David Felder

  • David Felder has long been recognized as a leader in his generation of American composers. His works have been featured at many of the leading international festivals for new music, and earn continuing recognition through performance and commissioning programs. Felder’s work has been broadly characterized by its highly energetic profile, through its frequent employment of technological extension and elaboration of musical materials (including his “Crossfire” video series), and its lyrical qualities.

    Felder has received numerous grants and commissions including many awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Council commissions, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim, two Koussevitzky commissions, two Fromm Foundation Fellowships, two awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer “New Residencies” (1993-1996) composer residency with the Buffalo Philharmonic, two commissions from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and many more. In May 2010, he received the Music Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a career recognition award. Current projects include: Le Quatre Temps Cardinaux for soprano Laura Aikin, bass Ethan Herschenfeld, large chamber ensemble/orchestra (BMOP, Signal, and Slee Sinfonietta) and electronics on texts of Neruda, Creeley, Gioia, and Daumal, (Fall, 2012) commissioned by the Koussevitky Foundation; and ensemble works commissioned by Neo Norbotten of Sweden, Norway’s Cikada Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, and the New York Virtuoso Singers for the period 2010-13.

    Felder serves as Birge-Cary Chair in Composition at SUNY, Buffalo, and has been Artistic Director of the “June in Buffalo” Festival from 1985 to the present. Since 2006, he has been Director of the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at the University. From 1992 to 1996 he was Meet the Composer “New Residencies”, Composer-in-Residence to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WBFO-FM. In 1996, he formed the professional chamber orchestra, the Slee Sinfonietta, and has been Artistic Director since that time. In 2008, he was named SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest rank in the SUNY system. An active teacher and mentor, he has served as Ph.D. dissertation advisor for nearly fifty composers at Buffalo, many of whom are actively teaching, composing and performing internationally at leading institutions. Felder served as Master Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February-March, 2010. His work is published by Theodore Presser, and Project Schott New York, and recordings are available on Bridge, Mode, EMF, and Albany. Several new recordings in surround will be released on Albany Records in 2012.


