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

2 BABBITTELLE (OHNE TONART) (2012)
piano
3 BRIGHT STAR (1989)
SATB, piano
4 CANTILENA (2000)
fl; hp; vla
6 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
8 CONCERT PIECE for Trumpet and Orchestra (1976)
tpt,orch(fl/p-1-c/bcl-1, 2-0-0-0-perc,cel,str, solo tpt
9 CONSORT I for trombone quintet (1976)
1 alto tbn, 2 tenor tbns, 2 bass tbns
10 CONSORT II: Photogram for Saxophone Quartet (2002)
sax 4tet: satbar
12 COROLLARY II for saxophone and piano (1988)
alto saxophone, pf
15 CYCLE OF SONNETS (1959)
16 DISTANT CALL (2013)
for solo Trumpet or Flugelhorn
18 DUO for violin and piano (1964)
vln,pf
19 EIDOLON (2014)
piano
20 EMPIRICAL RAG (Version 1, for brass quintet) (1977)
brass 5tet: 2-1-1-1
24 EMPIRICAL RAG (Version 4, for Wind Quintet) (1979)
ww 5tet: 1-1-1-1; hn
bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe
26 Empirical Rag (Version 6 for wind octet or nonet) (1979)
2ob, 2bsn, 2hn, 2cl, optional cbsn or double bass
27 Empirical Rag (Version 7, for vln, vlc, pno) (1980)
Violin, Cello and Piano
28 Empirical Rag (Version 8, for orchestra) (1980)
2(pic)-2(E.Hn)-2-2,2-2-2-1,timp,perc,strings
30 ES IST EIN ROS' ENTSPRUNGEN (1979)
brs quintet
31 EVANESCENCES for insturments and electronic sounds (1969)
al.fl(G),cl,vln,vcl,tape(CD)
32 FANTASIA CONCERTANTE (2009)
2/pic22/bscl2 2200 timp perc(1 or 2) strings, solo vn, solo vc
solo violin and cello, with orchestra
33 FANTASY VARIATIONS for orchestra (1985)
3(pic)-3(E.hn)-3(bcl)-3(cbsn),4-3-3-1,timp,perc,hp,str
35 FOR SOLO FLUTE (1964)
flute
36 FRAGMENT FOR BASS CLARINET AND PIANO (2008)
bs clar, pf
37 HUSH HUSH TREAD SOFTLY (1989)
SATB, piano
39 I CRY YOUR MERCY (1989)
SATB, piano
40 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
42 KYTHERA VARIATIONS (2012)
violin, piano
43 LOCKING HORNS (Brass Quintet No.2) (1993)
brass quintet (with bass trombone or tuba)
44 LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY (1987)
SATB
45 A LULLABY (1959)
voice (medium) and piano
46 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
50 MONOGRAM for piano (2003)
Piano
52 ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE for orchestra (1993)
3/pic-2- 3/bcl -2; 4-3-3-1; perc, timp; pf, str
53 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
54 PARAPHRASIS for piano (1991)
pf
55 PITY THIS BUSY MONSTER, MANUNKIND (1969)
Soprano or mezzo-soprano, clarinet, piano
56 PRAISE YAH! for STB chorus and organ (1974)
stb,3tpt(or 2+hn)optional,perc(adlib), Organ
57 PRELUDE & ELEGY
br qnt
58 PROUD MUSIC
SATB, 2tpt, 2tbn, org
59 PSALM XIII for chorus and brass (2007)
ssatbb,2tpt,2tbn
60 QUINCUNX for trombone, piano, and marimba/vibes (2003)
trombone, piano, marimba/vibraphone
61 QUINCUNX II (2014)
bscl, perc, pf
63 REFLECTIONS/METAMORPHOSES for chamber orchestra (1996)
2-2-2-2, 2-2-0-0, perc (2), strings
64 SACRED SONGS (2011)
Baritone, piano
65 SASQUATCH for contrabass trombone (or bass trombone) and two percussionists (2004)
contrabass trombone or bass trombone, percussion
67 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
68 SCYTHETREE (1959)
medium voice, piano
69 SIGOL FOR STRINGS (2007)
String Orchestra
(min 6-6-4-4-2)

fennellysigol_for_stringsiexcerpt.mp3

Excerpt -Moravian Phil. Joel E. Suben, conductor
70 SIGOL FOR TWO (2008)
vln, vc
72 SIGOL MUSINGS (version for cello) (2005)
solo cello
73 SIGOL MUSINGS for solo violin (2004)
vn

fennellysigol_musings_-_violinexcerpt.mp3

Rolf Schulte, violinist; Sigol Musings for violin - EXCERPT
74 SKYSCAPES 4 (2006)
FLUTE/AFL/PIC, OBOE/EH, VIOLIN, CELLO, GUITAR
75 SKYSCAPES I for saxophone and string quartet (1996)
alto sax & str qrt
76 SKYSCAPES II for trumpet and string quartet (2000)
trumpet, string quartet
77 SKYSCAPES III (2002)
fl/pic/altfl; cl/bscl; vln, vcl, pf
78 SOCK MONKEYS for 2 Flutes (2007)
2 flutes
79 SONATA SERENA for piano (1997)
Solo Piano
80 SONGS WITH IMPROVISATION for voice, clarinet, and piano (1969)
soprano or mezzo, clarinet and piano
81 SOON SHALL THE WINTER'S FOIL for a capella chorus (1994)
SATB chorus a capella
85 SUKHI! for mixed quartet (1999)
Cl, vln, vcl, pf
87 TABLEAUX for piano and 10 instruments (2014)
fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn, perc(1), vln, vla, vcl, cb, pf
88 TANGOBLIQUE for piano (1984)
pf
91 TESSERAE III (1976)
93 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
95 TESSERAE VII for solo clarinet (1979)
solo Bb clarinet
97 THINGAMABOB for harpsichord or piano (2004)
keyboard, hpd or pf
98 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
100 THREE INTERMEZZI for bass clarinet and marimba (1983)
Bass Clarinet and Marimba
101 THREE PIECES FOR PIANO (2004)
solo piano
102 THREE PIECES FOR TAPE (1969)
Tape
103 THREE'S COMPANY for flute, saxophone, and piano (2000)
flt(pc), alto sax, pf

fennellythrees_company1excerpt.mp3

Excerpt - 1st movement
104 TOMBEAU AND TANGO for violas da gamba (2002)
2 Bass Viols (violas da gamba)
105 TRIO NO. 2 (1987)
vln, vc, hpschd (or pf)
107 TROPES AND ECHOES for clarinet and chamber ensemble (1986)
fl, ob(E.hn), hn, bsn, vln, vla, vcl, pf, perc, solo cl
108 TROPES AND ECHOES for clarinet and orchestra (1981)
1-1(E.hn)-bcl-1,1-1-1-0,perc,pf,str,solo cl
109 TWO MOVEMENTS FOR WIND QUARTET (2007)
ob,clar, tpt,tbn
111 TWO WHITMAN SONGS (2005)
112 VARIATIONS ON WATKINS ALE (2001)
viola da gamba quartet (Treble, Alto, 2Bass)
113 VELVET AND SPICE (Brass Quintet No. 3) (2000)
2trpt, hn, trb, bass trb or tuba
114 WIND QUINTET (1967) (1967)
fl(pc),ob,cl,hn,bsn
115 WINTERKILL for chorus and piano (1981)
satb,pf

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