Roger Verdi - Trombone Roger Verdi holds a BA from Drew University and MMA from the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers included Edward Erwin, Hal Janks and Albert Lube. He is an active free-lance musician in the New York /New Jersey area. Ensembles he has performed with include: the New Philharmonic of New Jersey, the Riverside Symphony, the Hawthorne Symphony, the Bridgeport Symphony, the Princeton Symphony, the Princeton Pro Musica, the New Jersey Symphony, the New Jersey Pops, the Newark Cathedral Orchestra, the Delaware Symphony, North South Consonance, the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, the Village Light Opera Group, Ars Nova Singers, the Westfield Oratorio Society, the Greenwich Symphony, the Greenwich Choral Arts Society, the Garden State Band, and many others. In November of 2006, he performed Ferdinand David's Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra with the New Sussex Symphony in Newton New Jersey. He is a founding member of the Modern Brass Quintet, and has performed with that ensemble at the 92nd Street Y, Greenwich House, Merkin Hall, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Storm King Arts Center, the Lincoln Center Library, as well as many other venues. He has recorded widely for the Newport Classics and Koch International labels. A veteran touring musician, he has traveled the United States many times performing opera and musical theater. His activities include many different styles of music; he has toured the world with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, performed in the orchestra for Ringling Bros. Circus, and recorded CDs for the Chico Mendoza and David Cedeno Orchestras. His first CD, Looking Ahead: Works for Trombone, released in 2007, won critical acclaim and sold internationally. Roger performs on a Selmer-Bach model 42B trombone, with a Dennis Wick model 5AL mouthpiece. He lives in Belleville New Jersey. Martha Locker-Piano Martha Locker leads a busy and diverse musical life, performing as a soloist and chamber musician in both the United States and abroad. As a soloist, Ms. Locker has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Westmoreland Symphony and the New York University Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in recital in the Helen Clay Frick Recital Series, the Steinway Society Recital Series and Bermuda's St. John concerts. Her most recent engagements include performances at the National Gallery of Art and on Brooklyn's Bargemusic series. Ms. Locker holds Bachelor and Master's degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal, Jacob Lateiner and Peter Serkin, and is currently a candidate in the Ph.D. program at New York University, where she studies with Miyoko Lotto. Samuel Rousseau 1853-1904 Samuel Rousseau was a French organist and composer. He was born in Neuve-Maison, Aisne in 1853. His father was a woodworker and harmonium builder, and exposed the younger Rousseau to music at an early age. Rousseau entered the Paris Conservatory in 1877 where he studied organ with Cesar Franck and harmony under Francois Bazin. Under Bazin's guidance, he applied to the Prix de Rome and won second prize with his cantata Judith, and first prize with his cantata La Fille de Jephte. His appointments included: choirmaster and organist for the St. Clotilde church in Paris, professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1892, conductor of the Paris Opera Theater Orchestra. His music is in the manner of Cesar Franck with a strong reliance on chromaticism. He is often confused with his son, the noted composer Marcel Samuel Rousseau 1882-1955. His Piece Concertante was composed for the 1898 trombone examinations at the Paris Conservatory. It alternates lyricism with fast passagework, typical of a contest piece. The use of chromaticism throughout the work is typical of the composer's style. Eric Ewazen 1954 Eric Ewazen was born in 1954 in Cleveland Ohio. He studied composition with Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Warren Benson, Gunther Schuller and Joseph Schwantner at the Eastman School, Tanglewood and the Juilliard School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes and his works have been performed by soloists, chamber groups and orchestras throughout the world. He has been a faculty member of the Juilliard School since 1980. Of his Sonata for Trombone and Piano, Mr. Ewazen writes, "the trombone with it's golden resonant tone and beautiful baritone range, is an instrument which has always appealed to me. I sought to create a piece exploring the many facets of it's expression. The first movement is a clearly delineated sonata-allegro form, using carefully structured developmental procedures to shape to a dramatic build up. The second movement is a melancholy pavane, with resonant piano chords underlying a soulful trombone aria. The last movement, a bravura rondo, is a joyous affirmation of life with energetic rhythms, tuneful melodies and colorful, virtuosic textures. " The work was commissioned by and dedicated to Michael Powell. It was completed in 1993, and premiered that year at the Aspen Festival with the composer at the piano. Johannes Brahms 1833-1897 Johannes Brahms was a