William Kraft

  • William Kraft (b. 1923, Chicago) has had a long and active career as composer, conductor, timpanist/percussionist and teacher. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he served for 11 years (1991 -2002) as Chairman of the Composition Department and Corwin Professor of Music Composition. From 1981-85, Mr. Kraft was the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer-in-Residence, for the first year under Philharmonic auspices, and the subsequent three years through the Meet the Composer program. During his residency, he was appointed by executive director Ernest Fleischmann to serve as the founding director of the orchestra’s performing arm for contemporary music, the Philharmonic New Music Group. Mr. Kraft had previously been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 26 years; eight years as percussionist, and 18 as Principal Timpanist. For three seasons, he was also assistant conductor of the orchestra, and thereafter, frequent guest conductor.

    Mr. Kraft was awarded two Anton Seidl Fellowships at Columbia University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in 1951, and a master’s degree in composition. His principal instructors were Jack Beeson, Seth Bingham, Henry Brant, Henry Cowell, Erich Hertzmann, Paul Henry Lang, Otto Luening, and Vladimir Ussachevsky. He received his training in percussion from Morris Goldenberg and in timpani from Saul Goodman, and studied conducting with Rudolph Thomas and Fritz Zweig.

    During his early years in Los Angeles, he organized and directed the Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble, a group which played a vital part in premieres and recordings of works by such renowned composers as Ginastera, Harrison, Krenek, Stravinsky, and Varese. Kraft served as Stravinsky’s timpanist and percussionist in charge of all percussion activities for the composer’s Los Angeles performances and recordings. As a percussion soloist, he performed in the American premieres of Stockhausen’s Zyklus and Boulez’ Le Marteau sans Maitre, in addition to recording Histoire du soldat under Stravinsky’s direction.

    Mr. Kraft has received numerous awards and commissions, including two Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards (first prize in 1990 for Veils and Variations for Horn and Orchestra, and second prize in 1984 for Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra); two Guggenheim Fellowships; two Ford Foundation commissions; fellowships from the Huntington Hartford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Music Award; the Norlin/MacDowell Fellowship; the Club 100 Distinguished Artist of Los Angeles Award, the ASCAP Award; the NACUSA Award; the Eva Judd O’Meara Award; first place in the Contemporary Record Society competition; commissions from the Library of Congress, U.S. Air Force Band, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Voices of Change, the Schoenberg Institute, consortium of Speculum Mucicae/San Francisco Contemporary Music Players/ Contemporary Music Forum, The Boston Pops Orchestra, consortium of Pacific Symphony/Spokane Symphony/Tucson Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. His works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other major American orchestras as well as in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, Israel, and the U.S.S.R. Mr. Kraft’s Contextures: Riots – Decade ’60 (1967) has been choreographed and performed by both the Scottish National Ballet and the Minnesota Dance Company. In 1986, United Air Lines commissioned a work expressly to accompany a lumetric sculpture by Michael Hayden titled Sky’s the Limit for their pedestrian passageway at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport. In November 1990, Mr. Kraft was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Percussive Arts Society.

    Compact Discs completely devoted to Mr. Kraft’s music can be found on Harmonia Mundi, CRI, Cambria, Albany, Crystal and Nonesuch labels. Other works can be found on GM, Crystal, London Decca and Neuma. Recent works include Brazen, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Quintessence and Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists for Symphonic Wind Ensemble, premiered and recorded by the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Frank Battisti, conducting.

    Recent activities include: performances of Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra by the Dresden (Germany) Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan, also by the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony; Red Azalea, an opera commissioned by the Modern Music Theater Troupe (London) was premiered in February 2002 at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, was premiered on January 16, 2003, with soloist Carolyn Hove and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting. In 2005 Mr. Kraft was the Music Alive composer in residence with the San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has fulfilled residencies at the Chopin Conservatory in Warsaw, Poland, the University of Indiana (Bloomington), University of Southern Oregon (Ashland) and University of Montana (Missoula & Bozeman). Recently completed recording projects are with the Czech Philharmonic, New England Conservatory and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. His Second Timpani Concerto, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, was premiered in June 2005 with soloist David Herbert, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

    Excerpts from his opera, Red Azalea, were performed by the New York City Opera on May 6, 2006 during their VOX Festival. The world premier of the revised version of the Timpani Concerto No. 2 took place on April 20 & 21, 2007 by the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with soloist James Boznos, Zhang Xian, conductor. This was followed by the European premier December 4th 2008, Benoit Cambreling soloist, Gabriela Churma conducting.

    Beginning February 24, 2007, The Southwest Chamber Music Society embarked on a project to perform and record 14 of the 15 ENCOUNTERS pieces. The success of this project is reflected in the comments of Mark Swed, chief music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Richard Ginell, critic for the American Record Guide and Jim Svejda, program host for the classical music station KUSC. Swed; “These works serve for Kraft the way the string quartet did for Beethoven or Shostakovitch, as a kind of autobiography in chamber music”; Ginell: “An epic body of work comparable to the Berio’s Sequenzas”; Svejda: “No one with the slightest interest in the music of out time can afford to be without this cornerstone of American chamber music.”

