Robert Maggio

  • The music of Robert Maggio has been called “lyrical, passionate, melodic, and rhythmically charged” (American Record Guide). Hailed as a composer of music that is “smart, vital, and inventive” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Robert Maggio has created a substantial body of works in nearly every genre, each creating a unique connection between the composer’s “wondrously eclectic vocabulary” (New York Times) and the demands of a diverse body of commissions.

    Recent projects include a 40-minute orchestral suite (Two Visions) composed in collaboration with Ana Lara for the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and short choral works for the Reading Choral Society and the Kennett Square Symphony Children’s Chorus. Works in progress include a suite for chamber orchestra to celebrate the Riverside Symphonia’s 15th Anniversary Season and a dance work for Network for New Music to be choreographed by Matthew Neenan and Phrenic New Ballet.

    In the spring of 2004, Albany Records released a CD of Maggio’s recent choral works including Aristotle, Jacklight, The Wishing Tree, and Rachel and Her Children. In reviewing this CD, American Record Guide said, “Maggio is quite a craftsman, with the traditional elements… all contribute to a smooth, luxurious, somewhat mysterious, flow” Fanfare Magazine reported, “…Maggio shows himself both deeply respectful of the choral tradition and determined to put his own stamp on it.” Published by Theodore Presser Company, Maggio’s music is currently recorded on the Albany and CRI labels.

    Maggio’s orchestral music has been performed by the Boston Pops, the Atlanta Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Dallas/Fort Worth Symphony, the New York Youth Symphony and the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra. His chamber and vocal/choral music has been commissioned and performed by the New York Festival of Song, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Colorado Quartet (Arizona Friends of Chamber Music commission), Sanford Sylvan and David Breitman (Barlow commission), Detroit Chamber Winds, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Composers Inc., Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001 and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia.

    In addition to composing for ballet, Maggio has created scores for numerous modern dance companies (Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, Randy James Dance Works, Leah Stein and Dancers). In 1994, he was composer-in-residence at the American Dance Festival. He has composed songs and incidental music for professional theater productions, including those at Yale Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Peoples Light and Theater, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

    Maggio has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Meet the Composer
    A graduate of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, Robert Maggio lives in Lambertville, New Jersey with his partner, the artist, Tony LaSalle, and their daughter Annamaria. He is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music Theory and Composition in the School of Music at West Chester University.


