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SAMUEL ZYMAN

SAMUEL ZYMAN

Awards

Works

Recordings

Reviews


Samuel Zyman, a long-time New York-based Juilliard faculty member, is acknowledged as one of the leading Mexican composers on the international scene today. Cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto performed Zyman's Suite for Two Cellos at two major sold-out concerts on June 11 and 12, 2007, in the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts in the heart of Mexico City. Zyman's suite was "a feast for the senses, in which the fifth movement was a musical edifice full of magic, fantasy, and sonorous mathematics," wrote Pablo Espinosa of La Jornada. "A composer of his own time, Zyman also incorporates in his work the legacy of other epochs, turning the dialogue between these instruments into a conversation between friends," said Xavier Quirarte of Milenio. Mr. Zyman’s music is characterized by intense and vigorous rhythmic energy, expressive lyricism, and the frequent use of near-jazzy imitative counterpoint. As Allan Kozinn of The New York Times put it, "in [Zyman's piano piece] Two Motions in One Movement, Impressionism and jazz wind around each other like vines." In addition to its rhythmic vitality and expressive melodic inventiveness, Mr. Zyman's music is often marked by a lucid structural conception and an intriguing mixture of Jewish and Latin American overtones. Reviewing a recent performance of Mr. Zyman's piano trio Search, Punch Shaw of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said, "it was compelling from start to finish and met the goals of its composer with vivid success."

Other recent and current season highlights include the world premiere of Mr. Zyman's Cycles for symphonic winds in Alice Tully Hall in New York in March 2005, performed by the Illinois State University Wind Symphony under conductor Stephen K. Steele, on a program that also featured David Maslanka's Symphony No. 7 and Matthew Halper's Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble. A new CD of this program has been released on Albany Records. Mr. Zyman's Piano Concerto was performed by pianist Claudia Corona with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra under conductor José Guadalupe Flores in Xalapa, Mexico, in June 2005. Mr. Zyman's third piano trio, Search, commissioned by the Texas Christian University (TCU) of Fort Worth, was premiered in March 2005 by the Feghali/Thompson/Castro-Balbi Trio in Weill Concert Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York. These artists later presented the world premiere of Mr. Zyman's Triple Concerto for violin, cello, piano, and orchestra on April 28, 2006 in Fort Worth, with the TCU Symphony Orchestra under music director Germán Gutiérrez, within TCU's Latin American Music Festival. As Mr. Zyman was a major featured composer at the Festival, several other works by him were also presented the same week in Fort Worth, including Cycles, his Suite for Two Cellos, and his piece Reflection for solo cello and an ensemble of seven cellos, with the TCU cello ensemble and Jesús Castro-Balbi as soloist. The Mexican premiere of Mr. Zyman's Triple Concerto took place in June 2006 in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City with violinist Manuel Lozano, cellist Alain Durbecq, and pianist Claudia Corona as soloists and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico under the baton of Music Director Enrique Diemecke. Mr. Zyman's Sonata for Flute and Piano was performed by members of the Ensemble Alma, flutist Elena Yarritu and pianist Fabio Gardenal, in Merkin Hall in New York in June 2006.

In May 2006 Samuel Zyman was guest composer, mentor, and judge at the Fresh Ink 2006 Florida Composers Competition, at which works by competing young composers from the state were read and performed by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Fabio Mechetti. The first movement of Mr. Zyman's Symphony No. 2 was performed along with the contestants' pieces at the final concert. Mr. Zyman's colorful Mexican-sounding orchestral piece Encuentros was performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Meyerson Symphony Hall under conductor Germán Gutiérrez on June 2, 2006. Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News pointed out how Encuentros progressed "from gentle shiftings of three- and two-note groupings to a lyric central section to an exuberant close."

Mr. Zyman's Suite for Two Cellos was previously presented by Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on October 13, 2006 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico. Arnoldo Neiro and Gabriel Contreras of Milenio commented that "Zyman's suite displays a stylistic outlook that is markedly Romantic and expressive, yet in a 20th century language. Without a doubt, it is a beautiful work whose arrival enriches the repertoire of music for cello from Mexico."