    On October 24th, 2009, Mr. Kraft was given The Forte Award for distinguished achievement in advancing modern music in Los Angeles.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    114-40993 A Trifle for Timothy (1981)
    For Solo Percussion
    Percussion Unaccompanied
    114-40968 Corrente II
    Percussion Solo
    114-40991 Divinations
    Encounters VIII
    10:00 Percussion Unaccompanied
    114-40973 Evening Voluntaries
    For Solo French Horn
    7:00 Horn in F
    114-40985 French Suite
    For Percussion Solo
    11:50 Percussion solo
    114-40960 Incantation
    For Guitar
    114-40963 M’s P
    An Encore Piece
    110-40733 Requiescat
    (Let The Bells Mourn for Us for We Are Remiss)
    110-40731 Translucences
    Piano Unaccompanied
    114-40989 Variations for King George
    For Solo Timpani
    Percussion Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    114-41008 6 Pieces for Trio
    12209 Brazen
    for Brass Instruments, Timpani and Organ
    8:30 0 0 0 0 – 4 4 4 1; Timp. Org.
    114-40984 Cadeau
    For Flute and Piano
    114-41082 Cascando
    114-41297 Concerto A Tre
    Encounters Xiv
    114-41002 Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Ensemble
    11:00 Solo Percussion, Fute/Piccolo, Clarinet in A/Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano
    11332 Contextures II: The Final Beast
    for Soprano and Tenor Soloists, Boys Choir, Old Music Group and Chamber Ensemble
    31:00 Chamber Ensemble version: 1(Picc./A.Fl./opt.B.Fl.) 0 1(B.Cl.) 0 – 1 0 0 0; 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str. (1 0 1 1 0), Early Music Ensemble (6 players)
    12218 Des Imagistes
    for 6 Percussionists and 2 Narrators
    114-41003 Double Trio
    114-40994 Encounters III
    Duel for Trumpet and Percussion
    15:40 Small Mixed Ensemble (2-9 Instruments)
    114-40976 Encounters IV
    Duel for Trombone and Percussion (And Optional Tape)
    14:30 Trombone, Percussion, Tape (opt.)
    114-40988 Encounters IX
    For Alto Saxophone and Percussion
    10:00 Small Mixed Ensemble (2-9 Instruments)
    114-40959 Encounters V
    In the Morning of the Winter Sea
    11:00 Percussion, Cello
    114-40986 Encounters VI
    Concertino for Roto Toms and Percussion Quartet
    10:00 Percussion Ensemble
    114-40972 Encounters VII
    Blessed Are The Peacemakers: for They Shall Be Called The Children Of God
    12:00 Percussion Ensemble
    114-40987 Encounters X:
    Duologue for Violin and Marimba
    Chamber Ensemble
    114-41218 Encounters Xi
    The Demise Of Suriyodhaya
    English Horn with Accompaniment
    114-41212 Encounters Xii
    For Percussion and Harp
    10:00 Harp with Percussion
    114-41341 Encounters Xiii
    Concertino for Percussion and Woodwind Quintet
    114-41390 Encounters Xv – The Meditative Encounter
    For Percussion (Solo) and Amplified Guitar
    114-40974 Episodes
    114-41004 Gallery 4
    114-41005 Gallery 83
    12223 Games: Collage I
    for 2 Brass and Percussion Choirs
    8:10 0 0 0 0 – 8 6 6 2; 4Perc.
    114-40975 Images
    For Four Timpani, Five Cymbals and Large Tam Tam
    114-40990 In Memoriam Igor Stravinsky
    114-41006 Melange
    114-41007 Music for String Quartet and Percussion
    114-40970 Nonet
    For Brass and Percussion
    114-40983 Quartet for Love
    114-40969 Quartet for Percussion
    Percussion Ensemble
    114-41797 Settings From Pierrot Lunaire
    For Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
    28:00 Voice and Instrument
    114-40964 Soliloquy
    For Solo Percussion and Tape
    12230 Songs of Flowers, Bells and Death (Contextures IV)
    for Chorus and Percussion Ensemble
    114-40965 Suite for Percussion
    For Percussio Quartet
    114-40967 Three Miniatures for Percussion and Orchestra
    Reduced for Solo Percussion and Piano
    114-40966 Trio for Percussion
    Percussion Ensemble
    16979 Vintage Renaissance and Beyond
    for Chamber Ensemble
    20:00 Fl. (dbl. Picc., Alto Fl.) Cl.(dbl.B.Cl.) Pno.(Cel.) Vln. Vla. Vcl.
    Variable Instrumentation
    114-40961 Colorations
    114-40962 Kandinsky Variations
    Percussion Ensemble
    416-41391 A Kennedy Portrait
    (Contextures Iii) – for Narrator and Orchestra
    18:00 Orchestra
    12207 A Kennedy Portrait (Contextures III)
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    18:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    12208 A Simple Introduction to the Orchestra
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    3:50 Narrator; 4(Picc.) 4(E.H.) 4(B.Cl.) 4(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.
    12222 Fanfare Vintage 90-91
    4:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 3 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
    12224 Gossamer Glances
    15:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EfCl.) 3 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    10049 In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu
    for String Orchestra with optional English Horn, Percussion and Harp
    8:00 Str., opt. E.H. Perc. Hp.
    12225 Interplay
    17:00 3(2Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.)- 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str., off-stage: Crotales
    12226 Of Ceremonies, Pageants and Celebrations
