BROOKS (b. 1942) is a native of upstate New
York and holds a B.S. degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music,
Potsdam College, an M.A. in Composition from Binghamton University and a Ph. D.
in Composition from New York University.
From 1975-2004 he was on the music faculty of Nassau Community College
where he was Professor and Department Chair for 22 years.
From 1977 to 1982 he was Chairman of the
Executive Committee of the American Society of University Composers (now the
Society of Composers, Inc.) on which he continues to serve as the Producer of
the SCI Compact Disk Series. In 1981 he
was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Composers Alliance. After serving two terms as Secretary and
three terms as Vice-President he was elected President in the Fall of 1993 and
served until 2002; he then served as the Chair of the Board of Governors until 2011. Brooks also served
as a member of the Junior/Community College Commission on Accreditation of the
National Association of Schools of Music for ten years. He was Executive Director of the New York Composers Circle 2010-2012.
He has received a major grant from the
SUNY Research Foundation (for composition), a Composer Fellowship from the
National Endowment for the Arts, an American Music Center grant and several
Meet the Composer awards. In 1994 he received a commission for Quintet for Oboe (Sax) and Strings from
the New York State Music Teachers National Association; premiere performance
took place at the NYSMTA Conference in Ithaca, NY in October 1994. Landscape...with Grace, commissioned
for the twentieth anniversary season of the Kent Philharmonia Orchestra in
Grand Rapids, Michigan was premiered on April 21, 1996. He has also received
commissions from Elaine Comparone and Harpsichord Unlimited, the Lark Ascending
and several individual performers. A
second commission from the Kent Philharmonia Orchestra resulted in Concerto for Trumpet/Flugelhorn and
Orchestra which was premiered in May 2006.
In 2006 he was appointed Composer-in-Residence with the Lark Ascending
and was elected New Music Champion by New Music Connoisseur magazine.
He has composed over one hundred works in all
media. His opera for young audiences, Rapunzel, was commissioned by the
Tri-Cities Opera (Binghamton) in 1971 and has been mounted also by the Opera
Theatre of Northern Virginia, Wolf Trap Farm Park and the Denver
Symphony/Central City Singers and. most recently, by the Cincinnati Opera which
gave it 65 performances. A full length
opera, Moby Dick, was completed in
1987. A second full length opera, Robert and Hal, was completed in 2001.
In 1990, the Golden Fleece, Ltd, presented extensive excerpts of Moby Dick. Robert
and Hal was presented in a workshop reading by The Lark Ascending in 2004
and was staged by the Golden Fleece, Ltd. in June 2008. This production has also been aired on
Manhattan Cable Television.
for violin and piano (1973) is published in Vol. XI of the ASUC Journal of Music Scores and recorded on Record no. 5 of the
ASUC Record Series (Advance label). Prelude and Lament for wind quintet
(1970) and Suite for Percussion
(1975) are recorded on Capstone CPS-8601(“Music Visions”). Chorale Variations for Horns and Strings is recorded on compact
disk by the Constanţa Symphony Orchestra (Capstone CPS-8627 "Tonus
Tomis"). Seascape and Landscape...with
Grace are recorded on Capstone CPS-8634 ("And the Eagle Flies"),
the Concerto for Trumpet/Flugelhorn and
Orchestra is recorded on Capstone CPS-8801 (“Pipes and Drums”), Circular Motions is recorded on
Innova 710 (“The Phenomenon of Threes”)
and Sonatina for piano has recently
been released on New Ariel Records with pianist Jeffrey Jacob..
Numerous other performances have been
given at important festivals held at Memphis State University, Louisiana State
University, Bowling Green State University, Florida State University, the
University of Georgia and the American Society of University Composers (now the
Society of Composers, Inc.) Annual Conferences, as well as other venues
throughout the United States and Europe.