In addition to two symphonies, other orchestral pieces, several concerti, songs, a recent string quartet, and many other chamber works, Mr. Zyman composed the original symphonic score for the critically acclaimed movie The Other Conquest, directed by Salvador Carrasco and produced by Alvaro Domingo. This score was recorded by the Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, conducted by David Snell, and it includes Mr. Zyman's aria "Mater Aeterna," performed by Plácido Domingo. Samuel Zyman's works can be heard on over 15 CDs from Island Records, I.M.P. Masters, Urtext Digital Classics, Ambassador, Sony Classics, EMI, Quindecim, and Albany Records. His music, published by the Theodore Presser Company, has been performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Russia, New Zealand, and other countries by such ensembles as the American Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and all other major Mexican orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Paris Sinfonietta, and many others. Mr. Zyman's Sonata for Flute and Piano is regarded as a major repertory piece and is frequently performed worldwide. Barry L. Cohen, writing in The New Music Connoisseur, remarked on the sonata's "full excitement, especially in the incredible finale with its seemingly impossible accelerando," when reviewing a 2002 performance of the work in New York by Copland House artists Paul Lustig Dunkel (flutist) and Michael Boriskin (pianist).

Samuel Zyman was born in 1956 in Mexico City, where he studied piano and conducting at the National Conservatory of Music and composition with Mexican composer Humberto Hernández Medrano. He received MM and DMA degrees in composition from The Juilliard School in New York City, studying with the American composers Stanley Wolfe, Roger Sessions, and David Diamond.

Contact Samuel Zyman:
szyman@juilliard.edu
or via Facebook

View scores here (roll over to view score title):


Awards


April 2000: Zyman's music was the topic of a Doctoral Thesis by American flutist Merrie R. Siegel, entitled "Samuel Zyman's Concerto for Flute and Small Orchestra and Sonata for Flute and Piano," Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

2006: named guest composer, mentor, and judge at the Fresh Ink Florida Composers Competition with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Florida

2000: Named President of the Jury for the Premio Nacional de Composición Musical "Sinfomnica 2000," (National Composition Prize, Mexico) serving with composers Samuel Adler and Robert Xavier Rodríguez

1999: Meet the Composer Grant

1998: "Medalla Mozart" ("Mozart Medal") for outstanding achievement in music, awarded by the Embassy of Austria in Mexico

1992: Diploma from the Mexican Society of Critics of Theater and Music (Unión Mexicana de Cronistas de Teatro y Música) as Most Outstanding Composer for the Year

1992: Meet the Composer Grant

1991-1992: Composer in residence with the Westfield Symphony Orchestra (New Jersey)

1990: Meet the Composer Grant

1987: Meet the Composer Grant


Works

Band and Wind Ensemble | Chamber Music | Film Scores | Orchestra




Band and Wind Ensemble


Concertino for Violin, Piano and Wind Ensemble (2001) -- 14'
Vln. Pno. soli; 2 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1, Bar.; Timp. 2 Perc.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Cycles for Wind Ensemble (2004) -- 13’30"
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Illinois State University Wind Symphony in conjunction with a consortium of other university ensembles.
Premiere Information: 20th March, 2006. Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY. Illinois State University Wind Symphony Conducted by: Stephen K. Steele



Chamber Music


Bashe Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano
Recordings


Cantilena for Piano
Recordings
Reviews


Dance for Piano
Reviews


Fantasia for Cello and Piano (1994) -- 7’30"
Published: #144-40429
Recordings


Fantasia Sobre un Tema Original de Erik Zyman (1997) -- 10'
2Ob. 2Cl. 2Hn. 2Bsn.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Mexico City, 1997, Sinfonietta Ventus


Quintet for Winds, Strings and Piano
Recordings
Reviews


Reflection for Solo Cello and Ensemble of Seven Cellos (2001) -- 11'
8Vcl.
Additional Information: Published: 144-40521


Search for Violin, Cello, and Piano
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Texas Christian University School of Music
Premiere Information: March 1st, 2005, Trio Con Brio, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
Reviews


Sonata for Cello and Piano (1992) -- 18'
Published: #144-40430
Recordings
Reviews


Sonata for Flute and Piano (1993) -- 18’
Published: #144-40288
Recordings
Reviews


Sonata for Viola
Published: #144-40470


Sonata Concertante for Violin and Piano
Recordings


String Quartet
Published: #144-40493
Reviews


Suite for Two Cellos
Recordings

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#144-40474)
Set of parts (#144-40474P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40474S)


Trio No. 2 for Violin, Cello(or Saxophone), and Piano
Reviews


Two Motions in One Movement for Piano
Published: #140-40074
Recordings
Reviews


Woodwind Quintet (1989) -- 20’
Published: #144-40311

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40311P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40311S)



Film Scores


The Other Conquest
Recordings
Reviews



Orchestra


Concerto for Cello and Orchestra -- 24’
Solo Vcl.; 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Carlos Prieto, cello, American Symphony Orchestra, Catherine Comet, conductor; Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, NY; November 28, 1991
Recordings
Reviews