    12:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EbCl./B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str., off-stage: 6Perc.
    12232 Symphony of Sorrows
    15:00 3(Picc./A.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    12221 The Dream Tunnel
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    15:00 Narr.; 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 3(3 opt.) 2 2 0; 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.
    12236 Vintage Renaissance
    12:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EfCl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Cl.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    Orchestra with Soloist(s)
    416-41271 Concerto for 4 Perc.
    10191 Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra
    18:30 Solo E.H.; 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 3(dbl.B.Cl.) 3(dbl.Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(dbl.B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(dbl.Cel.) Hp. AltoFl. Guit. Str.
    17290 Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra
    18’30” Solo English Horn; 4(A.Fl., Picc) 0 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(Bari.) 1; Timp. Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Gtr. Str.
    12210 Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Orchestra
    18:30 4 Perc. Soli; 2(Picc.) 2 3(B.Cl.) 3(opt. Cbsn.) – 4 2 2 1; Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    12212 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    21:00 Solo Pno.; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
    12214 Concerto for Tuba with 3 Chamber Groups and Orchestra
    (Revision of Andirivieni, 1977)
    18:00 Solo Tu.; 3(Picc. A.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.)- 4 3 3 0; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    12213 Concerto No. 1 for Timpani and Orchestra
    23:10 Solo Timp.; 2(2Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    16938 Concerto No. 2 for Timpani and Orchestra
    The Grand Encounter
    30:00 Solo Timp.; 3(dbl. 2Picc./dbl.AltoFl.) 3(dbl.E.H.) 3(dbl.B.Cl.) 3(dbl.Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(dbl.Bar.) 1; 4Perc. Pno.(dbl.Cel.) Hp. Str.
    12215 Configurations
    Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Jazz Orchestra
    15:00 4 Perc. soli; 1(Picc.) 0 2(B.Cl./A.Sax./Bar.Sax.) 0 – 2 3 3 1; Pno. Amp.Gtr. Bass.Gtr.
    416-41178 Contextures II – Small Score
    11331 Contextures II: The Final Beast
    for Soprano and Tenor Soloists, Boys Choir, Old Music Group and Large Orchestra
    31:00 Full Orchestra version: 4(2Picc./A.Fl.) 4(E.H.) 4(EbCl./B.Cl.) 4(Cbsn.) – 4 4 4(B.Tbn./opt. Bar.) 1 – Timp. 6Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    12217 Contextures: Riots – Decade ’60
    16:25 Solo Vln., Solo Dr.; 4 4(E.H.) 4(EbCl./B.Cl./A.Sax.) 4(Cbsn.) – 4 4 4(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str., Jazz quartet: Sop.Sax. Tpt. Bass. Dr.
    12220 Double Play
    for Violin, Piano and Chamber Orchestra
    17:00 Vln. Pno. soli; 1 2(E.H.) 1(B.Cl.) 2 – 2 1 0 0 ; 1Perc. Str.
    416-41177 Double Play
    12228 Settings from “Pierrot lunaire”
    Version for Solo Soprano and Orchestra
    28:00 Solo Sop.; 2(dbl. AltoFl./dbl.Picc.) 2(dbl.E.H.) 2(dbl.B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    12229 Silent Boughs
    for Soprano and String Orchestra
    17:15 Sop., Str.
    416-41221 Sublime & Beautiful – S Sc
    12231 The Sublime and the Beautiful
    for Tenor and Chamber Orchestra
    15:10 Fl.(Picc./A.Fl. /B.Fl.) Cl.(B.Cl.) Pno.(Cel.) 2Vln. 2Vcl. 2Perc.
    12233 Three Miniatures
    for Percussion and Orchestra
    4:30 Full Orchestra version: 4Perc.(Timp.) soli.; 3(Picc.) 2 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Str.
    Small Orchestra version: 2Perc. soli (2nd player opt.), 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; Str.
    12234 Triangles
    Concerto for Percussion and Ten Instruments
    18:00 Solo Perc.; 1(Picc.) 1(E.H.) 1 1 – 1 1 1 0; Str. (1 0 1 1 0)
    12235 Veils and Variations
    for Horn and Orchestra
    27:30 Solo Hn.; 3(Picc./A.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    12211 Concerto for Four Percussionists and Symphonic Wind Ensemble
    18:30 4(dbl. 2Picc., dbl.A.Fl.) 4(dbl.E.H.) 4(dbl.B.Cl.) 4(dbl.Cbsn.) – 4 4 4 1; Pno./Cel. Hp.
    21772 Concerto No. 1 for Timpani
    Version for Wind Symphony
    23:10 Solo Timp.; 6Fl.(2 dbl. A.Fl., 3 dbl. Picc.), 2Ob., 1E.H., 1E-flat Cl., 6Cl., 1B.Cl., 2A.Sax., Ten.Sax., Bar.Sax., 3Bsn.(3rd dbl. Cbsn.) – 4Hn., 3Tpt., 3Tbn., 2Euph., 1Tu.; 5Perc. Hp. Pno.(dbl. Cel.)
    416-41242 Dialogues & Entertainments
    12219 Dialogues and Entertainments
    for Soprano and Winds
    16:00 Sop.; 4(4Picc.) 4(E.H.) 4(2B.Cl.) 4(Cbsn.) 2A.Sax. T.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 8 4 4(B.Tbn.) 2; Timp. 6Perc. Cb.
    14545 The Wrath of Other Winds
    for Wind Ensemble
    21:20 4(4Picc./Al.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 6(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 6 4 2; 5Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Vcl. Cb.
    17310 Vintage Renaissance and Beyond
    Version for Wind Symphony
    20:00 6(Fl.2 dbl. Alto Fl., Fl.3 dbl. Picc.) 3(dbl. E.H.) 8(E-Flat Cl., B/Cl.) 3(dbl. Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1 2Euph.; Timp. 5Perc. Pno.(dbl. Cel.) Hp. Str. (