  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    Invisible Soundtrack 115-40200 5:00 Concert Band
    South Mountain Echoes 115-40198 15:15 Concert Band
    Psychedelic Circus 115-40199 8:00 Concert Band
    Chamber Ensemble
    2 Quartets 114-40862 21:00 2fl 2Cello
    …All The Live Long Day
    from Songbook for Annamaria (String Quartet No. 1)
    114-41538 20:00 String Quartet
    114-41786 Aninventionersary
    For Two Flutes
    114-41786 :2:00 2 Flutes
    114-41802 Devils Garden – Angels Landing
    For Alto Saxophone And Marimba
    114-41802 :9:30 Mixed Duet
    Divide
    For Horn and Piano
    114-41096 12:00 Horn with Piano
    Duo Concertante
    For Violin and Piano
    114-40814 15:00
    Dreams for Childhood
    For Piano, Four Hands
    114-40741 4:00 Percussion Ensemble
    Fluano Pianute
    For Flute and Piano
    114-40812 15:00 Chamber Ensemble
    Fantasy: Spontaneous Lines
    For B-Flat Clarinet and Piano
    114-40811 14:00
    Internal Rhythms 114-40909 15:00 8Percussion
    Laurel Tree
    For 2 Flutes and Piano
    114-40865 20:00
    Phoenix
    For Two Flutes
    114-40940 8:00 Flute Duet
    Riddle 114-41097 13:00
    Rain and Ash
    String Quartet No. 2
    114-41384 String Quartet
    River Song 10029 13:00 2Ob. 2Cl. 2Bsn. 2Hn.
    River Song 414-41187
    Touching Heaven
    For Flute and Percussion
    114-41541 23:00 Flute with Piano
    Tragicomedy
    for Chamber Orchestra
    10005 22:00 1(Picc.) 1 1(B.Cl.) 1 – 1 1 1 0; 2Perc. Pno. Soli Str.(2Vn. Vla. Vcl. Cb.)
    Traveling Songs
    For Flute and Guitar
    114-41009 6:30 Flute and Guitar
    Tributary Streams 114-40809 22:00 ASax, Piano, Bass, Percussion
    We Gathered At The River
    Reflections On A Memorial Service At The Riverside
    114-41383 9:00 Cello with Piano
    Where You End and I Begin
    For Oboe And Piano
    114-41617 12:00 Oboe with Piano
    Where You End And I Begin 114-41618 13:00 Soprano Saxophone with Piano
    Orchestra
    A Symphony of Memory 13157 32:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EbCl./ B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    Bearded Woman
    Movement II from “Three Paintings from DOS VISIONES”
    17000 5:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Big Top
    for Orchestra
    10336 12:00 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
    Boardwalk 16879 5:30 2 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Str.
    The Century Garden 17101 15:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
    Color and Light 17294 8:00 2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Perc. Str.
    Dorian Prelude
    for Orchestra
    10008 10:00 3(Picc.) 3 3(E-fl Cl.) 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Str.
    The Hand-Prints of Sorcerers
    for Orchestra
    10007 12:00 2(Picc ) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Str.
    Imaginary Dances
    for Orchestra
    10006 34:00 3(Picc.) 3 3(B.Cl.) 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    Light And Truth
    for Brass Choir and Percussion
    10004 12:00 4Tpt. 4Hn. 3Tbn. 2Bar. 2Tu. 3Perc.
    The Magician of the Rain
    Movement I from “Three Paintings from DOS VISIONES”
    17001 7:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    My Home in the Horizon
    for Orchestra
    10175 9:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.CL.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Three Paintings from DOS VISIONES 17002 looks like we got to the end! 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Self Portrait with Roots
    Movement III from “Three Paintings from DOS VISIONES”
    16999 8:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Simple 17100 5:00 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Skylines 10054 8:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Solo
    Dreams From Childhood 110-40741 10:00 Piano
    Elysian Fields
    For Solo Flute
    114-40815 7:00
    Prelude, Hymn, and Toccata
    For Piano
    410-41312 14:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Love-Bird
    For Solo Piano
    110-41778 6:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Songs From The Wood
    For Solo Marimba
    114-41261 13:00 Percussion Unaccompanied
    Winter Toccata 114-40810 21:00
    Variations: My Native Land 114-40888 17:00
    Staged Works
    Barcarole
    seven mad gods who rule the sea
    114-40813 2:00 Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion
    Vocal / Choral
    Aristotle
    For S.A.T.B. Chorus, A Cappella
    312-41768 6:45 SATB
    Let Me Start Over 111-40208 Baritone, Piano
    Light to Thousands: The Ballad of Galvez
    for Tenor and Orchestra
    16919 5:30 Tenor Solo; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. Str.
    Snow Day 17424 12:00 S.A.Chorus; 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 0; Timp. 2Perc. Str.

  • Maggio’s music has real virtues: a light, active sense of texture, a good nose for drama, and a sophisticated but readily approachable tonal language.
    –Russell Platt , Strings

    Robert Maggio does not fear being beautiful in his music which is both grand yet reticent, tuneful yet tough, gorgeous in sound yet lean in method. More important, Maggio is blessed with that ambiguous trait that can neither be bought nor faked: the knack
    –Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

    …contains not one but several gems, and their luster brightens with frequent hearings… Maggio shows a real gift for creating gradually evolving structures that, despite a large-scale architecture, really do get somewhere in the end and do not collapse int
    –Robert Carl , Fanfare

    BARCAROLE
    …the most ambitious…and was received with enthusiasm…Maggio’s score was the most dynamic and effective.
    –Tracie Fellers, The Herald Sun

