Robert Parris

Biography

An American composer who worked primarily in the Washington DC area, Robert Parris (1924 - 1999) was a Juilliard student who later studied with Luening and Copland, though he counted their influence on his music as "minimal."

Known as a musical colorist, Parris specializes in small ensembles, and has been known to push instruments to the limits of virtuouso playing -- his solo violin sonata is considered quite difficult, and the composer-directors of CRI believed his trombone concerto to be unplayable until they heard a recording of it. A longtime professor at George Washington University; Parris has had his works performed by Mstislav Rostropovich and the NSO.

In the early seventies, he turned to Borges for inspiration and produced the marvelous Book of Imaginary Beings, (I) a work for flute (pic), violin, cello, piano, celeste, and percussion, from 1972. Part II was published in 1983.

Parris got his first international recognition in 1958 with his concerto for five kettledrums and orchestra, premiered by Fred Begun, and the National Symphony in Washington, under Howard Mitchell. CRI recorded a number of his works, and ACA is the largest distributor of his music, with more than 65 works available for sale and rental.

ACE Publications

66 title(s)
Composer Title SCORING/INSTRUMENTATION Year
Robert Parris GLOSS ON CHOPIN'S ETUDE, OP. 25, NO. 4, A -
violin, piano
Robert Parris PARABOLAE SALOMONIS (BOOK OF PROVERBS) -
T, fl/pic, ob, eh, bsn, vla, vc, elec gtr, perc
Robert Parris NUN IS DAS HEIL UND DIE KRAFT UND DAS REICH UND DIE MACHT tbn (or euph) ,org
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Robert Parris NOCTURNES fl/pic,vln,vla,vcl,perc
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Robert Parris THREE SMALL DUETS & A SOLO vln,pf
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Robert Parris THIRTEEN PIECES tpt,perc,vln,vla,vcl
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Robert Parris SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS orch:pic-2-2-3-2-cbsn, 4-4-3-1,5timp,4perc,pf,cel,hp,str
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Robert Parris METAMORPHIC VARIATIONS fl/pic,cl/Ebcl/bcl,perc,pf,vln,vcl
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Robert Parris THREE DUETS el gtr, amp hpschd(or pf)
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Robert Parris CHAMBER MUSIC FOR ORCHESTRA orch:pic-2-2-Ebcl-2-bcl-2-cbsn,4-3-3-1,cel,hp,timp&4perc,str
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Robert Parris BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS, THE (PART 2) cl,vln,vla,vcl,2perc
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Robert Parris BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO.3(BACH) hpschd
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Robert Parris THREE CHORALE-PRELUDES tbn,keyb
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Robert Parris THREE CHORALE PRELUDES (Bach) tpt, tbn, keyb
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Robert Parris BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO.6(BACH) hpschd
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Robert Parris UNQUIET HEART, THE vln & orch:pic-2-2-2-2, 4-2-3-1,hp,pf/cel,4perc,str
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Robert Parris THREE LOVE SONGS bbar,pf
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Robert Parris CYNTHIA'S REVELLS Bass Baritone with piano, or guitar
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Robert Parris RITE OF PASSAGE solo cl,ele gtr,cel,hp, perc,pf,vcl,cb
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Robert Parris GOLDEN NET -
Fl, Ob, Cl, Bsn, Hn, C Tpt, Vn, Vla, Vcl, Perc
Robert Parris DREAMS sop, fl, ob, vln, vcl, cb, pf, cel, 4perc
Soprano with mixed ensemble
Robert Parris MESSENGERS, THE orch:pic-2-2-2-bcl-2,4-3-2-btbn-1, timp,hp,pf/cel,5perc,str
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Robert Parris WALKING AROUND men chor,cl,2perc,pf,vln
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Robert Parris BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS, THE (PART 1) -
fl/pic,2perc,vln,vcl,pf/cel
Robert Parris DIRGE FOR THE NEW SUNRISE fl,vln,vcl,timp,perc
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Additional Works