THE INSIDE STORY: Adrienne Albert and MOTO BELLO

Award-winning composer Adrienne Albert has had her chamber, choral, vocal, orchestral and wind band works performed throughout the United States and across the globe. Before composing her own music in the 1990’s, she enjoyed a long career as a singer working with composers including Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, Gunther Schuller and many others.

“Music has a ways been a central part of my life,” she says. “Whether it has been performing, singing, or composing, it is the thread that weaves through each part of my being. I find joy in every form of music, and have been extremely fortunate in having an extraordinary past which informs my present and makes me look forward with great enthusiasm to the future.”

Today, Adrienne is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to hear about Adrienne’s passion for the sand and ocean…

Who were your first favorite artists growing up?

My parents were both professional violinists. They would play Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, and Haydn string quartets in the living room. Heifetz and Horowitz recordings were always on the turntable. As a child, that exquisite music would waft into my bedroom at night as I went to sleep. I thought that all children grew up listening to string quartets!

As I grew older, however, I rebelled against all that “classical stuff” and instead listened to the pop singers of the time: Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Jo Stafford, Ella, and Andy Williams. I also adored the Basie Band and Stan Kenton. To this day, I still love to listen to jazz and the music of old(er) Broadway musicals.

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

Growing up in a family of professional musicians, I started studying the piano at age four and began singing in middle school. I was always intrigued and thrilled by performing other composers’ music. However, unlike many composers I know and love, I had no inkling throughout my childhood that I wanted to create my own music.

I am fortunate to have had a long and successful career as a singer, working with some of the greatest composers of the 20th century. I also enjoyed working as a studio singer on commercials, film tracks, and recordings before realizing that I wanted to try composing my own music. My journey into composition began in my forty’s. My only wish is that I would have found this passion earlier in life, but the process of studying and performing the many different genres of music over the years taught me more than I could possibly imagine. I am eternally grateful that I have finally found my passion that will, hopefully, outlast me.

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

For me, it is the beach! Being a Southern California native, I grew up near the Pacific Ocean and loved spending endless hours frolicking in the waves, building sand castles, burying myself and my friends in the warm sand, and watching the sparkling light dance across the waves. In my minds’ eye, when I want a quiet place to go, I envision being at the beach with the sounds of the sea and the air. I can compose most anywhere, but the best and most private times are near the sea, whether it is Santa Monica, the Caribbean, or the North Sea. Being near water is the most comforting place for me and, when I close my eyes, that’s where I go.

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

Even though most of my music is programmatic (suggests a story), I might give the listener the backstory to the piece, but I certainly wouldn’t want to tell them what to feel. Listening to music evokes personal responses. My hope is that my music will touch the listeners and move them to have their own unique experience.  My musical language is melodic by nature. Whether the music elicits joy, or pain, humor, or deeply personal emotions, it is each individuals process that makes me feel I have accomplished my mission. I am always thrilled when an audience member comes up after a performance and expresses what he/she has experienced through the listening process. For most, it is the music itself that resonates.

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

Working with Ovidiu Marinescu and Anna Kislitsyna on my piece Nightfall was inspiring. As a composer, I rely on the musicality of the artists who have chosen my music to perform. I would like the artists who choose to perform my music to know just how vital they are to the whole process of bringing my compositions to life.

What does this album mean to you personally?

I’m excited to be named among the wonderful composers on MOTO BELLO. Happily, this album is part of the Trio Casals collection, and PARMA Recordings is without peer in terms of marketing and distributing their product worldwide. Hopefully, through this recording of Nightfall, my music will be exposed to audiences who, previously, have not heard the piece but would like to hear it again…and again…and again.

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MOTO BELLO is now available through Navona Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.

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