Richard Cameron-Wolfe

Biography

Composer-pianist Richard Cameron-Wolfe was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA and received his music training at Oberlin College and Indiana University. His principal piano teachers were Joseph Battista and Menahem Pressler; his composition teachers included Bernard Heiden, Iannis Xenakis, Juan Orrego-Salas, and John Eaton.

After brief teaching engagements at Indiana University, Radford College (Virginia), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cameron-Wolfe moved to New York City, where he performed and composed for several major ballet and modern dance companies, including the Joffrey Ballet and the Jose Limon Company. In 1978 he began a 24-year Professorship at Purchase College, State University of New York, teaching music theory and history, composition, and music resources for choreographers. He resigned in 2002 - while he could still walk and think - relocating to the mountains of northern New Mexico in order to dedicate his life  to composing.

As a composer, one of his particular interests is micro-opera, a very short theatrical work of 5 to 15 minutes duration, developed through the collaboration of composer, writer (preferably a poet), a scenic/costume designer (preferably a visual artist), and a videographer. The work is intended to be staged in small spaces and could be broadcast on television or the web. See Cameron-Wolfe's Composition Catalogue below.

As a pianist, Cameron-Wolfe focused in recent years on the "missing links", composers of the early 20th century who provided the transition from late Romanticism into post-World War II "sound art" but whose music is now seldom heard. His  repertoire includes works by Leo Ornstein, Thomas de Hartmann, Dane Rudhyar (with whom he studied and whose music he has recorded), William Flanagan, Lev Revutsky, Julian Krein, and Charles Ives.

Devoted to the promotion of modern classical music (which he prefers to call “sound art”), Cameron-Wolfe has served as an administrator for several musical organizations: Friends of American Music (1974 to the present), the New Mexico Music Festival (1978-82), Music from Angel Fire (1984), The Charles Ives Center for American Music (1990-92), and as Executive Director of the American branch of CESAME: the Center for Soviet/American Musical Exchange (1989-93). He frequently presents guest lectures and workshops and has served as adjudicator for composer and performer competitions - in the USA and abroad.

Over the past ten years, his creative output has increased immensely, producing a broad array of new works in various media.

Highlights of the past decade: [2008] his cantata A Measure of Love and Silence (poetry of Tatyana Apraksina) was world-premiered at the St. Petersburg "Musical Spring" Festival (Russia) and US-premiered at the American composers Alliance Festival (NYC). [2009] ARQ: Region III - Refuge (violin and piano four-hands) premiered at the ACA Festival (NYC). [2010] lecturer-pianist "Dane Rudhyar and the Metaphysics of Dissonance". [2011] Russia tour as composer-pianist (to Nizhny Novgorod, Astrakhan, Omsk, and Novosibirsk). [2012] Portal (Cameron-Wolfe's 90-minute multi-media event) at the "White Night" Festival in  Riga, Latvia. [2013] Bridge of Souls premiere (chamber orchestra) at the Zhitomir Festival (Ukraine); micro-opera Heretic premiere in Kharkov; MeMarie micro-opera at the Moscow Autumn Festival. [2014] Code of Unsilence US premiere by pianist Yael Manor (NYC); two of Cameron-Wolfe's Dane Rudhyar performances released on British LTM CDs. [2015] various works on several concerts: at the Roerich Family Museum-Institute in (St. Petersburg, Russia); Kamburova Theater (Moscow); Breathless cantata (selections) at "Come In" Gallery (Kharkov, Ukraine); Cary Hall (DiMenna Center, NYC); premieres of micro-opera Mute Hand Muse and piano cycle Inventory at Scripps College and CalArts (California). [2016] four NYC premieres, including micro-opera A Sound-Shroud, at the Tenri Cultural Institute (NYC); a three-city Ukraine tour, featuring premiere performances of the 30-minute cantata Breathless (soprano, cello, and guitar quartet). [2017] Time Refracted and Roerich Rhapsody at Spectrum (NYC); micro-opera Mute Hand Muse (staged) at the National Opera Center (NYC); two concerts in Kiev: Sed Contra Ensemble at MasterKlass and a choreo-musical collaboration in the "Impulse of Transformation" project. [2018] several works performed in two New Zealand concerts; two Cameron-Wolfe composer-pianist "profile" concerts: (1) with Sed Contra Ensemble (Kiev), (2) at the Kharkov National Opera House - including the micro-opera Through a Glass, Darkly (staged).

