T he Living Composers Project  

Rzewski, Frederic (b. April 13, 1938, Westfield, Massachusetts). American composer, now resident in Belgium, of mostly chamber, vocal and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a pianist.

Prof. Rzewski studied music privately with Charles Mackey in Springfield as a child and studied composition with Walter Piston and Roger Sessions, counterpoint with Randall Thompson and orchestration with Claudio Spies at Harvard University from 1954-58. He studied composition with Milton Babbitt and the music of Richard Wagner with Oliver Strunk at Princeton University from 1958-60, where he also studied Greek literature and philosophy. In addition, he studied composition privately with Luigi Dallapiccola in Rome in 1960.

As a pianist, he frequently performed with the flautist Severino Gazzelloni in the 1960s. He then co-founded with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum the improvisational and live electronic ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome in 1966 and performed with it from 1966-71. Since then, he has been active as a pianist, primarily in performances of his own pieces and music by other contemporary composers.

He taught at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège from 1977-2003, where he was Professor of Composition from 1983-2003. He has also taught at Yale University, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the California Institute of the Arts, and the University of California at San Diego. In addition, he has taught at Mills College, the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, and the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe.


E-mail address (c/o Esther Freifeld): esther.freifeld@systech.be

Street address: Prof. Frederic Rzewski, c/o Esther Freifeld, EGF EPRC, rue de l'Aqueduc 104, Bte. 0, B - 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Telephone (c/o Esther Freifeld): + 322 646 3656

Fax (c/o Esther Freifeld): + 322 646 3639

Cellular phone (c/o Esther Freifeld): + 324 7595 6037


STAGE: The Persians Les Perses Die Perser (music theatre work, libretto by the composer, after Aeschylus), 4 soloists, 5 actors, bass clarinet (+ contrabass clarinet, sopranino saxophone), trombone, double bass (+ bass guitar), piano, 2 percussion, 1985; The Triumph of Death (staged oratorio, text by Peter Weiss), 4 voices, string quartet, 1987-88

ORCHESTRAL: Nature Morte, small orchestra (winds, French horn, trumpet, harp, violin, cello, piano, organ, 5 percussion), 1964; A Long Time Man, piano, orchestra, 1979; Satyrica, guitar, double bass, piano, synthesizer, vibraphone, percussion, symphonic band, 1983; Una Breve Storia d'Estate, 3 flutes, orchestra, 1983; Scratch Symphony, 1997; Movable Types, 1999

CHAMBER MUSIC: Speculum Dianae, any 8 improvisational players, 1964; Selfportrait, any player, 1964; Prose Pieces, improvisational ensemble, 1967-68; Les Moutons de Panurge, any number of melody instruments, 1968; Last Judgment, trombone/any number of unison trombones, 1969; Second Structure, improvisational ensemble, 1972; Song and Dance, flute, bass clarinet, double bass, vibraphone, 1976; Thirteen Instrumental Studies, variable ensemble, 1972-77; Moonrise with Memories, bass trombone, ensemble (any 6 soprano-range instruments), 1978; Three Pieces, soprano saxophone, trombone, piano, 1979; Aria, flute, 1981; Pennywhistlers, recorder, 1981; Wails, bass clarinet (+ sopranino saxophone), piano, 2 percussion, 1984; Lost and Found (player also speaks), percussion, 1985; To the Earth (player also speaks), percussion, 1985; Spots, any 4 players, 1986; Don't Have it Today (player also speaks), double bass, 1986; The Lost Melody, clarinet, piano, 2 percussion, 1989; Roses, flute, clarinet, trumpet, tuba, violin, cello, accordion, percussion, 1989; Aerial Tarts, flute, clarinet/saxophone, violin, cello, piano, 2 percussion, 1990; Whangdoodles, hammer dulcimer (+ mallet instruments ad libitum), violin, piano, 1990; Shtick, clarinet/soprano saxophone, 1990