    It is a very fine piece, colorful and expressive. It easily stands alone as a musical experience, without the choreography. A very important release from a young composer who bears watching.
    –American Record Guide

    BIG TOP
    …Yankee Doodle meets Daffy Duck and most points between… rousing crowd-pleaser…
    –Susan Elliott, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    DORIAN PRELUDE
    His compositional vocabulary is wondrously eclectic, allwoing him to say exactly what he wished to express here.
    –Bert Wechsler, The New York Daily News

    …an impressive orchestral essay based on the Oscar Wilde novel. Invention is rife here, with its contrast of youthful elation (gleefully intoned by the clarinet) and the cynicism of age (shards of sound at the end.).
    –Mary Ellen Hutton, The Cincinnati Post

    …imaginative and vibrant… Its orchestration… proved striking.
    –James R. Oestreich, New York Times

    DOS VISIONES
    … an attractive work of passionate power and surpassing grace… it was the music that mattered: rich, inviting, rhythmically intriguing music that expressed the passions of two cultures and celebrated two rich and diverse kinds of music.

    DUO CONCERTANTE
    …dynamic, fierce… distinctive… celebratory.
    –Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer

    The first movement, titled ‘Aggressive,’ opens with loud dissonances, quick swells, abrupt meter changes, and rapid-fire exchange between violin and piano. The second movement, ‘Tender, Conciliatory,’ provides a marked contrast and reaction to the first,
    –American String Teacher

    ELYSIAN FIELDS
    …[Maggio has written] genuinely effective passages in this interesting work, particularly the intense finale, and the earlier meditative and finely nuanced musings… A real challenge, therefore, which at seven minutes duration does not outstay its welcome.
    –Duke Dobing, Pan

    FANTASY: SPONTANEOUS LINES
    …its rhapsodic, constantly fluctuating melodies, rhythms and meters impart a feeling of improvisation and spontaneity. In the hands of a capable soloist, Maggio’s piece will be a work of power and expressivity.
    –Jerry L. McBride, MLA Notes

    I HEAR AMERICA SINGING
    Its brief five minutes are filled with drama and insight…On first hearing, all I wanted was to hear it again…the sparkle and vibrancy in the marriage of Whitman’s words and the composer’s vividly persuasive music announced a significant contribution to th
    –John Fidler, Reading Eagle

    IMAGINARY DANCES
    Just as a cloud-streaked sky or gauze curtains fluttering in a window can unfetter the mind, these episodes proved capable of inducing a deep reverie. Maggio’s music, at its best, is deep and inspired.
    –David Gere, Oakland Tribune

    …an exciting new talent in a composition that was both technically complex and very satisfying as a listening experience. Maggio, 28, writes in an idiom that is recognizably modern but plainly original… The overall impression was of freshness and exuberan
    –Basil De Pinto , The Montclarion

    …imaginative, whimsical, surprising and successful.
    –Cheryl Greger, Times Star

    Maggio handles the orchestra with genuine flair, and the interactions of the brass and percussion sections give Imaginary Dances a certain punchy energy.
    –Joshua Kosman, San Fransisco Chronicle

    PRELUDE, HYMN, AND TOCCATA
    …Debussy-inflected colors; hard-driving, hand-alternating rhythms, and onrushing episodes…
    –Anthony Tommasini, Boston Globe

    …a jazz-inflected work of solidly idiomatic keyboard writing.
    –Will Crutchfield, New York Times

    QUILT PANELS
    The piece began with a solemn reading of names of the dead over thickly layered voices of the chorus, and hauntingly skeletal symphonic creations. The listener then journeyed through a musical jigsaw puzzle whose pieces ranged from somber uncertainty to a
    –Beth Buchanan, Washington Post

    SONGBOOK FOR ANNAMARIA
    …four well-known old tunes that were favorites of his adopted daughter. The tunes…are surrounded with concepts that contribute to several moments of real emotional meaning…Thanks, Robert, I think you have something special there.
    –D. Moore, American Record Guide

    …honest and sincere.…musical invention, subtle wit, and theatrical timing…You just want to hear it again…
    –David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

