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.

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ACE Publications

1 AN INVENTORY OF DAMAGED GOODS (2016)
solo piano

3 as he seemed to appear to the beast in the distance … (activities for percussionist) (1990)
3 to 5 timpani ; 5 clay flowerpots; 6 chimes/tubular bells; large gong; addl percussion instrument of player's choice; various mallets/brushes

4 Breathless - Cantata on Ancient Mystical Texts (2016)
soprano (and/or mezzo-soprano), 'cello, and guitar quartet (plus optional 5-voice "madrigal" group)

5 THE BRIDGE OF SOULS (2016)
piano, string orchestra (54331)

6 BURNING QUESTIONS (2015)
violin, cello, piano

8 Colloquy in the Labyrinth: A Sound-Light Ritual (1969)
speaker/percussionists, conductors, pianist-critic

9 ERODOS - Hommage a Breton (2016)
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.

10 GAZELLE IN MY GARDEN (2015)
high voice, 2 guitars

11 HERETIC (Micro-Opera for Guitarist) (2017)
guitar (with speaking and brief singing)

12 In the Dark Cycle (2015)
high voice, flute, vibraphone, perc (2), vla, db, chorus of bass singers

14 KYRIE (MANTRA) FLUTE TRIO (1976)
3 flutes, one doubling alto flute

16 Kyrie (Mantra) IV - for Flute and Guitar (2016)
Flute (open-hole) and Guitar

17 LABYRINTHS (1980)
high voice, vcl, pno

18 LAPIS LAZULI (2000)
fl/alto flute; piano

19 LETHE - (waters of oblivion) - a chanson (2016)
high or low voice with piano

21 LONESOME DOVE - a true story (for tenor saxophone, dancer, and stagehand) (1992)
Bb tenor saxophone, Dancer, Stagehand

22 A MEASURE OF LOVE AND SILENCE (2006)
Soprano, Baritone; Alto Flute/Piccolo, English Horn/Oboe, Violin, Cello, Percussion(1), and Piano

23 MeMarie (micro-opera for soprano alone) (1970)
soprano alone

24 MEMORY OF THE LOSS OF WINGS (from Labyrinths) (1979)
high voice, piano

25 Mute Hand Muse [for a waking dreamer] (2016)
TRIO: soprano, alto & bass flutes, piano

26 O MINSTREL (2012)
Soprano and guitar

27 PHOENIX-FLIGHT (2016)
trumpet (in C preferred), viola, and bassoon

28 PRIMA MATERIA (2001)
solo piano

29 RECONCILIATION - DELIBERATIONS ON STRAVINSKY (2016)
wind quintet + string quintet
ob/eng hn, Bb/Eb cl, bsn, hn, tbn; 2 vln, vla, 2 vcl

31 Roerich Rhapsody - Liaison II (2012)
cello and bayan, or accordion

32 SACRE-LEGE (2013)
fl, cl, vln, vcl, perc

33 A Song Built from Fire (two versions) (2014)
piano, soprano

34 A SOUND-SHROUD FOR BILL KNOTT (2015)
bsn, tbn, db, actor, Butoh dancer

35 THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY (2015)
flute, clarinet in Bb, piano, Soprano, Baritone, violin, viola, and cello

36 TIME REFRACTED (1990)
vcl, pno

38 VARIATIONS AND LIEBESTOD (2017)
unaccompanied clarinet

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