German Composer of the Romantic Period. He was born in Hamburg, and later settled in Vienna. Harold Schonberg in his book The Lives of the Great Composers entitled his chapter on Brahms, "The Keeper of the Flame," as Brahms is often credited with maintaining classical balance in music while eschewing the flamboyance of Liszt and Wagner. His Vier ernste Gesange or Four Serious Songs, was intended to be sung by low voice and is here performed on trombone without the texts. The first song is a setting of Ecclesiastes, III: 19-22, Denn es Gehet dem Menschen, in English, "One thing that befalleth the beasts." The Second is a setting of Ecclesiastes, IV: 1-3, Ich wandte mich," in English, "So I returned." The third is a setting of Ecclesiastes XLI, O Tod, wie bitter, in English, "Oh Death how bitter." The fourth is a setting of Corinthians XIII: 1-3, 12-13, Wenn ich mit Menschen und mit Englelzungen redete, in English, "Though I speak in tongues." The songs, the last composed by Brahms, were completed in 1896, less than a year before his death. The composer gave the first performance at the Hager Hof Estate in Bad Honnuf, in May, 1896. Clara Schumann had died a few days earlier. Contemporary accounts report the composer nearly overcome with emotion as he sang the peaceful ending of the third song. Andrew Imbrie 1921-2007 American composer Andrew Imbrie studied composition with Leo Ornstein, Nadia Boulanger and from 1937 to 1948, with Roger Sessions. He was on the faculty of University of California at Berkeley starting in 1949 and of the San Francisco Conservatory from 1970. The New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera all commissioned works from him. He graduated from Princeton University, and his senior thesis, the first of his five string quartets, was recorded by the Juilliard Quartet. He twice won Guggenheim Fellowships for composition. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His music is characterized by long range pitch relationships and by classic motivic development within an often atonal contrapuntal framework. Three Sketches for Trombone and Piano, was commissioned by the American trombonist Stuart Dempster and completed in 1967. It is an often intense work, alternately atonal and melodic, yet with a strong sense of structure. The trombone's opening statement is an example of Imbrie's long range pitch relationships, a stylistic hallmark found throughout the work, which takes the instrument to the extremes of it's range. Alec Wilder 1907-1980 Alec Wilder's music blends disparate idioms, most notably elements of American jazz and popular song, with fundamentals of European classical music. He composed works in many forms: sonatas, suites, operas, ballets, concertos, art songs, woodwind quintets, brass quintets, jazz suites, and hundreds of popular songs. He was born in Rochester, and studied at but did not graduate from the Eastman School. His first successful song was "All the King's Horses," for the 1930 musical "Three's a Crowd." As his career progressed, he gained notoriety as a songwriter, some of his greatest hits being: Soft as Spring, Winter of my Discontent, Lonely Night, While We're Young, among many others. More offbeat titles include, Amorous Poltergeist, and Neurotic Goldfish. His classical compositions often employ exotic combinations of instruments. The Alec Wilder Quintet, which included his friend Mitch Miller on oboe, recorded several of his compositions for Brunswick Records in the late 1930s. He wrote eleven operas, one of which Miss Chicken Little, was commissioned for television by CBS. He was friends with some great names of Twentieth Century popular music including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Tony Bennett. He is the author of American Popular Song, the Great Innovators, 1900-1950, published in 1973. His Sonata for Trombone and Piano was composed for the American trombonist John Swallow and completed in 1961. It consists of five short movements, each an amalgam of varied styles. The jazz influence, and a reliance on the trombone's popular music idioms are evident, as well as Twentieth Century classical conventions such as irregular and shifting meters. The first movement, in clear sonata form, shows Wilder's use of European traditions, while the last, with it's long bluesy cadenza for the trombone, shows his American jazz influence. Eugene Bozza 1905-1991 Eugène Bozza received his musical training at the Paris Conservatoire, winning First Prizes for the violin (1924), conducting (1930), composition (1934), as well as the Grand Prix de Rome. He conducted the orchestra of the Opera-Comique until 1948, then became Head of the Conservatoire in Valenciennes. He has a large catalog, including operas, ballets, and large scale symphonic and choral works. He is best known, however, for his chamber music emphasizing wind instruments. His Ballade for Trombone and Orchestra, here presented with a piano reduction, was completed in 1944 as an examination piece for the Paris Conservatory. It weaves elements of French Impressionism and jazz, as well as quotes from the trombone's orchestral repertoire, into a colorful sonic tapestry. It is a great favorite of the trombone recital repertoire.