  • He exploits all of his considerable knowledge to full effect in his percussion music, creating a sound world of multifaceted and extraordinarily varied depth and sonic substance. … Kraft hypnotizes us into thinking that music should sound no other way…
    –Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition

    Kraft’s music exhibits a strong sense of color, not only in his expert handling of percussion textures but also in his treatment of other orchestral timbres. His long and close association with a major symphony orchestra has enabled Kraft to understand. In the manner of eighteenth-century Mannheim composers, the capabilities and potentialities of each musician.
    –Harrison Powley , American Music

    Kraft’s music is ceremonial and public, and therefore necessarily immediately accessible. Yet it is not without subtlety – there are references in it to ‘We Shall Overcome,’ to the Mahler 9th, to an old colonial song. And the end is majestic, moving in a wonderful harmonic progression from solemn ceremony to celebration.
    –Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

    …the important news came from composer William Kraft, who has added an appealing new work to the repertory. Kraft’s piece, “A Vintage Renaissance,” presents two perky Renaissance tunes in attractive orchestral guise. … The piece interweaves these tunes with alert, unpretentious and imaginatively scored contemporary commentary … It’s a good piece and a charming one. …there’s no question that “A Vintage Renaissance” will be giving many a concert a cheerful send-off.
    –Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

    The work is filled with brightwork, with percussive punctuation and edgy modern harmonies that still hark back to the original dance.
    –John Farrell, San Bernadino Sun

    William Kraft’s “Concerto” is an integrating work, easy on the ears, lyrical, rhythmically lively, and completely original in its somewhat conservative style.
    –Stephen Groark, University of Wisconsin Press Connection

    The program gave members of the percussion section a rare chance to step out front. The novelty occurred in William Kraft’s “Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Orchestra,” a work that confirms the fact that these instruments need not be used just to raise the roof. Kraft…takes more interest here in searching out colorful washes of sound and subtle details. …deftly organized and appealing.
    –Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Beacon Journal

    The expectation was for some lusty noise-making, so the surprise was its pervading melodic quality, right through from opening glockenspiel theme to saucy fughetto to vibrant variations announced by kettle drums. There is a lot of allusive brushwork, no attempted profundity and some of the casual breeziness of a popular piece. The orchestra has a strong coloring and thrusting role, and the clarity of design, exciting rhythmic complications, intense and dexterous solo roles made it a first-time listening pleasure. Its contrasts of fleecy innuendo and driving roulades were given a big reception, some of the audience in standing tribute.
    –John Dwyer, Buffalo Evening News

    …a huge success… this was music which went far beyond mere technical expertness, stunning as were many of the effects obtained. For Kraft is a composer of wide-ranging imaginativeness; he never falls into the error of writing effects for their own sake. All the fascinating combinations of timbre, of strange combinations of percussive sounds, of intricate rhythms in opposition, fall logically into a coherent musical pattern that indicates creative talent of a high order. It is a bravura achievement, one of the most striking new compositions of recent date…
    –Allan Goldberg, Los Angeles Times

    William Kraft is one of our finest composers for percussion … Kraft knows an important fact about percussion, (probably because he is a virtuoso player himself, having served for years in the LA Philharmonic): Less is more. One does not need everything but the kitchen sink to make an impressive noise with percussion; rather one needs a keen sense of what makes for the most story telling at any point. Kraft has this in abundance, and the piece moves from the shimmering textures of its first movement, to an intricate and delicate scherzo in its second, to a series of dramatic cadenzas in the third. …the piece overall makes a strong impression.
    –Robert Carl, Fanfare

    This concerto of one movement, written in the contemporary idiom, enlarges the color and sound spectrum of the modern piano to its tonal limits along with extremes of dynamic variation. Several duets with piano and selected instruments of the orchestra gave welcome lyric relief to the sheer volume of both piano and orchestra. … It is a canvas of massive colors.
    –Hyatt, Music Journal

    …observant and skillful handling of contrasts and climaxes; each section leads to its next before interest fades. … Kraft’s use of percussion effects is bold and sometimes daringly witty.
    –Gillian Widdicombe, The Financial Times (London)

    …strikingly different … remarkably deft … It serves, primarily, as a showpiece for the appreciative soloist. At the same time, however, it explores interesting new possibilities for orchestral percussion and coloristic expression. … a boldly propulsive musical fabric…
    –Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times

    …The event of the evening was Kraft… He treated the orchestra as if it were an extension of the timpani… Kraft’s work…may become the Tchaikovsky B-flat minor for timpani players all over the world. It is doubtful that any composer has ever handled such a task with greater skill.
    –Charles Staff, The Indianapolis News

    Kraft has created a composition that proves that this percussion instrument has enough expressive potential to sustain interest on its own. … Audience response to the new music was enthusiastic; several persons stood in ovation as the composer was called on stage to take a bow.
    –Betsy Light , Indianapolis Star

    Kraft’s [“Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra”] turns out to be a three-movement crowd-pleaser of terrific style and imagination. Two vivacious fast movements surround a glissando-driven elegy for the composer’s mother, and the whole thing boasts plenty of color and panache.
    –Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

    …dead-serious, highly imaginative and stunningly beautiful, creating a mysterious world of shadows, luminescence and restless energy. The idiom is high-road, uncompromising modernism, but it is made accessible and compelling by Kraft’s mastery of rhythm, dramatic effect and orchestral color…
    –Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News

    Kraft is an expert composer and a deeply thoughtful musician who understands the timpani uncommonly well; not surprisingly, his “Timpani Concerto” is a masterpiece.
    –James Wierzbicki, St. Louis Dispatch

    Few composers have dared to write a concerto for timpani, which are usually used for dramatic rolls and punctuation points. This did not stop William Kraft, whose “Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra” is a rich mine of the instruments’ potential. …The spritely first movement has an almost diabolical cast to it, with a menacingly grippingly finish. …’Poem for Timpani, Two String Orchestra, Celeste and Percussion’ is the second, more atmospheric movement. Here, the soloist is called upon to support and give life to an otherworldly dreamscape of bell-like sonorities. …The final movement, ‘Fleeting,’ is a compositional tour de force, rhythmic in a foot-tapping way but never dumbed-down in a play to the masses.
    –Gregory Shepard, Honolulu Advertiser

    I have told all composers ‘forget writing a timpani concerto, THE timpani concerto has been written.’
    –William Schuman, at the New York Premiere

    It has taken the [Los Angeles Philharmonic] a surprisingly long time to catch up with a piece from 1983 that has already been played by more than 50 orchestras and was written by the L.A. Phil’s former percussionist and composer-in-residence. … But it was worth the wait, given the smoothly dazzling and terrifically nuanced performance by the Philharmonic’s principal timpanist, Joseph Pereira. Kraft’s score began quietly … The slow middle movement…was exquisite. The last movement, jazzy and exhilarating.
    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

