John Dante Prevedini is a composer, educator, and public speaker hailing from Connecticut and active throughout Southern New England. Drawing upon a variety of fields of knowledge (including linguistics, the fine arts, the physical sciences, religion, and philosophy), his work aims to examine unconventional facets of everyday life through a multidisciplinary lens.
His output of over 130 musical compositions includes symphonies, choral music, solo piano music, chamber music, and operas dealing with such diverse topics as the natural environment, contemporary religious politics, and the cultural impact of social media. His public talks have covered subjects including the problem of original thinking, the role of music as a multicultural force, and how the 17th Century continues to shape the future of music. His academic research has produced studies on 17th-century harmony, music composition pedagogy at the elementary school level, and the contemporary role of traditional music in the Republic of Georgia.
Today, John is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to learn why John claims he’s never had an embarrassing performance experience…
Who were your first favorite artists growing up?
There were many: Wagner, John Williams, Händel, Lerner and Loewe, the Beatles, and Duke Ellington to name just a few. Each creative personality captured a different aspect of my imagination and contributed to a multifaceted impression of what music was and what it could do. I was fortunate to have grown up in a family that enjoyed a variety of music; I was equally likely to see a Gilbert and Sullivan production or the Coast Guard Chorus one week and then see Tom Rush or a fusion jazz concert the next week. Many members of my family were recreational musicians as well and I grew up hearing them at home, especially during holidays.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I have always considered myself to be an artist. I have had the impulse since childhood to develop my technique for creative expression in drawing, painting, poetry, rhetoric, and music composition. My preferred medium (or combination of media) changes depending on what I wish to communicate, but the creative impulse has always been with me and I have always been consciously engaged with it in some way.
What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
To date I cannot think of a performance of my work which I would ever call “embarrassing.” I know that the creative process always involves risk. That’s one of the things that makes it so exciting, and it’s what makes successful art so satisfying to behold. When things turn out differently than expected, I see it as a time for insight and discovery, not embarrassment. As for my “most unusual” performance, it’s much harder to say. Each piece is conceived under its own unique set of circumstances.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I take great pleasure in the challenge of deriving creative energy from any place I visit, be it large or small, city or wilderness, presently seen or distantly remembered.
What does this album mean to you personally?
This album has given me the opportunity to collaborate with some very talented people who bring remarkable skills and creative efforts to the table. From the performers and technicians to my fellow composers featured on this recording (Adams, van Twillert, Carollo, Thomas), everyone has contributed in their own way to what strikes me as a cohesive and well-planned final product.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
I recognize that the experience of music occurs in the act of listening, and that the piece will have its own unique life within every encounter between the sounds and the mind of the listener. I include “feelings” as part of that life. The Lyme Sonata is no exception.
Lyme Sonata is now available on SUSTAIN for streaming or purchase through Navona Records. Click here to explore this new album.