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My Mission
The discovery and promotion of 20th- and 21st-century classical music that embodies traditional aesthetic values of emotional and spiritual expression, along with clarity of formal structure and coherence.

Recent Writings


Thoughts on Evaluating Unfamiliar Music

I have been a musicologist and critic for almost 50 years now, during which most of my activity has involved the description, assessment, and–in some cases– advocacy of music composed since 1915. Since there really aren’t generally accepted criteria for such evaluations, most critics—not to mention armchair musicologists—offer their reactions and judgments on an intuitive,…

ROSNER: Nocturne, Op. 68; Tempus Perfectum, Op. 109; Symphony No. 6, Op. 64

ARNOLD ROSNER: Nocturne, Op. 68; Tempus Perfectum, Op. 109; Symphony No. 6, Op. 64 London Phiharmonic Orch., Nick Palmer, cond., TOCCATA Classics. All music available from the Estate of Arnold Rosner; For further information, visit www.ArnoldRosnerMusic.com During his fifty-year compositional career, the American composer Arnold Rosner (1945–2013) produced a body of work that combined diverse influences into a…

American Traditionalist Composers and the Music of Samuel Jones

Histories of American classical music in the 20th century typically begin with the bold experimentation of Charles Ives, who created sound collages using familiar American tunes. They then move on to the arrival of jazz and its great influence on American composers such as George Gershwin and Aaron Copland, who were seeking a distinctly American…

ROSNER: Five Ko-Ans for Orchestra; Unraveling Dances; The Parable of the Law

ARNOLD ROSNER. Five Ko-ans for Orchestra; Unraveling Dances; The Parable of the Law. Nick Palmer, cond. Christopher Burchett, baritone; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Nick Palmer, cond. TOCCATA T0CC-0464 During his fifty-year compositional career, the American composer Arnold Rosner (1945–2013) produced a body of work that combined diverse influences into a powerful, distinctly personal musical voice. His catalogue comprises…

PERSICHETTI: Selected Piano Music

VINCENT PERSICHETTI Selected Piano Music. CENTAUR CRC-3632 Vincent Persichetti was one of the most widely respected American musicians of his generation. A prolific composer, brilliant educator and lecturer, and prodigious pianist, he composed more than 150 works in virtually all genres and for virtually all performing media, while serving for 40 years on the faculty of…

SAMUEL BARBER: Absolute Beauty

SAMUEL BARBER: Absolute Beauty ● Documentary with commentary and performance excerpts, both contemporary and historical ● ZEN VIOLENCE FILMS www.samuelbarberfilm.com, available from amazon.samuelbarberfilm.com (DVD: 130:00) Documentary director: H. Paul Moon This is a most welcome documentary about American composer Samuel Barber. In a relatively leisurely fashion, it covers the scope of his creative output from Dover Beach through…

ROSNER: Violin Sonata No. 1; Bassoon Sonata; Cello Sonata No. 2; Danses a la Mode.

CHAMBER MUSIC BY ARNOLD ROSNER During his fifty-year compositional career, the American composer Arnold Rosner (1945-2013) produced a body of a work that combined diverse influences into a powerful, distinctly personal musical voice. His catalog contains compositions in nearly every genre, including three operas, eight symphonies, numerous works for orchestra and band, several large-scale choral…

SURPRISED by BEAUTY: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music

SURPRISED BY BEAUTY: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music (Revised and Expanded Edition). By Robert R. Reilly, with Jens F. Laurson. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016. 510 pp. Softcover. $34.95 As noted in the accompanying interview, the original edition of Robert R. Reilly’s Surprised by Beauty was published in 2002 by Morley Books. Its thesis…


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Book: Voices in the Wilderness

Six American Neo-Romantic Composers

Despite the Modernist search for new and innovative aesthetics and rejection of traditional tonality, several twentieth century composers have found their own voice while steadfastly relying on the aesthetics and techniques of Romanticism and 19th century composition principles.

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Book: Voices of Stone and Steel

The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin

William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin were three of the most significant American composers of the 20th century, yet their music has largely disappeared from view since their respective deaths. In The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin: Voices of Stone and Steel, Walter Simmons provides a thorough examination of the lives and work of these artists, clarifying their considerable individuality both as composers and as human beings.

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Featured Album: VINCENT PERSICHETTI

Sonatinas 1-6; Poems for Piano, Vol. I, II, III; Serenades No. 2 and 7; Other selected piano pieces; Myron Silberstein, piano; Centaur 3632