    The “Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra” by William Kraft made a strong impact with its forceful linear, harmonic, and rhythmic elements combined with orchestral opulence and highly idiomatic timpani writing. Subtle string and timpani glissandi created an unusually delicate and elegiac mood in the second movement; a variety of distinctive sections in the Rondo-Passacaglia finale and a concluding timpani cadenza led to the dramatic ending. …this concerto is perhaps the best of its genre in the literature.
    –Musical America

    The Grand Encounter
    …a dynamic new work…the work features no fewer than 15 timpani [which] give the composer great potential for melodic invention, and Kraft capitalizes on that potential brilliantly.
    –Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News

    …bombast melted into quiet super-complexities of rhythm and mysterioso melody, with gauzy textures and squeezed-down chords…It was luminous, then subterranean; quiet as the inside of a clock, then brass-blast loud… It was a new musical language, and quite wonderful.
    –Richard Scheinin, The Mercury News

    I can think of no other work in the past couple of decades that is as appealing both emotionally and intellectually and yet keeps its integrity on both counts. This is a strong anti-war statement. …While the thrust is extramusical, Kraft weaves the anguish and the warnings into every measure.
    –Oliver Roosevelt, Birmingham News

    Contextures is extrovert music; it is also a music of almost horrible fear and concern, governed by black horizons. It disturbs. It should. …”Contextures” lingers long in the ear after the listening. Though the scoring is packed with instrumental placements there is also repose and tension, direction, plan and climax. It is a powerful document.
    –American Record Guide

    The music derives considerable force from its clashing of opposing energies and textures (hence the title), all the while challenging the ear with block dissonances and troubled shimmers of sound. Kraft exploits his orchestral palette with enormous craft (take my pun, please), sophistication and imagination.
    –John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

    …superbly ordered and sensitively balanced, a dramatic expression of modern chaos. Kraft not only commands a vital vocabulary of musical ideas, but – more important – knows how to control that vocabulary with economy and precision. The grandiose percussive effects attract instant attention but the subtler details and textural inter-relationships are what sustain sympathy. … Contextures deserves another hearing. Soon.
    –Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times

    …a sensuous embroidery of percussive patterns… the pleasure of Kraft’s music comes from following the sonic ball as is it passed from corner to corner. It comes from basking in a piquant melange of sound provided by an inspired assortment of gongs, rusty break drums, stainless steel bowls, drums, chimes, membranophones, coils and other lovely things like that.
    –Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times

    Best of show award should go to William Kraft’s “Double Play”… The work is beautifully crafted and the instrumental writing idiomatic and highly coloristic.
    –Ray Wilding-White, The Chicago Musicale

    Crisply crafted for violin, piano and chamber orchestra, the concise concerto is based on a quiet percussion cadenza that is delightfully developed and varied by the soloists. Alternating between lively rhythms and lyrical sections, the music is beautifully written for the instruments in a harmonic style recalling leading composers of the early 20th century.
    –Wilma Salisbury , Cleveland Plain Dealer

    The piece represents musical issues of the 60’s, about pitches and rhythms as mathematical sets, but it is also the music of a virtuoso percussionist with a lively imagination, an irrepressible rhythmic energy and a theatrical bent.
    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

    Set for two percussionists, two pianists (one prepared), electric guitar and tuba, the work deserved [Kraft’s] description as ‘a kooky piece in a kooky idiom’ for its mixture of things funky, laconic, poignant, overpowering and hilarious. Thanks to Kraft’s control of texture and the performers’ virtuosic delivery, these effects proved tasteful and irresistible: one could not decide whether to laugh or to cry.
    –Bill Arthur, Long Beach Independent (CA)

    …a stirring compendium of new and exotic sounds… Having specialized in percussion instruments both as performer and as composer, Kraft has developed an ingenuity in devising unusual sounds, and a rare sensitivity to timbre, color, and nuance. He also has the true composer’s gift for convincing the listener of the rightness of his ideas.
    –Walter Arlen, Los Angeles Times

    The “Double Trio” is a hearty concoction… blended by [Kraft’s] sense of humor and theater. The contrasts between a trio of piano, tuba and ‘heavy’ percussion with a trio of prepared piano, amplified guitar and ‘kooky’ percussion were always inventive and often hilarious.
    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Herald Examiner

    …The work is bright, eventful and followable. What it turns out to be is a gentle toccata for hands and mallets, less than 14 minutes in length, and particularly charming…
    –Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times

    As usual with Kraft at his best, the music brimmed over with imagination, scintillated with color, and convinced with meaningful, concise eloquence.
    –Walter Arlen, Los Angeles Times

    While very modern in idiom, it is fascinating in its material. …incredibly virtuoso writing… A stunning work.
    –Enos E. Shupp, Jr, The New Records

    The 10-minute composition represents a brave attempt to prove the compatibility of the cello with a battery of percussion. By integrating the instruments rather than devising a cello part with percussion accompaniment, Kraft succeeded in making a convincing case for his ideas.
    –Walter Arlen, Los Angeles Times

    [Encounters VI] demonstrated how Kraft has cleared out the miscellany which plagues percussion music and has fit its devices into long, arched forms with an almost orchestral structure of its own. …the piece illustrated the grace and gentleness of Kraft’s style to particularly good effect.
    –William Weber, Los Angeles Times

    …a percussion ensemble piece for one player…colorfully battering on a variety of small gongs and cowbells and long rolls on the full-sized gong announcing various sections.
    –Richard Ginell, American Record Guide

    …a mini-suite of brief highly varied jousts between [the violin and the marimba] that were sometimes angular, sometimes chasing each other, concluding with a fascinating repeating pattern that resembled a stuck groove at the end of a record fading away.
    –Richard Ginell, American Record Guide

    …its enchantment is in its sound. The percussionist stands in a cage of nipple gongs that ring wonderfully and seem to make silent comment even when [the percussionist] is busy with vibraphone and drums. [The English Horn’s] music, lyrical and dramatic, moves in and out of the song…
    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

