The PARMA Album of the Day: SEPARATION

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Composer Paula Diehl’s released her double-album SEPARATION on Navona Records in June of last year. On this release,  Deihl represents the unique characteristics of each instrument featured to shine through in explorations of harmonic content and structure in a rich catalog of works for both small and large ensembles. Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review says “The set brings me a great deal of pleasure. I think it will do the same for anyone who appreciates the modern world of musical possibilities. I highly recommend it to you.”

Find SEPARATION on Amazon, iTunes, and on ArkivMusic.

May 2017 New Releases on Navona and Big Round Records!

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After yet another exciting release in April with Spotify features, amazing reviews pooling in, and multiple albums hitting more than 10K streams, we’re more than excited to bring you another round of releases. Today we not only have staple composers and artists, we also have two new PARMA artists, and the first ever bundle release that pulls on those nostalgic strings. Take a look…

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OFF THE EDGE  |  Alicia Terzian

An incredible journey into the heart of the string orchestra.  Alicia Terzian’s writing focuses heavily on the drama, nuance, and contrasts made available by the disparate forces of both string orchestra when alone and when complemented by other instrumental timbres.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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BLISS POINT  |  Piotr Szewczyk, Bold City Contemporary Ensemble

Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk mines the depths of his musical flavor palette, drawing the album title from a concept of extreme flavor saturation found primarily in food sciences and subsequently in this varied and challenging collection of chamber music.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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PASSAGE |  Sergio Cervetti,  Craig Madden Morris,  Betty R. Wishart,  Daniel Crozier

An orchestral compilation featuring works by Sergio Cervetti, Daniel Crozier, Craig Morris, and Betty Wishart.  Though “passage” is a word of numerous meanings, all meanings, as illustrated in this collection, point back to a singular idea – the transition between two disparate entities.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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LIVING COLOURS  |  Bruce Crossman

A potent representation of Australian composer Bruce Crossman’s music, inspired by his strong spirituality and eclectic, multicultural interests. Crossman evokes a “resonance of space” within his music, arising from a “deep-felt emotion and sensibility linking heaven and earth.”

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  Spotify  | YouTube


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SPELLS  |  Juli Nunlist

A new retrospective collection highlighting the music of poet and composer Juli Nunlist marks a touching journey through the earnest, romantic, and dramatic sounds of the late artist’s compositional language.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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CHIAROSCURO  |  Giovanni Piacentini

Classical guitarist and composer Giovanni Piacentini displays his dazzling talents as both composer and performer with a collection of chamber and solo works steeped in resonant, plucked string sound worlds.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMuisc  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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HORIZON SUNSET  |  #Bloomerangs

The debut record from international music collective #Bloomerangs, performing works by composer, arranger, producer, and guitarist Rodrigo Cotelo.  The album features a diverse array of sounds and instruments, often with several guest artists playing with the core performers of #Bloomerangs.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Spotify  |  YouTube


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WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO THAT PIANO?

Featured Albums

JOHN CAGE, ICE & FIRE, 16-2-60-N-5, FELT, AN EVOLVING CYCLE

An unusual compilation of five previously released albums featuring prepared pianos and pianos being played in unexpected ways.  Throughout this collection, the piano undergoes one metamorphosis after another, leaving the listener to interpret the diverse and transfixing sounds of which it is capable.

Amazon

Preview of May 2017 Releases on Navona and Big Round Records!

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STREET DATE: MAY 12

May, oh May! Can you believe it’s nearly May? After yet another exciting release with Spotify features, amazing reviews pooling in, and multiple albums hitting more than 10K streams, we’re more than excited to bring you another round of releases. Coming in May we not only have staple composers and artists, we also have two new PARMA artists, and the first ever bundle release that pulls on those nostalgic strings. Take a look…

NV6088 - Off The Edge - Front Cover.jpg

OFF THE EDGE  |  Alicia Terzian

An incredible journey into the heart of the string orchestra.  Alicia Terzian’s writing focuses heavily on the drama, nuance, and contrasts made available by the disparate forces of both string orchestra when alone and when complemented by other instrumental timbres.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6093 -BLISSPOINT-Cover.jpg

BLISS POINT  |  Piotr Szewczyk, Bold City Contemporary Ensemble

Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk mines the depths of his musical flavor palette, drawing the album title from a concept of extreme flavor saturation found primarily in food sciences and subsequently in this varied and challenging collection of chamber music.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6094 - Passage - Front Cover.jpg

PASSAGE |  Sergio Cervetti,  Craig Madden Morris,  Betty R. Wishart,  Daniel Crozier

An orchestral compilation featuring works by Sergio Cervetti, Daniel Crozier, Craig Morris, and Betty Wishart.  Though “passage” is a word of numerous meanings, all meanings, as illustrated in this collection, point back to a singular idea – the transition between two disparate entities.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6095-LIVINGCOLOURS- Front Cover.jpg

LIVING COLOURS  |  Bruce Crossman

A potent representation of Australian composer Bruce Crossman’s music, inspired by his strong spirituality and eclectic, multicultural interests. Crossman evokes a “resonance of space” within his music, arising from a “deep-felt emotion and sensibility linking heaven and earth.”

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6096 - Spells-frontcover.jpg

SPELLS  |  Juli Nunlist

A new retrospective collection highlighting the music of poet and composer Juli Nunlist marks a touching journey through the earnest, romantic, and dramatic sounds of the late artist’s compositional language.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6097-CHIAROSCURO-Cover.jpg

CHIAROSCURO  |  Giovanni Piacentini

Classical guitarist and composer Giovanni Piacentini displays his dazzling talents as both composer and performer with a collection of chamber and solo works steeped in resonant, plucked string sound worlds.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMuisc  |  YouTube


BR8948 -HorizonSunset-Cover.jpg

HORIZON SUNSET  |  #Bloomerangs

The debut record from international music collective #Bloomerangs, performing works by composer, arranger, producer, and guitarist Rodrigo Cotelo.  The album features a diverse array of sounds and instruments, often with several guest artists playing with the core performers of #Bloomerangs.