  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
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    Solo
    144-40236 Another Face
    For Solo Violin (with optional amplification and digital reverb)
    144-40236 Violin Unaccompanied
    140-40066 Rocket Summer
    For Solo Piano
    140-40066 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    144-40235 Canzone XXXI
    For Brass Quintet
    144-40235 Brass Quintet
    144-40546 Dionysiacs
    For Flute Sextet and “Gli Altri:” An Ensemble Of Mixed Instruments Placed Around The Audience
    144-40546 10:00 Flute Ensemble
    10179 Incendio
    for Brass Section
    10179 6:00 0 0 0 0 – 3 3(1Picc.Tpt.) 3(B.Tbn.) 1(NOTE: INCENDIO may be paired with companion work SHREDDER in a single concert as two movements, or separated with other works intervening. If both works are performed, the title should be listed as TWO TUTTIS, wit
    16495 Passageways I and II 16495 Variable Fl.(Picc./Cel.) Tbn. Vcl. 2Perc.
    16496 Passageways IIA
    for Chamber Ensemble
    16496 4:00 Fl.(Picc.) Ob. Cl. B.Tbn. Perc. Pno. Vln. Vcl.
    144-40526 Stuck-Stücke 144-40526 17:30 String Quartet
    10180 Shredder
    for slightly enhanced brass section
    10180 6:00 0 0 0 0 – 4 4(dbl. 2Picc.Tpt.) 4(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. Electric Bass (or Kurzweil Kbd.)(NOTE: SHREDDER may be paired with companion work INCENDIO in a single concert as two movements, or separated with other works intervening. If both works are performed
    144-40530 Third Face 144-40530 String Quartet
    Works with Electronics / Fixed Media
    144-40244 Boxman
    For Solo Trombone and Max/Msp Processing
    144-40244
    16491 Coleccion nocturna
    for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Piano, Orchestra and 4-Channel Magnetic Tape
    16491 17:30::00 Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Piano soli; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; Perc. Hp. Str. ElectronicTape
    144-40278 In Between
    For 4.3 Octave Marimba and Electronics
    144-40278 16:30
    144-40279 In Between
    For 5 Octave Marimba and Electronics
    144-40279
    16492 Inner Sky 16492 17:00 Fl.(dbl. Picc./A.Fl./B.Fl.) 2Perc. Kbd. Computer, Str.
    23613 Jeu de Tarot
    for Solo Violin and Ensemble
    23613 28:00 Solo Vln.: 1 1 1 0 – 1 0 0 0; Perc. Hp. Kbd.(with electronics) Str.(1.1.1.1.1)
    10164 partial [dist]res[s]toration 10164 20:00 Fl.(dbl. Picc./B.Fl.) Cl.(dbl.B.Cl.) Vln.(dbl.Vla.) Vcl. 2Perc. Pno. opt.
    16497 A Pressure Triggering Dreams 16497 19:00 3(Picc./A.Fl./B.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 3(EbCl./B.Cl./Cb.Cl.) 3(3Cbsn.) – 4 3(Picc./Tpt. in D) 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Electronics, El. Bass, Hp. Kbd. Str.
    17447 Requiescat 17447 12:30 B.Fl. Cb.Cl. Pno. Perc. Gtr. Tape. Str.
    Orchestra
    16962 Gone Grey
    for String Orchestra and optional electronics
    16962 15:00 Str. Orch. (opt. electronics)
    16493 Journal 16493 10:30::00 1(Picc./A.Fl.) 1(E.H.) 1(B.Cl.) 0 – 1 1 1 0; Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    16494 Linebacker Music 16494 5:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Str.
    16498 Six Poems from Neruda’s “Alturas…”
    for Orchestra
    16498 19:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 2 1; Timp. 2Perc. Keybd. Hp. Str.
    16499 Three Lines from Twenty Poems 16499 9:00 1 1(E.H.) 2(B.Cl.) 1(Cbsn.) – 1 1 2(B.Tbn.) 1; 2Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    16501 Three Pieces for Orchestra 16501 19:30 3(Picc./A.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 3(Eb Cl./B.Cl./Cb.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3(Picc. Tpt. In D) 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3 Perc. Kbd. Hp. Electric Bass, Str.(Divisi)(Note: Each movement may be performed individually)
    Orchestra with Soloist(s)
    16490 Between
    for Solo Percussionist and Orchestra
    16490 18:00 Solo Perc.; 2(Picc.) 3 3 3 – 4 4 4 1; Timp. 2Perc. El.Bass Kbd. Synthesizer
    10088 In Between
    for Solo Percussionist and Chamber Orchestra
    10088 21:00 Solo Perc.; 2(dbl. 2Picc.) 2(dbl.E.H.) 2(dbl.EbCl./B.Cl.) 2(Cbsn.) – 2(dbl.Picc.Tpt.) 2(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno.(Cel./Kbd.) Ele.Guit. Ele.B.Guit.(opt.) Str.
    17422 Tweener
    for Solo Percussionist and Large Chamber Ensemble
    17422 19:30 – 21 Solo Perc.; 2(2 dbl. Picc., 1 dbl.A.Fl.) 0 2(2 dbl. B.Cl., 1 dbl. Cb.Cl.) 0 – 1 1(dbl. DTpt. Or Picc.Tpt.) 3(B.Tbn. Cb.Tbn./Tba.); E.Gtr. E.B.Gtr. E.Pno.(dbl.Synth.) 2Perc. Str.

  • Felder has proven an original composer who takes a lot of chances and usually wins.
    –James North, Fanfare

    David Felder (1953) is currently one of the leading independent and most uncompromising American composers of his generation. …In his own words, his evolution as a composer has been influenced by Roger Reynolds, Donald Erb, Bernard Rands, Robert Erickson
    –Neue Musikzeitung

    A PRESSURE TRIGGERING DREAMS
    The full orchestra sound is complemented by a companion ‘orchestra’ consisting entirely of computer-processed flute sounds, by live sampler keyboards, electric bass and by selectively amplified solo instruments. For Felder, some quotes from Nietzsche’s Th
    –Hans-Theodor Wohlfahrt, Classical Music on the Web (UK)