    …a pure coloristic mood piece with a somewhat Asian flavor, exploiting a huge variety of sounds ranging from delicate mallet work on cowbells to short, sharp shots.
    –Richard Ginell, American Record Guide

    “Encounters XII” [sic] is for harp and percussion. …relatively delicate in sound…the percussion part shows a certain amount of humorous frustration…Actually the two [instruments] get along about as well as our cats, enjoying an occasional pitched battle and then ending up in each other’s paws asleep on the couch.
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    William Kraft is one of the most effective handlers of orchestral texture and sonic excitement around today.
    –American Record Guide

    A small masterpiece…
    –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

    …a work that managed to sound distinctively modern while remaining eloquent and accessible. In some sections, it is a brilliant display piece for the violin, beginning rather simply but growing rapidly in complexity.
    –Joseph McLellan , Washington Post

    William Kraft’s “Evening Voluntaries”…explores a wide range of solo horn technique, including chord playing … The work is a valuable contribution to a slim literature.
    –Michael Meckna, American Record Guide

    Intended as a celebratory fanfare, it is hardly a fanfare in the traditional sense. … Undeniably engaging, the work is animated by the tension between its extroverted, dissonant elements and it static consonant sections…
    –James Chute, Musical America

    GALLERY ’83
    The synesthetic union of sound and color is convincing, and a performance of this work with film or slides would be most evocative. The pointillistic mergings of textures give the impression of light diffusing on water and in the sky. Pollock’s daring pourings are transformed into abruptly juxtaposed tonal colors and bold dynamic contrasts…
    –Harrison Powley , American Music

    Scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, Gallery ’83’s three sections seek to relate a commonality of inspiration found in Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge” painting, Jackson Pollock’s “Convergence,” and Kraft’s own “Kandinsky Variations.” … This was not to say that the music was representational; it was more a matter of related sensibilities. … There was a great deal more than intellectual games to be derived from Gallery ’83. It was fascinating, to be sure, but even without the benefit of prior of knowledge, one would be struck by the formality of its design and moments of beauty.
    –Marilyn Tucker, San Fransisco Chronicle

    [Kraft] has perhaps more insight into the coloristic potential of percussive instruments than any of his American contemporaries. …Waterloo Bridge elicits timbral delicacy and feathery textures, while Pollock’s Convergence merits an immediate transformation to jagged, syncopated rhythms and repeated figures. The finale actually sets Kraft’s doodles to music, the quietest and least extrovert of the set. A solid achievement, deserving of a rehearing.
    –Allan Ulrich, San Fransisco Examiner

    William Kraft’s “Games” is a sheer-sound piece for brass and percussion. It was first performed outdoors and it has that kind of spaciousness, with groups of instruments coming from different angles. Some of the work is chance music, and all of it is a good deal of fun to listen to.
    –American Record Guide

    William Kraft’s “Gossamer Glances,” a seven-minute overture contrasting lacy instrumental business with occasional violent outbursts… can boast many charms, the main one being that it does not try to be charming but to make engrossing music with the full resources of a symphonic apparatus. This it succeeds in from top to bottom.
    –Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times

    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    “Interplay” is one of those works which demand attention, however complex the thought processes, however obscure the construction, and however unfamiliar the language. It is an amazingly well sustained burst of energy, brilliantly orchestrated…
    –Gerald Lamer, Manchester Guardian

    It’s complex music, but it grabs and holds the listener’s attention. There’s a sense of purpose, a restless forward-moving pulse.
    –Peter Roberts, Gloucestershire Echo

    …amusing and enjoyable….
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    Strings and percussion crossed each other’s paths and found common ground of sound production, between techniques of bowed and brushed percussion and percussive pizzicato from the strings. Most important, Kraft again exercised his uncanny ability to make accessible and immediate music out of an essentially atonal palette.
    –Josef Woodward, Los Angeles Times

    [Kraft] exploits to the full the scintillant power of percussion instruments, both tuned and untuned. This is especially true of “Of Ceremonies, Pageants and Celebrations,” a brilliant display work in which phalanxes of instruments exult together euphoniously if not melodically. … The sheer dynamism of orchestration and the piquancy of instrumental colour informs the music with considerable power.
    –Bret Johnson, Record Review

    …one of the festival’s most notable events. …Kraft’s work is an absorbing reminder that modern percussion music calls on a rich variety of sounds and is fully ‘music’ in the conventional sense while preserving a distinct nature of its own. …The whole piece was fun to watch and good to listen to.
    –William Glackin, Sacromento Bee

    Kraft’s seamlessly blended instrumental and vocal work… has been heard in these parts many times but is still rewarding. Kraft’s house brand of neo-Impressionist writing is eloquently filtered through Serialist thinking, and he makes the hybrid language work – sing, even.
    –Josef Woodward, Los Angeles Times

    Kraft is a composer who can produce a mean expressionist phantasmagoria. And everything he did here radiated instrumental knowingness and love of the idiom.
    –Richard Buell, Boston Globe

    Kraft’s compositional skill is considerable, and there is a lot of wonderfully written music here.
    –T.J. Medrek, Jr, Bay Windows (MA)

    William Kraft has become one of the grand old men of American music. When I began reviewing, he was one of the most colorful writers of serial music, and… he still wields an effective pen in that idiom. He was originally a percussionist, and his sense of color is bright and ear-tickling. …the hand of Kraft has by no means lost its cunning.
    –American Record Guide

    [“Silent Boughs”] utilizes a serial technique but so adroitly that one is unaware of it, and both in the vocal line and in the string accompaniment it explores eloquently the intense emotional content of the poems.
    –Albert Goldberg , Los Angeles Times

