing out the vinyl Broadway cast recordings of “A Chorus Line,” and “Pacific Overtures” as well as Carole King’s “Tapestry.”  We had a trampoline in our backyard and my sister and I would jump, flip, do backflips while blasting “Tapestry” to the neighborhood.

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/ composer/creator?

I knew that I wanted to be either an actor, composer and or a conductor (preferably a pit conductor) by age 13.  I got the acting “bug” in high school, but if there was a musical being performed, I always wanted to be the accompanist and teach the music…until I learned to conduct in college.  As for composing, I started composing when I was 8 years old when I started piano…jazz piano.   There was a lot of improvisation and when I was in high school and then college, I finally learned to write down, that which I wanted to express.  It was in college that I also learned that I wanted to be a teacher, or better yet, a professor…which I am, Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.

What is your guilty pleasure?

As for guilty pleasures, I collect musical theater recordings (preferably Broadway or off-Broadway) and I love finding those lost recordings, or soundboard recordings of those shows that never got a commercial release.  I also collect music theater scores and have in PDF form nearly 3,000!

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What would you say to an artist performing your work that nobody else knows?

If an artist was to perform the solo part of Episodes with orchestra, I would kindly suggest that he/she stay strict to the tempi and use as little pedal as possible.  This composition is difficult but must not sound difficult.  It needs to dance.  The 7/8 sections should sound as enjoyable as Brubeck’s Blue Rondo `a la Turk.

Was there a piece on your album that you found more difficult to compose/perform than the others?

The moment I found most difficult to compose was the section where all ff, piano playing in octaves, and the orchestra playing in octaves also which alternates between 6/8, 3/4 and 11/8 time.  These loud sections alternate with solo strings in a simple 4/4 time playing softly.

When it “clicks” it is a tremendous filling of space alternating with the least filling, save for silence.

Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?

When people listen to Episodes, I want them to tune out the noise of the world about them, and listen to the anger, listlessness, tension and release in the work.  There are also points where I want them to smile…for whatever might humor them!

WINTER’S WARMTH is released on Navona Records Friday, April 14th. Pre-order on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic

Preview of April 2017 PARMA Releases

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Happy Spring! The snow is melting, the trees are budding, and we are prepping for another round of releases featuring new ensembles and artists, compilations, and re-releases.  Take a deep breath and try to relax because we have some big releases coming your way.


NV6078-DRESSCODE-FrontCover.jpg

DRESS CODE | Altius Quartet

A bold treat of fresh arrangements of popular staples, effortlessly combining the appeal of classical, jazz, and pop, in such pieces as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir”; Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; a-ha’s “Take on Me”; and a newer pieces Take It, an unlikely pairing of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

Amazon | iTunesArkivMusicYouTube


NV6087 - Reawakening - Front Cover.jpg

REAWAKENING | Jeffrey Jacob

A collection of varied works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, showcasing composer Jeffrey Jacob’s lush, mystical style.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusicYouTube


NV6089-ERGO-FrontCover

ERGO | Zhen Chen

An impressive contribution to the decades-long legacy of composers blending Chinese and western instruments and musical materials.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusicYouTube


NV6090 - The Chamber Music Of Allen Brings - Front Cover

THE CHAMBER WORKS OF ALLEN BRINGS | Allen Brings

A triple re-release containing a collection of works for small ensembles comprised of a diverse selection of instruments.

Amazon | iTunes


NV6091 - Winters Warmth - front cover.jpg

WINTER’S WARMTH | Andrew Schultz, John A. Carollo, R. Barry Ulrich, J.A. Kawarksy

An orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich, presenting conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube


NV6092 - Small Storms - Front Cover.jpg

SMALL STORMS | Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello; Sun Min Kim, piano

Features Bohuslav Martinů’s duos for cello and piano from the latter half of his life, with the performances of Blecha-Wells and pianist Sun Min Kim fully embodying the folkloric sensibility and conservative style that typify the composer’s oeuvre.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube


RR7967 - Twilight Remembered - Front Cover.jpg

TWILIGHT REMEMBERED | McCormick Duo

A re-release of a collection of contemporary compositions for percussion and flute, including works from various composers.

Amazon | iTunes


rr7953---red,-golden,-white-lilies-of-bells---front-cover.jpg

RED LILLIES OF BELLS | Alla Elana Cohen

Previously compared to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, creative and evocative composer Alla Elana Cohen presents a collection of wildly imaginative works for string quartet, small ensemble, solo cello, and chamber orchestra.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube

*Release Date: April 21st. Pre-order of the album available prior to release.

Release Date: April 14th

The PARMA Album of the Day: FOUNDATIONS

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FOUNDATIONS, a contemporary classical music album, featuring works by  Andrew Schultz, Sergio Cervetti, David Nisbet Stewart, Joanne D. Carey, Daniel Perttu, and Jonathan Sacks was released on Navona Records in  February of 2014. The album, which features excerpts from the Bible, text from the Middle Ages, and traditional instrumentation, connects the roots of historical texts and musical convention, presenting a modern spin on traditional materials, sounds, and forms. The Music Trust, praising the entire album, specifically noted that “[Schultz’s] Magnificat is a beautiful piece, beautifully sung. It would sit well beside the Bach setting in live performance.”

Find FOUNDATIONS on Amazon and iTunes.

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