Richard Cameron-Wolfe


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 included works by Leo Ornstein, Thomas de Hartmann, Dane Rudhyar (with whom he studied and whose music he has recorded), William Flanagan, 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).

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

Hightlights include: Cameron-Wolfe’s 2006 composition A Measure of Love and Silence, a cantata based on the poetry of Tatyana Apraksina (set in both Russian and English translation) - US-premiered in June of 2008 at the American Composers Alliance [ACA] Festival and world-premiered in May 2008 at the St. Petersburg "Musical Spring" Festival in Russia.  His violin work ARQ: Region III - Refuge (violin and piano four-hands), originally commissioned for a March 31, 2008 premiere performance at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, was subsequently revised and re-premiered at the June 2009 ACA Festival in New York. In 2012, he was commissioned to compose a string orchestra work for the 2013 Zhitomir Festival (Ukraine), to be  based on a Zhitomir landmark. The work, for string orchestra and piano, is titled The Bridge of Souls. 2015 was marked by four substantial concerts: Feb. 14 at the Roerich Family Museum-Institute in St. Petersburg (Russia),  Petersburg, Feb. 21 at the Kamburova Theater in Moscow, Feb. 28 at the "Come In" Gallery in Kharkov (Ukraine), and then March 14 at the DiMenna Center, NYC - a concert of music by New Mexico composers. In 2016, Cameron-Wolfe premiered four works at the Tenri Cultural Institute (NYC), and then embarked on a three-city tour of the Ukraine, its centerpiece being premiere performances of his 30-minute cantata Breathless - scored for soprano, cello, and guitar quartet and setting seven ancient mystical texts. His Time Refracted will be performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and NYC in early 2017.

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.

Search form

Email ACA Regarding This Composer: 

ACE Publications

Filter by ensemble type:

Filter by Year Authored