    “Symphony of Sorrows” reveals the fertile imagination of the composer… Kraft’s new work is a vivid example of shimmering sounds and strong forward motion. There is nothing difficult to the ear on first hearing, but the piece also suggests other layers that will reveal themselves only at subsequent performances, which I hope the symphony gets.
    –R.M. Cambell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    …a daring and risky and substantial work… The two sections of the piece are widely contrasting in method – the Dostoyevsky is largely written in Sprechstimme, while the Rimbaud evokes the world of Impressionist music, without ever directly drawing on that tradition. That is the great distinction of Kraft’s music, its originality, the way it never sounds like anything but itself… One is also lost in admiration at the strength of a compositional logic, and the control over music’s emotional statement, that makes it possible for Kraft to follow, convincingly, a semi-satiric statement with a wholly atmospheric one. … This is a dense and powerful and essential music.
    –Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

    Kraft carefully weaves illusive and sensuous sounds to accompany a free Sprechstimme-like style of poetic recitation. Webernesque textures and cohesive motivic constructions unify the work.
    –Harrison Powley , American Music

    The composer plays with space and light and shade in a beautiful, semi-abstract way…
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    …inspired by the light and darkness of a magnolia tree. The composer plays with space and light and shade in a beautiful, abstract way…
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    …there can be no question about the high quality of Kraft’s compositions… Each of them is lively and enjoyable… There is a refreshing ‘joie de vivre’ in all of Kraft’s music. Obviously he likes to have fun with noisemaking. Not that his writing is humorous, exactly. But it does live in an atmosphere of brightly-lit drama… Kraft treads a middle aesthetically, avoiding triteness and managing to be both serious and attractive without being overbearing.
    –David W. Moore, American Record Guide

    With “Veils and Variations,” [Kraft] won on all counts here by creating a work of musical substance and aesthetic merit that brought the audience to its feet.
    –Paul Moor, Musical America

    “Veils and Variations” is not a concerto in the traditional sense. The horn part is prominent and impressively virtuosic, but the relationship between soloist and orchestra involves little in the way of tension or conflict. Instead, the full performing forces combine their efforts to render the musical material, with appealing results. Kraft’s writing is accessible, without talking down to the listener, and his melodic and harmonic palette is rich and varied. The work’s orchestration is both resourceful and elegant.
    –Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

    This piece is highly entertaining…
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

