By Leta E. Miller
Winner of either the Pulitzer Prize and the Grawemeyer Award, Aaron Jay Kernis accomplished acceptance as one of many prime composers of his new release whereas nonetheless in his thirties. for the reason that then his eloquent but obtainable type, emphasis on melody, and willingness to interact renowned in addition to classical types has introduced him common acclaim and admiring audiences. Leta Miller's biography bargains the 1st survey of the composer's lifestyles and paintings. Immersed in track by way of heart college, and later education less than Theodore Antoniou, John Adams, Jacob Druckman, and others, Kernis rejected the belief of distancing his paintings from worldly issues and dared to compose on political subject matters. His moment Symphony , from 1991, engaged with the 1st Gulf battle; 1993's nonetheless second with Hymn used to be a response to the Bosnian Genocide; and the following year's coloured box and 1995's Lament and Prayer handled the Holocaust. but Kernis extensively utilized assets as disparate as futurist agitprop and kid's video games to...
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Additional info for Aaron Jay Kernis
Its phrases lengthen in the middle of the movement and then shorten again toward the end. In the fifth movement Kernis restricted the piano part to two mediant-related chords: E♭9 and G♭9. The piano’s rhythm increases in complexity in the middle, then returns to simplicity at the end. TABLE 1. Stein Times Seven, movement list Movement no. Scoring Tonal center/basic scale 1 5-part a cappella chorus C♮ minor 2 Soprano and piano A♭ major 3 Tenor and piano B♭ lydian 4 Soprano and piano E major, but ending in G 5 Baritone and piano E♭ major 6 Alto and piano C♮ minor 7 5-part a cappella chorus d minor to F major In the fourth movement the pianist plays with the right hand only, articulating an unbroken rhythm of ten sixteenth-notes per measure (figure 3).
18 Figure 1. Suite for Chamber Ensemble, I, “Conflicts” (unpublished student work from 1974; reproduced courtesy of Aaron Jay Kernis). After the PMA event Kernis began composition lessons with Antoniou that were sporadic but that nevertheless set him on a disciplined course of study. The experience also solidified his determination to pursue a career in composition. ” He opened with the recognition that a composing career constitutes a “hard struggle” between “personal satisfaction” and financial strain, and then quoted the words of pianist Rosina Lhévinne as found in the introductory chapter of Alan Rich’s Careers and Opportunities in Music: “He who aspires to a career in music must face one question of paramount importance, and that is whether music is so essential to his spiritual and artistic nourishment that it simply has to be his life’s work….
From there to the end of the piece, Kernis reverses the procedure, expanding the note-lengths to eight, ten, twelve, sixteen, and finally twenty beats, as at the outset. Kernis was influenced to use this type of process in part by the works of John Cage, particularly pieces such as Metamorphosis and Sonatas and Interludes, which employ the mathematical (often micro-macro) processes Cage developed in the 1930s and 1940s for his early percussion music. Although Kernis (as well as Cage) soon abandoned such processes, they stood him in good stead as organizing principles in these early works while he was mastering his craft.
Aaron Jay Kernis by Leta E. Miller