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 Solo The Devil In The FleshSix Pictures for Piano 26:00 Piano Unaccompanied The Flight Of The Red Sea SwallowBallad for Flute and Piano 17:00 The Flight Of The Red Sea SwallowBallad for Violin and Piano 17:00 Violin with Piano The Ghost Of The Red Sea SwallowPoem for Flute & Piano 6:00 The Ghost Of The Red Sea SwallowPoem for Violin & Piano 6:00 Violin with Piano Rhythmic Garlands SatoriFor Voice and Piano Voice with Piano SatoriPoem for Voice, Violin, Cello, and Piano 9:00 Sonata Rhythmikosmos Piano Unaccompanied Yellowstone RhythmsFor Bassoon and Piano 15:00 Bassoon with Piano Chamber Ensemble Across The HorizonsFor Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano 21:00 Piano Quartet Celebrations 4:00 Chesapeake Rhythmsfor Eleven Players 16:00 1 1 1 0 – 0 0 0 0; 2Perc. Pno. Str. Duo Rhythmikosmos La Choumine Memory RefrainsString Quartet In One Movement 25:00 String Quartet Open NightPoem-Caprice for 6 Instruments 15:00 Fl.(dbl. Picc.) Cl. Vln. Vcl. Perc. Pno. Poem String Quartet SatoriFor Voice, Oboe, Cello, and Piano 11:00 Voice, Oboe, Cello, Piano Sinfoniettafor Woodwind Quintet 15:00 2 2 2 2 – 2 0 0 0 String Quartet #2 String Quartet String Quartet No. 2 17:00 Three Pictures From ‘The Devil In The Flesh’For Two Pianos 17:00 2 Pianos 4 Hands Trio Rhythmikosmos String Trio Yellowstone Rhythmsfor Bassoon and 10 Instruments 14:23 Solo Bsn.; 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1 0 – 0 0 0 0; Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str. (18.104.22.168.1) Orchestra Autumn Rhythmsfor Orchestra 8:00 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 3 3 3(B.Tbn.) 0; 3Perc. Pno. Str. Poem (Prelude)for String Orchestra 10:00 Str. The Selfish GiantA 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. Symphony No. 2 22:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(EbCl./B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 6 6 3 1; Timp. 5Perc. Str. 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) Cello Concerto 26:00 Solo Vcl.; 1(Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.(1 1 1 1 1) The River WithinConcerto for Violin and Orchestra 26:00 Solo Violin; 1(dbl. Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 0; Perc. Pno. Str. Undercurrentsfor Bassoon and String Orchestra 13:00 Bsn., Str. Vocal / Choral 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 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
SYMPHONY NO. 2
…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
THE RIVER WITHIN
“… 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…”
THE SELFISH GIANT
“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
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
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
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
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
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
Camargo Foundation award
2 National Endowment for the Arts awards
National Endowment for the Arts grant
Dietrich Foundation grant
Rockefeller Foundation grant
The River Within
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra