Martin Amlin

  • Composer and pianist Martin Amlin has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and the Massachusetts Council for the Arts. He was a recipient of an ASCAP Grant to Young Composers and has received many ASCAPlus Awards. He has been a resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the MacDowell Colony, where he was named a Norlin Fellow.

    Much of his music is characterized by a pungent tonality and energetic rhythms. Sonata for Piccolo and Piano and Sonata No. 2 for Flute and Piano have each won the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Competition. Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra was premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and he has had performances of his music by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the John Oliver Chorale, the Back Bay Chorale, the Webster Trio, and the American Vocal Arts Quintet. He has had commissions from the Seattle Flute Society, Pacific Serenades, the Chicago Flute Club, ALEA III, the James Pappoutsakis memorial flute competition, pianist Andrew Willis, and clarinetist Michael Webster.

    Martin Amlin is Chairman of the Department of Composition and Theory at Boston University and Director of the Young Artists Composition Program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He is also recipient of Boston University’s Kahn Award for his Piano Sonata No. 7. He studied with Nadia Boulanger at the Ecoles d’Art Américaines in Fontainebleau and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, and received masters and doctoral degrees as well as the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Amlin has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in performances of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and has performed on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Prelude concerts at both Symphony Hall and Tanglewood. He has also appeared on the FleetBoston Celebrity Series and has been pianist for the M.I.T. Experimental Music Studio and the New England Ragtime Ensemble. He has often been heard live on Boston’s WGBH radio station as both performer and composer, and has given the world premiere of many new pieces.

    Martin Amlin has recordings on the Albany, Ashmont Music, Centaur, Crystal, Folkways, Hyperion, Koch International, Opus One, Titanic, and Wergo labels.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    110-41765 Eight Variations
    5:00 Piano
    114-41333 Ephemeropterae
    Piccolo Unaccompanied
    110-40747 Five Preludes
    For Piano
    15:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    110-41764 Piano Sonata No. 6
    10:00 Piano
    410-41332 Piano Sonata No. 7
    13:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    111-40183 2 Songs On Poems By Anne Fessenden
    8:00 Soprano, Alto Flute, Piano
    114-41030 Concerto
    For Piccolo and Orchestra
    20:00 Piccolo with Piano
    114-41552 Concerto for Flute/Piccolo and Orchestra
    9:00 Flute with Piano
    114-41357 Encomium
    For Viola and Harp
    17419 Four Hungarian Dances
    Arranged for Wind Quintet and String Quintet(arr.)
    14:00 fl., ob., cl., hn., bsn., 2 vn., va., vc., cb.
    114-41796 In Memoriam C.D.H.
    For Piccolo And Piano
    4:00 Piccolo, Piano
    114-41204 Intrada
    For Two Flutes and Piano
    4:00 Flute Duet with Piano
    111-40187 Israfel
    5:00 Soprano, Flute, Violin, Cello, Piano
    114-41543 Kennel
    for Viola and Piano
    13:00 Viola with Piano
    114-41910 Magic Maze
    8:00 Viola, Piano
    114-41685 Morceau de Concours
    For Flute and Piano
    6:00 Flute, Piano
    114-41150 Sonata
    For Clarinet and Piano
    114-40886 Sonata
    For Flute and Piano
    15:00 Flute solo, Piano
    114-40911 Sonata
    For Piccolo and Piano
    21:00 Piccolo with Piano
    114-41907 Sonata
    For Trumpet and Piano
    9:00 Trumpet with Piano
    114-41249 Sonata
    For Viola and Piano
    13:00 Viola, Piano
    114-41239 Sonata No. 2
    For Flute and Piano
    114-41037 Sonatina Piccola
    For Piccolo and Piano
    5:00 Piccolo with Piano
    114-41028 Trio Sonatina
    For Flute, Clarinet and Piano
    12:00 Woodwind Trio
    114-41446 Violetta
    For Viola and Piano
    7:00 Viola with Piano
    17378 Four Ruckertlieder
    Arrangement for Mixed Chorus, 2 Horns and Harp(arr.)
    18:00 SATB Chorus; 2 Hn. Hp.
    10100 Time’s Caravan
    for Mixed Chorus and Double String Quintet
    Orchestra with Soloist(s)
    21684 Concerto for Flute/Piccolo and Orchestra
    9:00 Solo Fl.(dbl. Picc.); 0 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; 2Perc. Str.
    10045 Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra
    20:00 Solo Picc.; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; 2Perc. Str.
    23535 In Memoriam C.D.H.
    for Piccolo and String Orchestra
    3:30 Solo Picc., Str.
    17296 Three Rivers
    for Baritone and String Orchestra
    7:00 Solo Bass-Bar.; Str.