Concerto for Flute and Small Orchestra -- 18’
Solo Fl.; 1 2 0 1 - 2 0 0 0; Timp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Marisa Canales, flute, Conjunto de Cámara de la Ciudad de México, Benjamín Juárez Echenique, conductor, Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City; November 28, 1991
Recordings

Available Separately:

Solo Part (#446-41150P)
Full Score - Large (#446-41150S)


Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra (1999) -- 25'
Solo Guitar; Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Concerto for Harp and Orchestra -- 17’
Solo Hp.; 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra
Solo Pno.; 1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0; Timp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings
Reviews


Concierto de Minería para Flauta y Orquesta (Concerto No. 2 for Flute and Orchestra) (2008)
Solo Fl.; 2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: 2nd, 3rd August, 2008. Marisa Canales, Flute, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, conducted by José Areán; Sala Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City, Mexico


Encuentros (1992) -- 10'20"
2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1 Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#446-41197)
Full Score - Large (#446-41197L)


Fantasia Mexicana para dos flautas y orquesta (for 2 Flutes and Orchestra) (2004) -- 10'
2 solo Flutes; 0 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0; Timp. 2Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned jointly by flutists Elena Durán and Marisa Canales and the Brannen-Cooper Fund
Premiere Information: March 14, 2004. Elena Durán, Marisa Canales, Flutes, Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Enrique Barrios, conductor. Teatro de la Ciudad, Mexico City.


Soliloquio for Orchestra
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Recordings


Soliloquio for Orchestra


Clásicos Mexicanos CLMX 21232: 20th Century Mexican Symphonic Music Vol. 3



Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra


Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 091: Cuatro Conciertos Mexicanos para Guitarra
Juan Carlos Laguna, guitar; Conjunto de Cámara de la Ciudad de México, Benjamín Juárez Echenique, conductor.



Suite for Two Cellos


URTEXT JBCC 045: A Prieto
Jesus Castro-Balbi, Carlos Prieto/Cellos



Two Motions in One Movement for Piano


Quindecim QP075: Claudia Corona Plays Latin American Music



Sonata for Flute and Piano


Albany Records TROY716: Flute Music of the Americas



Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 001: Música de las Américas



Fantasia for Cello and Piano


Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 017: Sonatas & Fantasias



Sonata for Cello and Piano


Ambassador AMSR ARC1022: American Interweave – New Music for Cello and Piano



Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 087: Canto de Estío



Encuentros


Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 020: México Sinfónico



Concerto for Cello and Orchestra


I.M.P. Masters MCD 70 PK 524: World Premiere Recordings



Concerto for Flute and Small Orchestra


Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 001: Música de las Américas



Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra


Antilles New Directions Island Records 91055-2: Concerto for Piano & Chamber Orchestra



Quintet for Winds, Strings and Piano


Antilles New Directions Island Records 91055-2: Concerto for Piano & Chamber Orchestra



Cantilena for Piano


21st Century Classical Corporation Soheil Nasseri plays Yedidia, Zhurbin, and Zyman



Solamente Sola


Antilles New Directions Island Records 91055-2: Concerto for Piano & Chamber Orchestra



Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 068: Voces de Tierra



The Other Conquest


EMI International B00004S9QW: The Other Conquest



Cycles for Wind Ensemble


Albany Records TROY821: Symphony No. 7 (by David Maslanka)



Fantasía on an Original Theme by Erik Zyman for wind octet


Urtext Digital Classics JBCC 027: Música para Divertirse



Sonata Concertante for Violin and Piano


Antilles New Directions Island Records 90724-2: Bashe



Bashe Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano


Antilles New Directions Island Records 90724-2: Bashe



Reviews


Two Motions in One Movement for Piano

"In Two Motions, Impressionism and jazz wind around each other like vines."

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times


Sonata for Flute and Piano

"…full excitement in the music, especially in the incredible finale with its seemingly impossible accelerando."

-Barry L. Cohen, The New Music Connoisseur


Sonata for Cello and Piano

"…exotic, propulsive and intense…"

-Philippa Kiraly, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"...emotional, with interesting syncopated rhythms, ..and a songful slow movement. It used virtuosity for musical ends."

-Edith Eisler, Strings


String Quartet

"The second movement [is] a profoundly stirring Adagio…, at the core of this movement is an original melody that suggests Jewish liturgical music – it is so convincing that a friend said she recognized it – …[this] slow movement could well serve as an alternate to Barber’s ubiquitous work for quartet or string orchestra. The finale, which contains a fugal passage starting in the cello and, later, a poignant solo for the viola, increasingly expresses conflict and violence but ends with a recapitulation of the main themes… one might say that Zyman’s First String Quartet is immediately user-friendly, but it is much more than that. Here’s hoping the Ciompi Quartet will encore this major work here soon and often and that other ensembles will also take it up."

