Brian Fennelly

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Biography: 

(Photo 1981, by Bill Hellermann)

Brian Fennelly (1937-2015) studied at Yale with Mel Powell, Donald Martino, Allen Forte, Gunther Schuller and George Perle (M.Mus 1965, Ph.D. 1968). From 1968 to 1997 he was professor of Music in the Faculty of Arts and Science at New York University, and Professor Emeritus until his death in 2015. In addition to a Guggenheim fellowship, his awards include three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation, Fromm Foundation and Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest as well as from the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. In 1997 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His music has been awarded prizes in many competitions, which include the Goffredo Petrassi Competition for Orchestral Music (1993), International Trumpet Guild Competition (First Prize, 1990), the Louisville Orchestra New Music Competition (First Prize, 1986), Shreveport Symphony Competition (1981), and the Premio Citta di Trieste (1981). Over twnty of his works appear on CD, with orchestral and chamber music released on the New World, CRI, Albany, Pro Viva, First Edition, Capstone, and New Ariel labels. Orchestral releases include Fantasy Variations, In Wildness is the Preservation of the World, On Civil Disobedience, and A Sprig of Andromeda, the last three all Thoreau-inspired works. Brian Fennelly's music has been performed by several orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and The Louisville Orchestra, as well as by chamber ensembles such as the American and Empire Brass Quintets, and the Concord and Audubon String Quartets.

His choral music has been sung by the Gregg Smith Singers and the New York Virtuoso Singers, among others. International performances include two at the Warsaw Autumn (Poland) and four at the ISCM world Music Days (Iceland, Israel, Belgium, and Canada), with recordings by The Louisville Orchestra, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Prague Radio Orchestra, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Polish Radio National Symphony. Fennelly's music is published by Margun Music (Boston): MMB Music, Inc. (St. Louis), Pro Nova (Munich), Ricordi (Milan), and American Composers Edition (New York). In addition to composing and teaching, he has been active as officer and board member in a number of music organizations; he also co-directs the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, which he founded in 1976. Fennelly resides in Kingston, New York with his wife Jacqueline, who played French horn with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic for many years. Liam Fennelly,  his son from a previous marriage, is a viola da gamba player now living in Europe.

Brian Fennelly was the 2013 recipient of the Union College Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award.

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in 1958, Brian Fennelly b. 1937, began his career as an officer in the Air Force, with service in the U. S. and Korea. After receiving a B. A. from Union (1963), he entered Yale on a Woodrow Wilson fellowship, where he studied music composition and theory with Mel Powell, Allen Forte, Gunther Schuller and George Perle (M.Mus 1965, Ph.D. 1968).

Fennelly at SUNY 1971

 

ACA List for Brian Fennelly

BRIGHT STAR (1989)
SATB, piano
CANTILENA (2000)
fl; hp; vla
CHRYSALIS for orchestra (1997)
3 picc/alto flt, 3 EHn, 3 Eflat Clnt, Alto sax, 3 Cbsn, 4-3-3-1, perc,celsta, harp, strings
CONCERT PIECE for Trumpet and Orchestra (1976)
tpt,orch(fl/p-1-c/bcl-1, 2-0-0-0-perc,cel,str, solo tpt
CONSORT I for trombone quintet (1976)
1 alto tbn, 2 tenor tbns, 2 bass tbns
COROLLARY II for saxophone and piano (1988)
alto saxophone, pf
DISTANT CALL (2013)
for solo Trumpet or Flugelhorn
DUO for violin and piano (1964)
vln,pf
EIDOLON (2014)
piano
EMPIRICAL RAG (Version 4, for Wind Quintet) (1979)
ww 5tet: 1-1-1-1; hn
bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe
Empirical Rag (Version 6 for wind octet or nonet) (1979)
2ob, 2bsn, 2hn, 2cl, optional cbsn or double bass
Empirical Rag (Version 7, for vln, vlc, pno) (1980)
Violin, Cello and Piano
Empirical Rag (Version 8, for orchestra) (1980)
2(pic)-2(E.Hn)-2-2,2-2-2-1,timp,perc,strings
ES IST EIN ROS' ENTSPRUNGEN (1979)
brs quintet
EVANESCENCES for insturments and electronic sounds (1969)
al.fl(G),cl,vln,vcl,tape(CD)
FANTASIA CONCERTANTE (2009)
2/pic22/bscl2 2200 timp perc(1 or 2) strings, solo vn, solo vc
solo violin and cello, with orchestra
FANTASY VARIATIONS for orchestra (1985)
3(pic)-3(E.hn)-3(bcl)-3(cbsn),4-3-3-1,timp,perc,hp,str
FOR SOLO FLUTE (1964)
flute
HUSH HUSH TREAD SOFTLY (1989)
SATB, piano
I CRY YOUR MERCY (1989)
SATB, piano
IN WILDNESS IS THE PRESERVATION OF THE WORLD for orchestra (1975)
orch: 2(pic)-2-2-2,4-3-3-1,timp,perc,hp,str
KYTHERA VARIATIONS (2012)
violin, piano
LOCKING HORNS (Brass Quintet No.2) (1993)
brass quintet (with bass trombone or tuba)
LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY (1987)
SATB
LUNAR HALOS for doublebass and orchestra (1990)
2(pic,afl)-2(E.hn)-2(bcl)-2,2-2-0-0,perc,hp,strings, solo db
MONOGRAM for piano (2003)
Piano
ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE for orchestra (1993)
3/pic-2- 3/bcl -2; 4-3-3-1; perc, timp; pf, str
THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME (2009)
3(pic,afl)-3(Ehn)-3(bcl, cbcl)-3(cbsn), 4-3(flglhn)-3(btrom)-2(euph), Timp/Chimes-perc(4)
25 winds, timpani, percussion (4)