  • Refuge REFUGE
    Albany Records (TROY1484); April 1, 2014
    Performer(s): Virginia Figueiredo, clarinet; Yuri Inoo, percussion
    Work(s): Encounters XVII
    William Kraft: Vintage Renaissance and Beyond WILLIAM KRAFT: VINTAGE RENAISSANCE AND BEYOND
    Albany Records (TROY1157); January 1, 2010
    Performer(s): New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Frank Battisti, conductor; Craig McNutt, roto-toms, Rhett Del Campo, Matthew Manturuk, Jeff Ridgeway, Joel Stucki, percussion; Marshall Taylor, alto saxophone, …
    Work(s): Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Symphonic Wind Ensemble
    Encounters IX: For Alto Saxophone and Percussion
    Encounters VI: Concertino for Roto Toms and Percussion Quartet
    Suite for Percussion
    Vintage Renaissance and Beyond
    William Kraft: Encounters WILLIAM KRAFT: ENCOUNTERS
    Cambria Master Recordings (CD-1191); September 29, 2009
    Performer(s): Southwest Chamber Music and the Tambuco Percussion Ensemble
    Work(s): Encounters I: Soliloquy for Solo Percussion and Tape
    Encounters II: For Solo Tuba
    Encounters III: Duel for Trumpet and Percussion
    Encounters IV: Duel for Trombone and Percussion
    Encounters IX: For Alto Saxophone and Percussion
    Encounters V: In the Morning of the Winter Sea
    Encounters VI: Concertino for Roto Toms and Percussion Quartet
    Encounters VII: Blessed Are the Peacemakers
    Encounters VIII: Divinations
    Encounters X: Duologue for Violin and Marimba
    Encounters XII: The Gabrielic Foray
    Encounters XIII: Concertino for Percussion and Woodwind Quintet
    Encounters XIV: Concerto a Tre
    Encounters XV: For Guitar and Percussion
    William Kraft WILLIAM KRAFT
    First Edition Music (FECD-0044); January 1, 2005
    Performer(s): Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by André Previn; Mary Rawcliffe, soprano; Jonathan Mack, tenor; Pasadena Boys Choir; New Albion Ensemble
    Work(s): Contextures II: The Final Beast
    Of Ceremonies, Pageants and Celebrations
    A Kennedy Portrait A KENNEDY PORTRAIT
    Albany Records (TROY561); May 27, 2003
    Performer(s): Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor; John Shea, narrator; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Paul Polivnick, conductor; Jane Manning, soprano
    Work(s): A Kennedy Portrait (Contextures III)
    A Vintage Renaissance
    Settings from Pierrot Lunaire
    Symphony of Sorrows
    William Kraft: Songs of Flowers, Bells and Death WILLIAM KRAFT: SONGS OF FLOWERS, BELLS AND DEATH
    Albany Records (TROY415); April 24, 2001
    Performer(s): Shepherd Singers; Shepherd School Percussion Ensemble; Alastair Willis, conductor; Marilyn Horne, mezzo soprano; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Henry Lewis, conductor; Sarah Eyden, soprano; Andrew Bus…
    Work(s): Contextures II: The Final Beast
    Silent Boughs
    Songs of Flowers, Bells and Death (Contextures IV)
    Ascending to Superlatives ASCENDING TO SUPERLATIVES
    Crystal Records (CD 329); September 26, 2000
    Performer(s): Carolyn Hove, English horn; Raynor Carroll, percussion
    Work(s): Encounters XI: The Demise of Suriyodhaya
    New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble: Works for Wind Ensemble NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY WIND ENSEMBLE: WORKS FOR WIND ENSEMBLE
    Albany Records (TROY340); August 24, 1999
    Performer(s): New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Frank Battisti, conductor, Matthew Manturuk, Eric Millstein, John Tanzer, Scott Vincent, percussion
    Work(s): Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Symphonic Wind Ensemble
    Edgard Varese: Arcana EDGARD VARESE: ARCANA
    Decca Records (No. 448 580-2); July 15, 1997
    Performer(s): Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists And Orchestra
    Premieres PREMIERES
    Nuema Records (No. 450-94); May 13, 1997
    Performer(s): Jill Felber, flutist. Gloria Cheng, pianist.
    Work(s): Cadeau
    Divinations DIVINATIONS
    Nuema Records (No. 450-93); February 18, 1997
    Performer(s): Dean Anderson, solo percussion
    Work(s): Encounters VIII: Divinations
    Phantasmata PHANTASMATA
    GM Recordings (2048CD); February 18, 1997
    Performer(s): Marimolin (Sharan Leventhal, violin; Nancy Zeltsman, marimba)
    Work(s): Encounters X: Duologue for Violin and Marimba
    William Kraft: Chamber Works WILLIAM KRAFT: CHAMBER WORKS
    Albany Records (TROY218); January 14, 1997
    Performer(s): Jane Manning, soprano, Dean Anderson, percussion, Ronald Copes, violin, Jeremy Haladyna, piano; Boston Musica Viva, Richard Pittman
    Work(s): Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Ensemble
    Gallery 4-5
    Settings from Pierrot Lunaire
    William Kraft: Three Concerti WILLIAM KRAFT: THREE CONCERTI
    Harmonia Mundi (HMU 907106); March 6, 1995
    Performer(s): Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor, Mona Golabek, piano, Thomas Akins, timpani; Jeff von der Schmidt, French horn; Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra
    Evening Voluntaries
    Veils and Variations
    Percussion by William Kraft PERCUSSION BY WILLIAM KRAFT
    Crystal Records (CD 124); August 1, 1994
    Performer(s): Barry Silverman, Thomas Raney, percussion soloists; Pacific Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Quartet from Tanglewood, members Los Angeles Philharmonic. William Kraft, Frank Epstein, conductors
    Work(s): Encounters I: Soliloquy for Solo Percussion and Tape
    Quartet for Percussion
    William Kraft WILLIAM KRAFT
    CRI/New World Records (CD 639); June 13, 1994
    Performer(s): Ensemble for Contemporary Music, University of California at Santa Barbara; Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble, William Kraft, director; Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; Speculum Musicae, John Graham, cond…
    Work(s): Des Imagistes
    Gallery ’83
    Quartet for the Love of Time
    The Sublime and the Beautiful
    The Music of William Kraft THE MUSIC OF WILLIAM KRAFT
    Cambria Master Recordings (CD-1071); April 26, 1994
    Performer(s): Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, conductor; Los Angeles Horn Club, William Kraft, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Orchestra
    Contextures: Riots – Decade ’60
    Double Trio
    Games: Collage I
    Thomas Stevens, Trumpet THOMAS STEVENS, TRUMPET
    Crystal Records (CD 667); December 29, 1993
    Performer(s): Thomas Stevens, trumpet, Mitchell Peters, percussion
    Work(s): Encounters III: Duel for Trumpet and Percussion
    Voices of Change VOICES OF CHANGE
    Crystal Records (CD 740); December 16, 1991
    Performer(s): Voices of Change, William Kraft, conducting
    Work(s): Melange
    William Kraft WILLIAM KRAFT
    Elektra/Nonesuch Records (No. 9 79229-2); January 1, 1989
    Performer(s): Los Angeles Philharmonic, André Previn, conductor; Warren Samples, Jr., cello; Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Paul Polivnick, conductor; Utah Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor
    Work(s): Contextures II: The Final Beast
    Of Ceremonies, Pageants and Celebrations
    Commissioned Works for Keyboard COMMISSIONED WORKS FOR KEYBOARD
    TownHall Records (CD No. THCD-24); January 1, 1979
    Performer(s): Ralph Grierson, piano
    Work(s): Requiescat: Let the Bells Mourn for Us for We Are Remiss
    Goldman-Brown Duo GOLDMAN-BROWN DUO
    Orion Records (ORS-76212); January 1, 1976
    Performer(s): Harris Goldman, violin. Carolyn Brown, piano
    Work(s): In Memoriam Igor Stravinsky
    East Meets West EAST MEETS WEST
    Contemporary Record Society (LP 8739)
    Performer(s): Paul Hoffman, piano
    Work(s): Translucences

  • 1990: Hall of Fame of the Percussive Arts Society
    2 Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards
    2 Guggenheim Fellowships
    2 Ford Foundation commissions
    Huntington Hartford Foundation fellowship
    National Endowment for the Arts fellowship
    American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Music Award

  • A Kennedy Portrait (Contextures III)
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    A Simple Introduction to the Orchestra
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    Concerto for Four Percussion Soloists and Orchestra
    Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Ensemble
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    Concerto for Tuba with Three Chamber Groups and Orchestra
    Concerto No. 1 for Timpani and Orchestra
    Concerto No. 2 for Timpani and Orchestra
    “The Grand Encounter”
    Contextures II: The Final Beast
    for Soprano and Tenor Soloists, Boys Choir, Old Music Group and Large Orchestra
    Contextures: Riots – Decade ’60
    for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet
    Des Imagistes
    for Six Percussionists and Two Narrators
    Dialogues and Entertainments
    for Soprano and Winds
    Settings from “Pierrot Lunaire”
    for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
    Settings from “Pierrot Lunaire”
    for Soprano and Orchestra
    Songs of Flowers, Bells and Death (Contextures IV)
    for Chorus and Percussion Ensemble
    The Sublime and the Beautiful
    for Tenor and Chamber Orchestra
    Vintage Renaissance
    for Orchestra
    Vintage Renaissance and Beyond
    for Chamber Ensemble