Jonathan Tunick, composer

Jonathan Tunick, composer

Long regarded as Broadway’s preeminent orchestrator, Jonathan Tunick is known for his facility and creativity in scoring the works of others, primarily those of Stephen Sondheim. However he is also a skilled and versatile composer who has written in all forms; orchestral, chamber and vocal. A native New Yorker, Jonathan Tunick grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and was educated at the High School of Music and Art, Bard College and Juilliard.

His first major credit was Promises, Promises (1968), which led to a long series of other Broadway musicals, which include Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, A Chorus Line, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Nine, Into the Woods, Passion, Titanic, The Color Purple, Road Show and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

His credits as composer, arranger and conductor of music for film and television include Find Me Guilty, Fort Apache, The Bronx, Endless Love, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Fantasticks, The Bird Cage, Murder, She Wrote, and Columbo.

He has been awarded honorary Doctorates by Bard College and Oklahoma City University.

He is one of eight living “EGOTs”, holding all four major awards (Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Oscar). In 2009 he was inducted into Broadway’s Theater Hall of Fame.

Victoria Bond, guest conductor

Victoria Bond, guest conductor

A major force in 21st century concert music, Victoria Bond leads a dual career as composer and conductor. Her compositions have been praised by the New York Times as “powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding,” and her conducting has been called “impassioned” by the Wall Street Journal and “full of energy and fervor” by the New York Times.

Bond has been commissioned by The American Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Houston and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, Cleveland and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras, Women’s Philharmonic, Soli Deo Gloria, The Young Peoples’ Chorus, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, Choral Society of the Hamptons and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Anchorage Opera, Irish National Orchestra (RTE), Shanghai Symphony and members of the New York Philharmonic, among others. She is the recipient of the Victor Herbert Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Walter Hinrichsen Award, the Perry F. Kendig Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize.

Bond has served as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony and guest conducted throughout the United States, Europe, South America and China. The first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, Bond has served as Music Director of the New Amsterdam and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras, Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, Harrisburg Opera and Bel Canto Opera, Music Adviser of the Wuhan Symphony in China and is Principal Guest Conductor of Chamber Opera Chicago.

She has guest conducted the Honolulu, Buffalo, Richmond, Louisville, Albany, Anchorage, Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras; Cleveland and St. Paul chamber symphonies; Opera Carolina; Festival of Contemporary Music in Santos, Brazil; Radio Telefis Eirann in Dublin, Ireland; Center for Contemporary Opera in New York; and the Shanghai, Hunan, and Wuhan symphony orchestras and Beijing Central Opera in China. She was assistant conductor of New York City Opera under Beverly Sills, and conducted orchestral concerts for Ray Charles, leading his 70th birthday concert in Warsaw, Poland. She has worked with Andre Previn, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sixten Ehrling, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Herbert Blomstedt, and Herbert von Karajan.

Recent performances of her compositions include: Bridges by the Michigan Philharmonic and the National Repertory Orchestra; Soul of a Nation by the Riverside County Philharmonic; How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place from Psalm 84, commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria at Temple Emanuel and St. John the Divine sung by a combined choir; Rashomon by Kyo-Shin Arts, Instruments of Revelation by Ballet Chicago and the Orion Ensemble, and the workshop performance of her opera Clara about Clara Schumann. Scenes from Bond’s opera Mrs. President were performed by the New York City Opera as part of VOX in 2001 and the complete opera was performed in concert by the Anchorage Opera in October 2012. Of the opera, Allan Kozinn in The New York Times wrote: “Victoria Bond has struck gold.” Bond’s Hanukkah opera Miracle! Was commissioned by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and will be premiered in 2016. She has composed eight operas, six ballets, two piano concertos and numerous orchestral, chamber, choral and keyboard compositions. Ms. Bond produces Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival in New York and is a frequent pre-concert lecturer for the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall and for the Metropolitan Opera’ HD simulcasts at Guild Hall. She has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and on NBC’s Today Show and featured in People magazine and in the New York Times. Her music is published by Theodore Presser, C.F. Peters, G. Schirmer, and Subito Music and recorded on the Koch International, Albany, GEGA, Protone, and Family Classic labels.

Bond has a masters and doctorate from the Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. Her teachers include Ingolf Dahl (composition, USC), William Vennard (voice, USC), Roger Sessions (composition Julliard), Jean Morel, James Conlon and Sixteen Ehrling (conducting, Juilliard), Leonard Slatkin and Herbert Blomstedt (conducting, Aspen) and Herbert von Karajan (master class, Juilliard). She has taught at Juilliard, The Conductor’s Institute, New York University and in the spring will design and teach online courses for Nyack College. She has honorary doctorates from Hollins and Roanoke Colleges, and Washington and Lee University. She was voted Woman of the Year, Virginia in 1990 and 1991.

Douglas Townsend, composer

Douglas Townsend, composer

Douglas Townsend was actively composing, teaching, coaching ensembles and producing concerts until shortly before his death, on August 1, 2012, at the age of 90. Townsend was a native New Yorker. After graduating on the eve of WWII from Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art, he studied composition with a succession of well-known composers: Aaron Copland (on a scholarship to Tanglewood), Stefan Wolpe (for five years), Otto Luening (on two scholarships to the Middlebury Composers’ Conference), Tibor Serly (a friend of Béla Bartók’s) and Felix Greissle (Arnold Schoenberg’s son-in-law).

When Townsend was 17, his Contra Dances won a nationwide contest for student composers and was performed by the CBS Symphony on a national radio broadcast, with the film composer Bernard Herrmann conducting. His professional career began one day after he turned 24, when his Sonatina No. 1 for Piano Solo was premiered at Carnegie Hall by the internationally known concert pianist Ray Lev. Thereafter, Townsend composed and premiered over 100 works, including several symphonies and concertos, chamber and ballet music, film scores and incidental music for theatrical productions.

His vocal works include operas, operettas and choral music, and he wrote extensively for wind ensembles and symphonic bands. In the last five years of his life, he oversaw 65 performances of his orchestral, band, chamber and choral works in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Through grants for his work as a musicologist, Townsend brought to light, edited and prepared for performance over 60 compositions from the 18th and 19th centuries. Townsend enjoyed having his own YouTube channel and over 2,500 friends on Facebook.

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