Jay Reise

  • Jay Reise is the composer of the opera Rasputin which was commissioned by the late Beverly Sills and premiered by the New York City Opera in 1988. It was described in The Washington Times as “a spellbinding, challenging and profoundly beautiful creation.” Rasputin was given its highly successful Russian premiere in Moscow by the Helikon Opera in September, 2008, and reprised in further performances in January and February, 2009.

    Reise’s Oscar Wilde-based ballet fairy-tale The Selfish Giant was commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonia Orchestra in London in 1997. Other recent works include The River Within (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra) (2008) premiered by Maria Bachmann and Orchestra 2001; the Concerto for Horn and 7 Instruments (2006), commissioned and premiered by the Network for New Music and Adam Unsworth; and the piano quintet Powers That Be (2005), commissioned by the Barlow Foundation and premiered by the Cassatt Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin.

    Reise was born in 1950 in New York City and has lived in Philadelphia since he was appointed to the music faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. Previous to his appointment at Penn, Reise taught for four years at Hamilton College during which he composed his first two symphonies supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim fellowship. Symphony of Voices was premiered at the Monadnock Festival, and his Second Symphony was premiered by the Syracuse Symphony, conducted by Christopher Keene, and performed subsequently by the Philadelphia Orchestra. His Third Symphony was supported by the Dietrich and Rockefeller Foundations and premiered by the Long Island Philharmonic. Other awards and fellowships have come from the Fromm Foundation, Bellagio, the Camargo Foundation, and twice from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    The music of Jay Reise music has been performed widely both in the United States and abroad including an all-Reise retrospective concert in Moscow in 2000. He has been a recipient of the US-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship and has served as Director of Contemporary Music at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Deeply influenced by Carnatic (South Indian) music and jazz (especially Jimmy Giuffre and George Russell), Reise works with a technique that he calls “rhythmic counterpoint” in which rhythmic motives are developed within the phrase such that the cadence point is implied by the rhythms alone. This technique has been a part of his music since 1990.

    Among his recordings are the chamber concerto Chesapeake Rhythms and Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments recorded on CRI by Orchestra 2001. The Devil in the Flesh and Other Pieces (Albany) features pianist Marc-André Hamelin. Jay Reise: Chamber Music (Albany) was released in March 2008 through support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Gregory Fulkerson, Jerome Lowenthal, Charles Ullery and the Cassatt Quartet have also recorded his music.

    Jay Reise’s articles have appeared in Opera News, Nineteenth-Century Music, Perspectives of New Music and Reading World Literature. His music is published by Merion Music/Theodore Presser Co.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    140-40104 The Devil In The Flesh
    Six Pictures for Piano
    26:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    144-40582 The Flight Of The Red Sea Swallow
    Ballad for Flute and Piano
    144-40581 The Flight Of The Red Sea Swallow
    Ballad for Violin and Piano
    17:00 Violin with Piano
    144-40584 The Ghost Of The Red Sea Swallow
    Poem for Flute & Piano
    144-40583 The Ghost Of The Red Sea Swallow
    Poem for Violin & Piano
    6:00 Violin with Piano
    140-40064 Rhythmic Garlands
    141-40046 Satori
    For Voice and Piano
    Voice with Piano
    141-40042 Satori
    Poem for Voice, Violin, Cello, and Piano
    140-40070 Sonata Rhythmikosmos
    Piano Unaccompanied
    144-40272 Yellowstone Rhythms
    For Bassoon and Piano
    15:00 Bassoon with Piano
    Chamber Ensemble
    144-40480 Across The Horizons
    For Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano
    21:00 Piano Quartet
    144-40270 Celebrations
    14528 Chesapeake Rhythms
    for Eleven Players
    16:00 1 1 1 0 – 0 0 0 0; 2Perc. Pno. Str.
    144-40250 Duo Rhythmikosmos
    144-40135 La Choumine
    144-40440 Memory Refrains
    String Quartet In One Movement
    25:00 String Quartet
    10194 Open Night
    Poem-Caprice for 6 Instruments
    15:00 Fl.(dbl. Picc.) Cl. Vln. Vcl. Perc. Pno.
    144-40179 Poem
    String Quartet
    141-40071 Satori
    For Voice, Oboe, Cello, and Piano
    11:00 Voice, Oboe, Cello, Piano
    14531 Sinfonietta
    for Woodwind Quintet
    15:00 2 2 2 2 – 2 0 0 0
    144-40180 String Quartet #2
    String Quartet
    14536 String Quartet No. 2
    140-40114 Three Pictures From ‘The Devil In The Flesh’
    For Two Pianos
    17:00 2 Pianos 4 Hands
    144-40251 Trio Rhythmikosmos
    String Trio
    10095 Yellowstone Rhythms
    for Bassoon and 10 Instruments
    14:23 Solo Bsn.; 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1 0 – 0 0 0 0; Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str. (
    14527 Autumn Rhythms
    for Orchestra
    8:00 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 3 3 3(B.Tbn.) 0; 3Perc. Pno. Str.
    14529 Poem (Prelude)
    for String Orchestra
    10:00 Str.
    14530 The Selfish Giant
    A Choreographic Tone Poem based on the story by Oscar Wilde
    25:00 2(Picc.) 2 2 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Org. Str.
    14534 Symphony No. 2
    22:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(EbCl./B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 6 6 3 1; Timp. 5Perc. Str.
    14535 Symphony No. 3
    18:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    10083 Cello Concerto
    26:00 Solo Vcl.; 1(Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.(1 1 1 1 1)
    17426 The River Within
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    26:00 Solo Violin; 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
    14537 Undercurrents
    for Bassoon and String Orchestra
    13:00 Bsn., Str.
    Vocal / Choral
    14533 Symphony of Voices (Symphony No. 1)
    for Soprano and Orchestra
    16:00 Solo Sop.; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 2 – 4 2 2 1; 3Perc. Hp. Str.
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    14548 Tinicum Rhythms
    14:00 Band

    … there must be something to draw listeners back for repeat visits. That magentism was immediate in the heart-grabbing opening violin solo of the world-premiere sextet by…Jay Reise, titled Open Night… the piece unfolds with a reasoning that’s hard to exp
    –David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    …this score is far more compelling than most comparable works… Reise has achieved a rare balance between accessibility and complexity.
    –Peter J. Rabinowitz, Musical America

    “… there must be something to draw listeners back for repeat visits. That magentism was immediate in the heart-grabbing opening violin solo of the world-premiere sextet by…Jay Reise, titled Open Night… the piece unfolds with a reasoning that’s hard to exp
    –David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare

    “…it is an excellent addition to the repertoire.”

    “A worthy conclusion of the CD is the Concerto for Violin by Jay Reise: a tour de force for the soloist and no less for the orchestra. Between them they engage in a sharp and contrapuntally dense dialogue, provoking a contagious energy filled with surpris

    “This is a very exciting piece, easy to listen to and propulsive but not at all ‘harsh’.”
    –Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition

    “… a rather engaging work. …quite beautiful…”

    “Composed for a Classical-sized orchestra, it adds spice to its formalist leanings by stripping the orchestral forces back to single winds and brass with the addition of piano (which operates as the default continuo) and a small selection of percussion in

    “…the composer has created a most moving work of considerable substance, leaving me desirous of hearing much more of his work.”

    “… muscular and energetic. Reise is constantly imaginative, though the “rhythmic polyphony” techniques he uses do not get in the way of the direct appreciation of music.”
    –Jeremy Marchant, Fanfare

    “…harmonically and rhythmically adventurous. …this is a high-quality, full-blooded concerto in the tradition of the great mid-20th century virtuoso works…”
    –MusicWeb International

    “It had epic quality. The full organ, the rolling timps and the squabbling brass at the start had weight. A clumsy giant’s angry dissonances were peeled back to reveal strings pulling anguished chords.”
    –Rick Jones, Evening Standard (London)

  • To The Point TO THE POINT
    Innova Records (745); May 31, 2011
    Performer(s): Maria Bachmann, violin, Orchestra 2001, conducted by James Freeman
    Work(s): The River Within, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Jay Reise Chamber Music JAY REISE CHAMBER MUSIC
    Albany Records (TROY1004); March 4, 2008
    Performer(s): Cassatt Quartet; Fresh Ink Players; Charles Abramovic, piano, Allison Herz, clarinet, Karen Bentley Pollick, violin, Michal Schmidt, cello
    Work(s): Across the Horizons
    Memory Refrains for String Quartet
    Open Night Poem-Caprice for 6 Instruments
    Orchestra 2001 Music Of Our Time: Volume 5 ORCHESTRA 2001 MUSIC OF OUR TIME: VOLUME 5
    CRI/New World Records (NWCR899); February 1, 2007
    Performer(s): Orchestra 2001, James Freeman, conductor, Ulrich Boeckheler, cello
    Work(s): Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments
    The Devil in the Flesh & Other Pieces THE DEVIL IN THE FLESH & OTHER PIECES
    Albany Records (TROY665); November 1, 2004
    Performer(s): Jody Applebaum, soprano, Charles Uller, bassoon, Marc-André Hamelin, piano
    Work(s): Satori for Soprano and Piano
    Sonata Rhythmikosmos for Piano
    The Devil in the Flesh – Six Pictures for Piano Solo
    Yellowstone Rhythms for Bassoon and Piano
    Rhythmic Garlands and Other Pieces RHYTHMIC GARLANDS AND OTHER PIECES
    Centaur Records (CRC2598); October 21, 2003
    Performer(s): Erica Kieswetter and Gregory Fulkerson, violin, Jonathan Spitz, cello, Charles Abramovic, Jerome Lowenthal and Cameron Grant, piano
    Work(s): Duo Rhythmikosmos for Violin and Piano
    Rhythmic Garlands for Piano Solo
    Trio Rhythmikosmos for Violin, Cello and Piano

  • Fromm Foundation award
    Bellagio award
    Camargo Foundation award
    2 National Endowment for the Arts awards
    National Endowment for the Arts grant
    Guggenheim fellowship
    Dietrich Foundation grant
    Rockefeller Foundation grant

  • The River Within
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra