Behzad Ranjbaran: We Are One

Ranjbaran’s work, which had packed so much local color and variety of expression into its short span, was warmly received by its first (and likely far from last) audience.

–David Wright, New York Classical Review

Ricky Ian Gordon: Morning Star

…this is a major Gordon score dramatizing an array of characters who indeed insinuate themselves into your consciousness.

The music is fundamentally lyrical, though formal melodies arrive only when they are most needed. Smooth orchestral surfaces allowed you to stand back from the domestic squabbles, thanks to a certain kind of harmonic neutrality that creates a place for audiences to have their own reactions to the events at hand. Best of all, this neutrality ‒ not to be confused with vagueness ‒ doesn’t lock the singers in a particular mode of interpretation. No wonder some of the characterizations seemed so personal.

…the music fearlessly hurled itself into the dramatic thickets as decisively as Italian verismo.

…this is an opera about people who didn’t make history, but were victims of it.

–David Patrick Stearns, Classical Voice North America

Behzad Ranjbaran: Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra

…here is a contemporary work of interest that seduces at first.

–Eric Sabourin, Les Artsze

Stacy Garrop: Glorious Mahalia

“Glorious Mahalia” matched [gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s] words with music that was by turns mournful, tender, jaunty, and anxious…[saying] something of lasting value about not just a social movement of a particular era, but about human dignity and a nation’s moral aspirations.

–David Wright, New York Classical Review

Samuel Jones: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

Definable and discernible tonal centers combine to provide the listener with a fluid yet identifiable sense of harmonic progression. …You may not be able to guess where the music is going, but when it gets there, you’re fairly well convinced that’s where it was going all along. …Jones’ orchestration managed to keep the delicate timbres of Khaner’s golden flute front and center.

…an eloquent narrative of drama and beauty.

–Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local (PA)