    THE LAUREL TREE
    This was no calming Buddhist ‘Ohm’ evocation. For Maggio, the inward search of Daphne and by extension the audience, is scary, filled with eerie night-music, whispers and whimpers.
    –Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey

    TWO QUARTETS
    Maggio’s music speaks directly in a comprehensible language of dark-hued colors which often touch the heart.
    –T.J. Medrek, The TAB

    The real find on the disc is the young Philadelphia composer Robert Maggio’s Desire-Movement… This is a composer whose career merits close attention.
    –Roger Oyster, Gay and Lesbian Literature in Print

    …a now turbulent, now serene work, pits bright soaring flights of flutes against the dusky, brusque rumbling of cellos before joining their voices in empathy.
    –Bruce Michael-Gelbert, New York Native

    …minimalistic yet achingly romantic
    –Tom Samiljan, Time Out New York

    The piece explores dualities of mind and of heart, while also probing the special dualities inherent in its unique instrumentation.
    –American Record Guide

    Two Quartets is memorable for, among other things, the soaring flute and cello pyrotechnics and for the lovely way instruments blend to achieve a wide range of effects.
    –Ken Keuffel Jr, The Pennsylvania Gazette

    VIBRATE
    …casual quasi-tonalities and loping lines.
    –Miriam Seidel, Philadelphia Inquirer

    WINTER TOCCATA
    …lyrical, passionate, melodic, and rhythmically charged… a young composer who bears watching.
    –Stephen Hicken, American Record Guide

  • Open Road OPEN ROAD
    Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (); June 10, 2006
    Performer(s): Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus
    Work(s): Open Road
    The Wishing Tree: Choral Music of Robert Maggio THE WISHING TREE: CHORAL MUSIC OF ROBERT MAGGIO
    Albany Records (Troy 645); March 30, 2004
    Performer(s): Ithaca College Choir, Lawrence Doebler, conductor
    Work(s): Aristotle
    Riddles RIDDLES
    CRI/New World Records (NWCR870); January 1, 2001
    Performer(s): Audrey Andrist, piano, David Fedele, flute, Bart Feller, flute, Daniel Grabois, horn, Robert Koenig, piano, Tara Helen O’Connor flute, Scott St. John, violin, James Stern, violin, Colette Valentine, p…
    Work(s): Divide
    Duo Concertante
    Fluano Pianute
    Phoenix
    Riddle
    Elysian Fields: Bart Feller, flute ELYSIAN FIELDS: BART FELLER, FLUTE
    Independent (B0001WW2M6); January 1, 1999
    Performer(s): Bart Feller, flute
    Work(s): Elysian Fields
    Seven Mad Gods SEVEN MAD GODS
    CRI/New World Records (NWCR720); June 18, 1996
    Performer(s): Bradley Lubman, conductor; Jennifer Higdon, conductor; Bart Feller & Kathleen Nester, flutes; Don Liuzzi, percussion; Fred Sherry & Jonathan Spitz, cello; Hugh Sung, piano; John Koen, cello; Scott St.…
    Work(s): Barcarole (seven mad gods who rule the sea)
    Two Quartets
    Winter Toccata (I can’t believe you want to die)
    Spontaneous Lines: Twentieth Century American Music for Clarinet and Piano SPONTANEOUS LINES: TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICAN MUSIC FOR CLARINET AND PIANO
    Albany Records (TROY311); June 8, 1990
    Performer(s): Nathan Williams, clarinet; Audrey Andrist, piano
    Work(s): Fantasy: Spontaneous Lines

  • 1994: Composer-in-residence at the American Dance Festival
    Guggenheim Foundation award
    American Academy of Arts and Letters award
    Pew Fellowships in the Arts award
    Pennsylvania Council on the Arts award
    Meet the Composer award

  • Color and Light
    for Chamber Orchestra
    Snow Day
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    The Century Garden
    for Orchestra
    Tributary Streams
    for Alto Saxophone, Piano, Bass, and Percussion

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