-John W. Lambert, Classical Voice North Carolina


Encuentros

"Mexican composer Samuel Zyman provided the curtain raiser, his Encuentros progressing from gentle shiftings of three- and two-note groupings to a lyric central section to an exuberant close."

-Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News


Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

"[Zyman’s] ideas are introspective in character, balanced by brilliant orchestration and abundant explosions in the brass and percussion. We salute an author who is dexterous in his craft and rich in substance."

-Napoleón Cabrera, El Clarín (Buenos Aires)

"The Mexican premiere of Samuel Zyman’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra amply exceeded all expectations. The work had the flavor of a revelation... We enjoyed this music which, even though it has a seemingly traditional and even ‘old fashioned’ outlook, if you will, it possesses a kind of very 20th century language in its own right. We were moved by the melodic material, which clearly evokes Mexico…"

-José Alfredo Páramo, El Economista (Mexico City)


Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra

"… sheer breath-taking bravura."

-Paul Somers, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

"[Samuel Zyman] also has at his disposal a core of young players willing to lavish great care on his music. And on Thursday evening at Merkin Concert Hall they presented seven of his recent works - enough to indicate that his music deserves the success it has had so far. Mr. Zyman works in traditional forms…; and his language, to the extent it can be labeled, is essentially neo-Romantic, but with a biting edge. He apparently loves imitative counterpoint (it propels several of his works) as well as brisk, insistent rhythms. And he is clearly comfortable with instrumental colors and combinations of all sorts.

The most impressive of Mr. Zyman’s works were two composed this year - a Quintet for Winds, Strings and Piano that begins in a mildly Brahmsian mode but quickly finds its own voice, and a powerfully contoured Concerto for Piano and Chamber Ensemble, a score full of fascinating textural interplay."

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times


Search for Violin, Cello, and Piano

"…But the hit of the evening was neither of these two blasts from the past. Instead, the near-capacity crowd of about 300 gave its heartiest approval to Search, a piece commissioned from composer Samuel Zyman by the TCU School of Music. It received its debut at Carnegie Hall just last year.

Performed by Thompson, Feghali and cellist Jesus Castro-Balbi, the two-movement work was modern and edgy but almost entirely tonal. Its personality recalled the great Russian masters of the 20th century… It was compelling from start to finish and met the goals of its composer, which were revealed in the highly illuminating program notes, with vivid success.

So while this recent commission represents the present of chamber music, it was good enough to foster the hope it will be seen again on some future concert bill."

-Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Quintet for Winds, Strings and Piano

"[Samuel Zyman] also has at his disposal a core of young players willing to lavish great care on his music. And on Thursday evening at Merkin Concert Hall they presented seven of his recent works - enough to indicate that his music deserves the success it has had so far. Mr. Zyman works in traditional forms…; and his language, to the extent it can be labeled, is essentially neo-Romantic, but with a biting edge. He apparently loves imitative counterpoint (it propels several of his works) as well as brisk, insistent rhythms. And he is clearly comfortable with instrumental colors and combinations of all sorts.

The most impressive of Mr. Zyman’s works were two composed this year - a Quintet for Winds, Strings and Piano that begins in a mildly Brahmsian mode but quickly finds its own voice, and a powerfully contoured Concerto for Piano and Chamber Ensemble, a score full of fascinating textural interplay.

"

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times


Trio No. 2 for Violin, Cello(or Saxophone), and Piano

"The evening’s freshest pieces came from Mexican composers Silvestre Revueltas and Samuel Zyman…. Zyman’s Trio No. 2 (1999) introduced the new voice of a Mexican composer who teaches at the Juilliard School in New York. An attractive piece…"

-Wilma Salisbury, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)


Cantilena for Piano

"…a seductive work."

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times


Solamente Sola

"…Also notable was Solamente Sola, a short, hauntingly evocative cycle on poems by Salvador Carrasco."

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times

"..In contrast was Samuel Zyman’s Solamente Sola, four songs couched in effusive and seductive folk styles"

-New York Times


Dance for Piano

"A star of the night, Alpin Hong raised the curtain with Mr. Zyman’s explosive Dance for Piano, which sounded a little like Debussy on speed."

-Anne Midgette, New York Times


The Other Conquest

"Zyman has achieved something that Mexican cinema has lacked for a long time: a truly elegant and even sumptuous score."

-Gustavo García, Círculo Mixup (Mexico City)




Page last updated June 16, 2011