In memoriam: Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

Michael Alec Rose has set three of Mary Oliver’s poems, now accessible via Soundcloud:

1) “In Blackwater Woods,” Mezzo-soprano Sharon Mabry and pianist Lynn Rice-See.
(The second song of Rose’s song cycle titled “The Way In” (1986).)

2) “First Snow,” Mezzo-soprano Sharon Mabry and pianist Lynn Rice-See.
(The fourth and final song of Rose’s song cycle titled “The Way In” (1986).)

3) “Sleeping in the Forest,”  Tenor Tony Boutté and pianist Margaret Kampmeir.
This song comes from my 1985 song cycle News of the Universe. This performance was part of the 2015 retrospective of music by Michael Alec Rose at Opera America/National Opera Center in New York City. Reflections by the composer:

Especially moving for me is Tony and Peggy’s interpretation of this song, performed here 30 years after the two of them premiered the song cycle at the Eastman School. Back then, I was the first composer to ask and receive Ms. Oliver’s permission to set her work to music. I’m thinking of putting what she said to me (when I finally met her a few years ago) on my tombstone: “You still doing that? Composing? You know, you’re the only one I ever liked.” I was so flabbergasted I didn’t know what to say. I won’t tell you what foolish and inarticulate thing I said. To be painfully evenhanded, it too should go on my tombstone.


Recent Completed Works, Premieres:

-Musica senza rumore (2017), suite for solo piano, composed for Prince Jonathan Doria and the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome, Italy, premiere (TBA) in collaboration with the Rome Chamber Music Festival.

– Lolly Willowes, music drama in two acts, performances in April 2019 at MATCH Midtown Arts & Theater Center in Houston, Texas.

February 11, 2018
Ching-Yi Lin, violin
Andrew Braddock, viola
Cole Concert Hall
Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacodoches, Texas

—performances of Caprices #1 and #3 for solo viola, and Mornington Caprice (#2) for violin and viola

February 25, 2018
Melissa Treinkman, mezzo-soprano (doctoral recital)
Jasper Jimenez, piano
USC Thornton School of Music
Rilke Songs: Music set to poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
—performances of “October Day” and “The Way In” from the song cycle The Way In

This recital will be live-streamed at:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 8:00 PM
Violins of Hope: Music of the Holocaust for Strings and Winds
Musicians of the Blair School of Music and the Nashville Symphony

The program includes the following:
Michael Alec Rose, The Entire World: Jewish Songs from Eastern Europe (flute, violin, and cello)

Friday, May 4, 2018
“Pastorals”: a program celebrating the links between music and craft
Peter Sheppard Skaerved, violin
London premiere of Il Ritorno: Perambulation for Solo Violin (composed for Peter, 2014-2016)
Performance at The Forge, Craft Central, Isle of Dogs, London

May 17, 2018
Three Interventions for string quartet, commissioned by Austin Camerata for its premiere at the Blanton Museum of Art, in front of the three artworks which inspired the music.

June 5, 2018
Featured guest artist, joining photographer Brian Peterson for a special event at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The event will focus on the elusive subject of Beauty, honoring the release of Mr. Peterson’s new book I Give My Eyes…

September 15, 2018
One Day University lecture, New York City (registration required)
“Beethoven and the Beatles: Hearing the Connection”

September 21, 2018
Il Ritorno: Perambulation for Unaccompanied Violin (2013-2015), Peter Sheppard Skaerved, violin.  Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University (Leicester, UK): “Bringing New Music to New Audiences” (International Conference).

October 3, 2018
Hopeful Monsters (for string orchestra, 2011), Ramakrishnan Kumaran, conductor, Faculty Composers Concert, Blair School of Music, Nashville, Tennessee.



News of the Universe: The Music of Michael Alec Rose
Tony Boutté, tenor and Margaret Kampmeier, piano
Monday, January 19, 2015
National Opera Center
New York City, New York
“New American Voices: 2015”!nav2015/c1u6a

• “Another Acre or so of Being”: Letters from Guy Davenport, the lead article in the spring issue of Literary Imagination (Oxford Journals).
literary imagination

Appearances as Guest Speaker:
• One Day University, Cleveland, Ohio, September 19, 2015 []

• Headline Presenter at Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival, September. 25-27, 2015

Premiere and New Composition:
• Flat Rock: Three Glades for Wind Ensemble (2013).  Performance by the Vanderbilt Wind Ensemble on November 16, 2015.

• Canticle (Fourth Viola Sonata, 2015), dedicated to my violist friends.



Goings-on, Spring 2012

•Featured article in Art Nashville Now:

New Song Cycle is a Modern Kvetch to God
re: Bucolics: Five Poems of Maurice Manning

Recording session

for upcoming CD of Michael Alec Rose’s string music, recorded in the parish church of St. John the Baptist, Aldbury, Tring, Hertfordshire, England. Click here.

•BUCOLICS: the convergence of poet, performers, and composer

March 22, 2012
Blair School of Music
Poet Maurice Manning (author of BUCOLICS)
Tenor Tony Boutté
Pianist Alan Johnson
Composer Michael Alec Rose (composer of BUCOLICS: FIVE POEMS OF MAURICE MANNING)

•February 25-March 10:

I’m co-directing the Exchange Program between the Blair School and the Royal Academy of Music (composing up a storm while I’m at it!). Departure for the London leg of the program: March 3, 2012. Follow the program with daily updates at this link.

•Final recording session

for upcoming compact disc of string music: March 12, 2012 (in a beautiful church near London, England)