Amazon  |  iTunes (DELUXE- pre-order limited time only) |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


NV6100 - What Are They Doing To That Piano - Front Cover.jpg

WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO THAT PIANO?

Featured Albums

JOHN CAGE, ICE & FIRE, 16-2-60-N-5, FELT, AN EVOLVING CYCLE

An unusual compilation of five previously released albums featuring prepared pianos and pianos being played in unexpected ways.  Throughout this collection, the piano undergoes one metamorphosis after another, leaving the listener to interpret the diverse and transfixing sounds of which it is capable.

Amazon  |  ArkivMusic

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

The Inside Story: Jeffrey Jacob

Long-time PARMA artist pianist and composer,  Jeffery Jacob,  has had his works performed worldwide by several high-profile ensembles, including Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and most recently by the Cuban National Symphony. Today, Jacob is our next featured artist for “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalites of our artists. Read on to find out what his favorite musical moment was!

Jeffrey Jacob

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

Like most young children, I listened to the music my parents listened to.  They were passionate about Lawrence Welk, and we never missed a TV show.  I began piano lessons at the age of 5, and shortly thereafter various aunts and uncles would bombard me with the question, “Do you think you’ll ever be good enough to play with Lawrence Welk?”  My parents both sang in the church choir, and I could sense their deep love and profound response to music, although they never ever listened to Classical Music and were quite intimidated by it.  Later, as a pianist, I fell under the influence of Vladimir Horowitz’s recordings and was totally blown away by the rock star status of Van Cliburn after he won the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the cold war.  I still vividly remember the newsreels of his New York City ticker tape parade.  During this period–middle school and high school–I thought it would be wonderful to have a career creating, performing and teaching music.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

My most sensationally memorable performance occurred in Warsaw, Poland.  I was performing George Crumb’s Makrokosmos, Vol. IV for piano duet with a Polish pianist.  Like all of Crumb’s piano music, much of the work is performed inside the piano with the pianists plucking, muting and playing glissandos over the strings.  At one point during the performance, I looked down at the keys.  Some of them were covered in blood.  The other pianist had nicked a finger on one of the sharp edges inside the instrument.  We finished the movement, and he produced two handkerchiefs and wiped up the blood.  The piano was turned so that most of the audience could see what was happening, and there were audible gasps.  When we finally finished the piece, the audience erupted in applause celebrating the fact that we had literally sacrificed the flesh for the sake of contemporary art!

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is writing music that is unabashedly tonal, romantic, and relentlessly melodic.  Although I have great admiration for serial and post-serial music (I’ve recorded three CDs of exclusively serial piano works by American composers), I’m troubled by the fact the complexity of this music is inaccessible to the general public.  A Spanish composer told me recently that young composers throughout Europe are furious with Boulez and Stockhausen for “destroying” (his word) the audience for new music in Europe.  And of course, when Boulez was appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic he promised to prove to the world that the general musical public would come to appreciate and embrace serial music.  During his tenure there he proved exactly the opposite.

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What was your favorite musical moment on the album?

My favorite musical moment on the album REAWAKENING was the recording of the signature work, “Awakening for Piano and Orchestra” with the Cuban National Symphony under its Music Director, Enrique Perez Mesa.   It was a great thrill to travel to Cuba and perform and record with this excellent ensemble and first class conductor.

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

This work was by far the most difficult to compose.  I wanted to convey the sense of struggle and triumph in musical gestures that were not overly simplistic or derivative, but at the same time accessible and appealing to non-musicians.  For me, a very delicate balancing of sometimes disparate musical material.

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

I hope that listeners will find the album UPLIFTING.  The music conjures many images:  consciousness in both senses of the word, rebirth, the rhythms of the natural world, and reanimation.    “Reawakening” implies cyclic phenomena, and indeed the album was designed to suggest the most fundamental of all cycles:  birth development, maturity, death and rebirth in both the human and natural worlds.

Jeffrey Jacobs Navona Records release REAWAKENING is now available to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic. The album is also 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 


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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

02-April2017-Facebook

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

New PARMA Project: Dwight Beckham’s Orchestral Works

We’re pleased to announce that composer Dwight Beckham has signed on to release a collection of orchestral works recorded earlier this year with PARMA and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olomouc, CZ.

Dwight Beckham.jpegKansas composer Dwight Beckham, Sr. (1931-) did his undergraduate and graduate work at Wichita University. He has studied composition with Homer Keller, Adrian Pouliot, Harold Moyer, Joshua Missal and Robert Marek. In addition to teaching 40 years in the public schools and colleges of Kansas he has played trumpet with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Wichita
Wind Ensemble. Mr. Beckham has been inducted into the Newton High School (Kansas) Hall of Fame, the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame and the Kansas Music Educators’ Association Hall of Fame. He was recently chosen Outstanding Bandmaster by the Kansas Bandmasters Association. A member of ASCAP he has a number of
publications with Wingert-Jones, Grand Mesa, Daehn, TRN and C. Alan. His works include commissions for concert band, full orchestra, string orchestra and chamber groups. He is the recipient of a Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship in Music Composition.

Keep an eye out for updates on this release project, which is currently in audio post-production at PARMA!

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