"And The River" Consortium Commission & Premiere

"And the River", Donald Crockett's new concerto for duo pianists and chamber orchestra featuring HOCKET, premiered in May 2018 with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.

Co-commissioned by Kaleidoscope, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Aspen Music Festival, "And the River" with HOCKET travels to Oberlin in November 2018 and to the Aspen Music Festival in July 2019.

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SAKURA New Music USA Commission

Workshops are in progress for this new piece featuring SAKURA cello quintet. Premiere performances are scheduled for the 2019-20 season.

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Two commissioned premieres are on the way, with Donald Crockett hard at work on a new concerto for HOCKET piano duo in a co-commission with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, and the Oberlin Sinfonietta.
Here is a workshop session on the piece with Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff, aka HOCKET, as they navigate in and around a Steinway grand:

A featured work early in 2018 is Night Scenes for piano trio, which Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble has been touring in 2016/17 and 17/18, with upcoming performances at Eastman and at the Grand Teton Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Night Scenes will also be featured at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference this summer at Bennington College, Vermont.

Here are sample tracks from the Night Scenes recording by Firebird Ensemble on New World Records:

Audio Excerpts: 
Mvt 1. Scatter the Barbarians - excerpt from Night Scenes
Mvt 2. The Blue Guitar
Mvt 3. Midnight Train
Mvt 4. Night Hawk

In Summer 2018, Donald Crockett returns to the Aspen Music Festival to conduct the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for three weeks, then on to the Bennington Chamber Music Conference as Senior Composer in Residence, overseeing the composition program, working with the Resident Composers for the summer, and coaching performances of his music, including Night Scenes.

Summer 2017 Highlights

During June-August 2017, Donald Crockett appeared at five music festivals, featuring the Argus Quartet in the world premiere of String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony" commissioned by the Caramoor Festival in New York. Additional performances included the New York premiere of "Dance Concerto" at the MoMA Summer Garden Series, "Whistling in the Dark" at the Aspen Music Festival, and "Pilgrimage" for piano solo at the Atlantic Music Festival. He also presented a seminar, "Composing String Quartets", at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont.

"Whistling in the Dark" rehearsal, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in July 2017.

Premiere of String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony", Argus Quartet, Caramoor Music Festival, New York, July 2017

Audio Excerpts: 
String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony", excerpt 1: beginning
String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony", excerpt 2: Telling the news
String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony", excerpt 3: Light the grid
  • "Whistling in the Dark", dress rehearsal, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Aspen Music Festival
  • Argus Quartet rehearsal, String Quartet No. 4 "Traveling Symphony", Chicago
  • "Traveling Symphony" tech setup
  • Stage setup, "Dance Concerto", MoMA Summer Garden Series, New York
  • "Dance Concerto", New Juilliard Ensemble, Joel Sachs, conductor
  • "Dance Concerto" audience at MoMA

Blue Earth CD released by BMOP/sound

Our latest release brings one of our favorite bi-coastal collaborators to BMOP/sound. Composer Donald Crockett is tuned into the maze of rhythms, cycles, and energy that makes the natural world tick, and has an otherworldly talent at turning those nuances into orchestral music that bursts with vibrancy and motion.

The disc opens with Wedge, inspired by surf off of Newport Beach, California, and full of the beautiful, fluid power of the ocean. Blue Earth frames the intimate eloquence of solo voices with the full-blown grandeur of a symphonic work, its inspiration the quiet intelligence of the interlocking ecosystems of our magnificent planet. Crockett hones in on a single, personal voice in his Viola Concerto, in which violist extraordinaire Kate Vincent swoops, glides, and races through a lively, playful soundscape.

More information and track samples

KUSC interview with audio clips

American Academy of Arts and Letters citation

Donald Crockett’s music dwells in a special realm of energetic grace, subtly nuanced emotional force, and sensuous melody. From the athleticism of Wedge for orchestra, the spirited dance rhythms of the septet Whistling in the Dark, the unabashedly erotic setting of Michael Ondaatje’s The Cinnamon Peeler, the inward musings of The Falcon’s Eye for guitar, to the psychological mysteries of his opera, The Face, Donald Crockett’s work engages both his players and his audiences with its compellingly sustained beauty.

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