    In a pressure triggering dreams, the inspiration comes from Nietzsche—the title is an expression of Nietzsche’s thoughts about Wagner’s music and its consequences on the listener. The orchestra is here supplemented by computer processed flute sounds and a
    –Dansk Musiktijdskrift

    The orchestral entity a pressure triggering dreams (1997) employs samples and tape as well as electric bass and selective amplification of various ensemble members to excellent effect, giving the impression (not often encountered in pieces of this type) t
    –David Cleary, The New Music Connoisseur

    BETWEEN
    Felder’s Between is a riveting score…There’s some gorgeous orchestral writing here… The pulsating basses evoke drama building to double mallet toccata-like frenzy with bass drum shots falling like mortars. With nicely engineered transitions, this is a sch
    –Kenneth Young, Buffalo News

    BOXMAN
    Boxman was the artistic high point of the festival (Ars Electronica, 1987, Linz Austria) as a whole. …A piece of music of dynamic power, tender sensibility, and vital humor.
    –Franz Schwabeneder, Österreich Nachrichten

    Boxman was as constricting in its psychological context as it was expansive in its technical complexity. Trombonist Miles Anderson put his horn through a variety of different effects, interacting with pitch dividers, digital delays, sampled portions of hi
    –Richard Chon, Buffalo News

    COLECCION NOCTURNA
    Felder was conductor in his Coleccion Nocturna after a poem by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in which the composer felt ‘powerfully evocative images of a surreal nocturnal landscape…’ …Neruda’s poem contains a phrase, ‘I am rent by the shock of my dre
    –Herman Trotter, Buffalo News

    Extroverted and kinetic, sometimes harmonically spiky sometimes sweetly lyrical…Jean Kopperud’s agile clarinet playing and her ability to move easily between graceful, songlike lines and brash passages full of leaps and incongruities served Mr. Felder’s m
    –Allan Kozinn, New York Times

    His instrumental writing is virtuostic (at times stunningly so), most notably in the clarinet part of Coleccion Nocturna (1982-83); here one finds tasteful use of extended techniques, including color shift fingerings, wide vibrato, pitch bends, and glissa
    –David Cleary, The New Music Connoisseur

    …just breathtaking. …captivates instantly. Suddenly, the complex compositional structure becomes irrelevant; there is ingenious music in its purest sense, which with its sheer power, aesthetics and depth does not ask any theoretical questions, but wants t
    –Hans-Theodor Wohlfahrt, Classical Music on the Web (UK)

    INNER SKY
    The most technologically advanced undertaking of the festival was Inner Sky, complex and gorgeously scored.
    –Alan Rich, LA Reader

    JOURNAL
    The piece is striking in its mercurial shifts from a very exciting and precisely violent music to a music of extreme repose and calm. Throughout both musics there is an extremely refined sense of color and orchestrational balance. and the progression thro
    –Soundout

    David Felder’s Journal was, to this listener, the most effective of the three commissioned works…. The work didn’t sound very lyrical at the outset, but during the course of ten minutes or so, Felder has created a poignant, spirit-filled, almost serene
    –Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald

    LINEBACK MUSIC
    Don’t expect Linebacker Music to remind you of the Blue Danube. Wholly consistent with its subject matter, it has a very declamatory opening, then proceeds to be stridently aggressive and percussion-laced, and to convey a feeling of massive strength at al
    –Herman Trotter, Buffalo News

    ROCKET SUMMER
    was full of close-knit, furiously accelerating and crescendoing interwoven trills and repeated notes, very dense; contrasted with crystalline sounds, cold and stabbing, seeming almost a study in light rather than sound.
    –Kenneth Young, Buffalo News

    SIX POEMS FROM NERUDA’S “ALTURAS…” FOR ORCHESTRA
    …professional craftsmanship is immediately displayed from the first seconds of Six Poems… where one is suddenly surprised by an effect-full, hard-edged orchestral writing. In what follows, the listener quickly understands that David Felder has an impressi
    –Dansk Musiktijdskrift