fennellyothersideoftime_bandexcerpt.mp3

The Other side of Time, excerpt
PITY THIS BUSY MONSTER, MANUNKIND (1969)
Soprano or mezzo-soprano, clarinet, piano
PRAISE YAH! for STB chorus and organ (1974)
stb,3tpt(or 2+hn)optional,perc(adlib), Organ
PROUD MUSIC
SATB, 2tpt, 2tbn, org
PSALM XIII for chorus and brass (2007)
ssatbb,2tpt,2tbn
QUINCUNX for trombone, piano, and marimba/vibes (2003)
trombone, piano, marimba/vibraphone
QUINCUNX II (2014)
bscl, perc, pf
REFLECTIONS/METAMORPHOSES for chamber orchestra (1996)
2-2-2-2, 2-2-0-0, perc (2), strings
SACRED SONGS (2011)
Baritone, piano
SASQUATCH for contrabass trombone (or bass trombone) and two percussionists (2004)
contrabass trombone or bass trombone, percussion
SCINTILLA PRISCA, version for Cello & Orchestra (1981)
vcl,ORCH(2-2(e.hn)-2(b.cl0-2,2-0-0-0,2perc,hp,str, solo vcl
SIGOL FOR STRINGS (2007)
String Orchestra
(min 6-6-4-4-2)

fennellysigol_for_stringsiexcerpt.mp3

Excerpt -Moravian Phil. Joel E. Suben, conductor
SIGOL FOR TWO (2008)
vln, vc
SIGOL MUSINGS for solo violin (2004)
vn

fennellysigol_musings_-_violinexcerpt.mp3

Rolf Schulte, violinist; Sigol Musings for violin - EXCERPT
SKYSCAPES 4 (2006)
FLUTE/AFL/PIC, OBOE/EH, VIOLIN, CELLO, GUITAR
SKYSCAPES II for trumpet and string quartet (2000)
trumpet, string quartet
SKYSCAPES III (2002)
fl/pic/altfl; cl/bscl; vln, vcl, pf
SOCK MONKEYS for 2 Flutes (2007)
2 flutes
SONATA SERENA for piano (1997)
Solo Piano
SONGS WITH IMPROVISATION for voice, clarinet, and piano (1969)
soprano or mezzo, clarinet and piano
SUKHI! for mixed quartet (1999)
Cl, vln, vcl, pf
TABLEAUX for piano and 10 instruments (2014)
fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn, perc(1), vln, vla, vcl, cb, pf
TESSERAE III (1976)
TESSERAE IX for solo percussionist (1981)
marimba, xylophone, temple blocks, snare drum, timbales, bongos, tambourine, bamboo wind chimes, wood wind chimes, 3 brake drums, 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam, maracas, guiro, cabaza
TESSERAE VII for solo clarinet (1979)
solo Bb clarinet
THINGAMABOB for harpsichord or piano (2004)
keyboard, hpd or pf
THOREAU FANTASY NO 2 for Orchestra (Ambrosial Mornings, 1984-85) (1985)
2(pic)- 2-2(b.cl)-2,4-3-3-1,4perc,timp,pf,str
THREE INTERMEZZI for bass clarinet and marimba (1983)
Bass Clarinet and Marimba
THREE PIECES FOR PIANO (2004)
solo piano
THREE PIECES FOR TAPE (1969)
Tape
THREE'S COMPANY for flute, saxophone, and piano (2000)
flt(pc), alto sax, pf

fennellythrees_company1excerpt.mp3

Excerpt - 1st movement
TOMBEAU AND TANGO for violas da gamba (2002)
2 Bass Viols (violas da gamba)
TRIO NO. 2 (1987)
vln, vc, hpschd (or pf)
TROPES AND ECHOES for clarinet and chamber ensemble (1986)
fl, ob(E.hn), hn, bsn, vln, vla, vcl, pf, perc, solo cl
TROPES AND ECHOES for clarinet and orchestra (1981)
1-1(E.hn)-bcl-1,1-1-1-0,perc,pf,str,solo cl
TWO MOVEMENTS FOR WIND QUARTET (2007)
ob,clar, tpt,tbn
VARIATIONS ON WATKINS ALE (2001)
viola da gamba quartet (Treble, Alto, 2Bass)
VELVET AND SPICE (Brass Quintet No. 3) (2000)
2trpt, hn, trb, bass trb or tuba
WIND QUINTET (1967) (1967)
fl(pc),ob,cl,hn,bsn

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