Forthcoming: participation in the December 2018 IV Siberian Festival of Contemporary Music and 2019 premieres of the recently-completed quintet Contra-dictions (Kiev, Los Angeles.

Recordings: His compositions and piano performances are available on the following recordings - Reconciliation (6 compositions), 1989 LP record Opus One 142  //  Paris X (piano music of Rudhyar and Satie), 2003 CD Furious Artisans FACD 6807 //  Musique de la Rose-Croix (piano, Satie's Uspud), 2006 LTMCD 2469)  //  Burning Questions (7 compositions), 2012 FACD 6813  //  American Avant-Garde in the 20th Century (piano, Rudhyar), 2014 2-CD set LTMCD 2579  //  French Avant-Garde in the 20th Century (piano, Rudhyar), 2014 2-CD set LTMCD 2571  //  "Code of Unsilence: A Prayer" on pianist Yael Manor's 2015 ACA-produced CD Elixir  //  An Inventory of Damaged Goods (9 compositions), to be released by Furious Artisans in 2017.

ACE Publications

47 title(s)
Composer Title SCORING/INSTRUMENTATION Year
Richard Cameron-Wolfe AN INVENTORY OF DAMAGED GOODS Solo Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe ARQ: Region III Refuge Violin and Piano 4-Hands
Richard Cameron-Wolfe "...as he seemed to appear to the beast in the distance…" Solo Percussion
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Breathless - Cantata on Ancient Mystical Texts soprano (and/or mezzo-soprano), 'cello, and guitar quartet (plus optional 5-voice "madrigal" group)
Richard Cameron-Wolfe BRIDGE OF SOULS piano, string orchestra (54331)
Richard Cameron-Wolfe BURNING QUESTIONS Piano Trio
Violin, Cello, and Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe CODE OF UN-SILENCE: A PRAYER Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Colloquy in the Labyrinth: A Sound-Light Ritual 16 Performers, 4 Mobile Conductors, Pianist-Critic
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Contra-dictions Pierrot Quintet
Flute (Doubling Alto Flute), Clarinet (in Bb), Violin, Cello, and Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Delusional? Guitar
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Drunk Taken Pointed Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Clarinet (Doubling Bass Clarinet and Piccolo Clarinet), Violin, Viola, and Cello
Richard Cameron-Wolfe En Garde/Détente Any Two Musicians
Richard Cameron-Wolfe ERODOS - Hommage a Breton 36 voices and percussionist
6 singers each: Sopranos I & II, Altos, Tenors, Basses I & 2; tubular bells, timpani, suspended clay flowerpots, gong, wind chimes, misc.
Richard Cameron-Wolfe GAZELLE IN MY GARDEN High Voice and 2 Guitars
Richard Cameron-Wolfe HERETIC (Micro-Opera for Guitarist)
guitar (with speaking and brief singing)
Richard Cameron-Wolfe In the Dark Cycle high voice, flute, vibraphone, perc (2), vla, db, chorus of bass singers
Richard Cameron-Wolfe INVOCATIONS OF THE AETHERWIND pf
Richard Cameron-Wolfe KYRIE (MANTRA) FOR FLUTE TRIO 3 Flutes (One Doubling Alto Flute)
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Kyrie (Mantra) II Flute and Prepared Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe Kyrie (Mantra) IV - for Flute and Guitar Flute (Open-Hole) and Guitar
Richard Cameron-Wolfe LABYRINTHS High Voice, Cello, and Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe LAPIS LAZULI Flute (Doubling Alto Flute), and Piano
fl/alto flute; piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe LETHE - (Waters of Oblivion) - A Chanson Voice and Piano
Editions for High and Low Voice Available.
Richard Cameron-Wolfe LILITH Violin and Piano
Richard Cameron-Wolfe LONESOME DOVE - a true story (for tenor saxophone, dancer, and stagehand) Tenor Saxophone, Dancer, and Stagehand

Additional Works