    Elegance has a place of its own. …The American composer David Felder’s Six Poems… was extremely elegant varying between explosive energy and austere lyricism, and at the same time so skillfully written that it brought Richard Strauss to mind – if one can
    –Thomas Anderberg, Svenska Expressen

    A far greater inventiveness and even a true personal expression characterized the American, David Felder’s music. His Six Poems… is difficult to describe: melodic, but not melodious, rhythmic but only with a clear pulse in the highly original last movemen
    –Carl-Gunnar Ahlen, Svenska Dagbladet

    The music has an overriding feverish quality which is very well projected via turbulent sometimes jumbled lines and effective percussion bursts… The longer second movement lies in quiet linear expressions in the strings with subtle wind subtexts colored b
    –Herman Trotter, Buffalo News

    One might expect that its lopsided tripartite construction, consisting of a short cataclysmic opener, lengthy pensive center, and mid duration outgoing finale shouldn’t work at all – but somehow, Felder manages to pull it off with aplomb. The fact that th
    –David Cleary, The New Music Connoisseur

    THREE LINES FROM TWENTY POEMS
    Felder’s Three Lines from Twenty Poems was excellently crafted and very communicative.
    –Herman Trotter, Buffalo News

    THREE PIECES FOR ORCHESTRA
    Felder’s Three Pieces for Orchestra is loosely based upon episodes from the composer’s experience. The outer movements are dense yet form a purposeful continuum that clearly is going somewhere. This is music with an epic reach, cosmic energy, and unconcer
    –Herman Trotter, Buffalo News

  • Boxman BOXMAN
    Albany Records (TROY1153); December 1, 2009
    Performer(s): New York New Music ensemble, James Baker, conductor
    Work(s): Boxman
    Partial [dist]res[s]toration
    stuck-stücke
    Felder / Feldman FELDER / FELDMAN
    EMF Media (No. 133); October 30, 2001
    Performer(s): June in Buffalo Orchestra, Harvey Sollberger and Jan Williams conducting; Daniel Druckman, percussion; Jean Kopperud, clarinets; James Winn, piano.
    Work(s): In Between
    David Felder: a pressure triggering dreams... DAVID FELDER: A PRESSURE TRIGGERING DREAMS…
    Mode Records (No. 89); July 25, 2000
    Performer(s): June in Buffalo Orchestra, Harvey Sollberger, conductor; Jean Kopperud, clarinets; James Winn, piano
    Work(s): a pressure triggering dreams
    Coleccion Nocturna
    Six Poems from Neruda’s “Alturas…”
    The Music of David Felder THE MUSIC OF DAVID FELDER
    Bridge Records (9049); June 20, 1995
    Performer(s): June in Buffalo Chamber Orchestra, Arditti String Quartet, American Brass Quintet, Rachel Rudich
    Work(s): Canzone XXXI
    Journal
    Three Lines From Twenty Poems

  • 2010: Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters
    2 Cary Trust Commissions
    2 Fromm Fellowships
    2 Koussevitzky Fellowships/Commissions
    2 NEA Composer Fellowships
    3 NEA Interarts Fellowships
    Guggenheim Fellowship
    Meet the Composer New Residencies Composer-in-Residence Program (3 years)
    NYFA Composer
    Recipient, Argosy Fund
    Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship

  • a pressure triggering dreams
    for Orchestra
    Coleccion nocturna
    for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Piano, Orchestra and 4-Channel Magnetic Tape
    Gone Grey
    for String Orchestra and Optional Electronics
    In Between
    for Solo Percussionist and Chamber Orchestra
    Incendio
    for Brass Section
    Inner Sky
    for Chamber Orchestra and Computer
    Journal
    for Chamber Orchestra
    Linebacker Music
    for Orchestra
    partial [dis]res[s]toration
    for Chamber Ensemble
    Passageways I and II
    for Chamber Ensemble
    Passageways IIA
    for Chamber Ensemble
    Requiescat
    for Chamber Orchestra
    Shredder
    for Slightly Enhanced Brass Section
    Three Pieces for Orchestra
    Tweener
    for Solo Percussionist and Large Chamber Ensemble

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