  • He delights in tripping up one’s metrical expectations through unexpected irregularity of meter or sudden syncopated accents… harmonically rich in a basically tonal idiom… If this is conservatism, it doesn’t really advertise itself as such… his freely rhapsodic treatment of his material, and the hidden mechanisms (including elements of dodecaphony, not rigidly adhered to) speaks of the eclectism of our times.
    –Records International Catalogue

    …He likes technical achievements and games–fugues; inversions; retrogrades; rhythmic complexities and quirks; 12-tone rows that don’t sound like tone rows; hidden references to Bach, Beethoven, and “Happy Birthday”; variations that lack a theme, so all of them in a set are in effect variations on one another. He likes to bend the rules…Some of these games are part of the fun…Amlin uses them to create powerful coloristic and emotional effects. All the music –brisk and reflective–is purposeful and effective, and idiomatic both for the hand and for the instrument.
    –Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

    fluent, fresh, vital, sensuous, poetic… All of these pieces have lots of energy, lots of ideas…
    –American Record Guide

    The highlight of the convention for piccoloists was the world premiere of Martin Amlin’s Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra…Divided into five movements, the concerto’s brilliant orchestration creates excitement without ever over-balancing the piccolo.
    –Tammy Kirk , Flute Talk

    …clever and sharply contrasted minature variants… on a slow chorale…
    –American Record Guide

    for Two Flutes and Piano
    …a sparkling work…the harmonies employed are rich and varied, captivating the ear. All three instruments are given a real workout, but this music must be as fun to play as it is to listen to.
    –David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

    The texture, tempo, rhythm, and atonal nature of this piece is advanced and exciting.

    …a truly first rate work, a significant addition to the clarinet literature.
    –David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

    …it sets the tone of brightness, accessibility, and rhythmic drive that is characteristic of the entire compact disc. The harmonic language is fairly ’conservative modern,’ and contrapuntal dialogue is common.

    …an engaging work with a strong rhythmic profile and a lyrical impulse, in which the flute and piano lines are marvelously integrated.
    –Allan Kozinn, New York Times

    Martin Amlin’s delicate harmonic shadings linger in the mind long after the recording finishes.
    –American Record Guide

    This work is a stunning showcase for both [piccolo and piano]. Through its five movements the work explores the piccolo range with lyrical expressiveness and wild agility, and the conversation between piccolo and piano is exquisite.
    –Zart Dombourian-Eby, Flute Talk

    Amlin has found an appropriately luscious style that is at once assured and unstable, unstable enough to depict the uncertainties of life the verses are concerned with, and flexible enough to respond immediately and imaginatively to the wide-ranging imagery of the text…The Chorale obviously loves singing it; so will every other suitably equipped chorus in the land – this piece is destined for long popularity.
    –Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

    Martin Amlin’s “Trio Sonatina” invested a Rhapsody, Scherzo, Interlude, and Aria with innumerable artful devices to draw you in – a silky shimmer at the start, a cat-and-mouse ferocity in the quick music…a melodic skeleton with drop-dead harmonic tints…
    –The Boston Globe

    …an astonishing mix of neoclassical and neoromantic elements.
    –Mark Williams, Rochester Times-Union

  • Music for Flute, Clarinet & Piano MUSIC FOR FLUTE, CLARINET & PIANO
    Albany Records (TROY1567); July 3, 2015
    Performer(s): Leone Buyse, Fenwick Smith, flutes; Michael Webster, clarinet; Martin Amlin, piano
    Work(s): Intrada
    Morceau de Concours
    Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
    Sonata No. 2 for Flute and Piano
    Trio Sonatina
    An American Menagerie: Music for Viola and Piano AN AMERICAN MENAGERIE: MUSIC FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
    MSR Classics (MS1474); January 15, 2015
    Performer(s): Michelle LaCourse, viola, Martin Amlin, piano
    Work(s): Kennel
    Sonata for Viola and Piano
    Andrew Willis Plays American Piano Music ANDREW WILLIS PLAYS AMERICAN PIANO MUSIC
    Albany Records (TROY674); October 1, 2004
    Performer(s): Andrew Willis, piano
    Work(s): Eight Variations
    Five Preludes
    Piano Sonata No. 6
    Piano Sonata No. 7
    In Shadow, Light IN SHADOW, LIGHT
    Crystal Records (CD711); May 30, 1995
    Performer(s): Zart Dombourian Eby, piccolo, Amlin, piano
    Work(s): Sonata for Piccolo and Piano
    Sonatina Piccola
    Carter: Emblems CARTER: EMBLEMS
    Koch International Classics (KIC 7178); January 24, 1995
    Performer(s): John Oliver Chorale
    Work(s): Time’s Caravan
    The Sky’s the Limit: A Celebration of 20th Century American Music for Flute THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: A CELEBRATION OF 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN MUSIC FOR FLUTE
    Crystal Records (CD317); March 26, 1993
    Performer(s): Leone Buyse, flute, Amlin, piano
    Work(s): Sonata for Flute and Piano

  • ASCAP Grant to Young Composers
    ASCAP Standard Award
    Kahn Award, Boston University
    Massachusetts Artists Foundation grant
    Massachusetts Council for the Arts grant
    Massachusetts Cultural Council grant
    National Endowment for the Arts Composer Fellowship
    Norlin Fellow, The MacDowell Colony
    St. Botolph Club Foundation grant
    Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships, four summers
    Winner, Newly-published Music Competition, National Flute Association

  • Brahms: Four Hungarian Dances
    Arranged for Wind Quintet and String Quintet
    Concerto for Flute/Piccolo and Orchestra
    In Memoriam C.D.H
    for Piccolo and String Orchestra
    Time’s Caravan
    for Mixed Chorus and Double String Quintet