CHAMBER MUSIC: Knight, cello, 1992; Holes, any 4-8 players, 1993; Crusoe, any 4-12 players, 1993; Histories, 4 saxophones, 1993; Whimwhams, marimba, string quartet, 1993; Family Scenes, flute, 3 saxophones, French horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, double bass/bass guitar, piano, 1995; When the Wind Blows, flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flügelhorn, trombone, guitar, double bass/bass guitar, piano, 1996; Spiritus, 4 recorders, percussion, 1997; ForHanns, flute, clarinet, cello, piano, 1998; Trio, violin, cello, piano, 1998; Main Drag, any 9 players, 1999; Cradle Rock, flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flügelhorn, trombone, guitar, double bass/bass guitar, piano, 1999; Pocket Symphony, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 2000; 96 (canon), 5 players, 2003

CHORAL: Requiem, Part 1, speaker, male chorus, Jew's harp, piano, organ/electronic simulation, tubular bells, bull-roarer, woodblock, radio, 1963-67; Struggle Song, mixed chorus, 1973 (version by Gregory Rose of vocal work); Le silence des Espaces Infinis, female chorus, any player, 7 orchestral groups, tape, 1980; Stop the War!, mixed chorus, 1995; Stop the Testing!, mixed chorus, 1995

VOCAL: Jefferson (text by Thomas Jefferson), voice, piano, 1970; Freud, voice, 1970; Coming Together, speaker, variable ensemble, 1971; Attica, speaker, variable ensemble, 1972; Struggle Song, voice, variable ensemble, 1973 (also version by Gregory Rose for mixed chorus); The Price of Oil, 2 voices/vocal ensembles, 8 amplified pipe ensembles, any 2 similar ensembles, 1980; Snacks, voice, mixed chorus ad libitum, any ensemble ad libitum, 1981; Antigone-Legend (text by Bertolt Brecht [translated by Judith Malina]), voice, piano, 1982; Songs, voice, piano, 1973-83; Mayakovsky, speaker, piano, string quartet, 1984; Mary's Dream, soprano, contrabass clarinet, cello, piano, percussion, 1984; Force, 2 speakers, any 1-2 wind instruments, any 1-2 plucked instruments, 1-2 noisemakers, weigher ad libitum, 1985; The Waves, speaker, variable ensemble, 1988; Tinkleberries (collection of ditties), voice, any number of players, 1980-90; The Burghers of Rostock, voice, piano, 1992; Snippets, speaker, piano, 1994; Logique (text by Paul Verlaine), voice, flute, cello, piano, 1997

PIANO: Chain of Thought, 1953; Tabakrauch, 1954; Preludes, 1957; Poem, 1958; Introduction and Sonata, 2 pianos, 1959; Study 2 (Dreams), 1961; Falling Music, 1971 (also version for amplified piano, tape, 1971); No Place to Go but around, 1974; 36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never Be Defeated!', 1975; Four Pieces, 1977; Squares, 1978; North American Ballads, 1978-79 (each of its four sections may be performed separately: Dreadful Memories; Which Side are You on?; Down by the Riverside; Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues; also version of Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues for 2 pianos, 1980); A Machine, 2 pianos, 1984; Eggs, 1986; Steptangle, 1986; The Turtle and the Crane, 1988; Mayn Yingele, 1988; Fantasy, 1989; Bumps, 1990; Ludes, 1990-91; Sonata, 1991; De Profundis, 1991-92; Andante con Moto, 1992; A Life, 1992; Night Crossing with Fisherman, 2 pianos, 1994; Fougues, 1994; Turns (The Road, Part 1), 1995; Tracks (The Road, Part 2), 1996; Tramps (The Road, Part 3), 1997; Stops (The Road, Part 4), 1998; A Few Knocks (The Road, Part 5), 1999; Travelling with Children (The Road, Part 6), 1999; Final Preparations (The Road, Part 7), 1999-2002; The Big Day Arrives (The Road, Part 8), 2002-03; Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier, 2003; Cadenza, 2003; Dust, 2003

HARPSICHORD: The Housewife's Lament, 1980

ELECTROACOUSTIC: Zoologischer Garten, tape, 1965

TV PRODUCTION: Chains (12 TV operas), voice, 6 players, 1986

DISCOGRAPHY (as composer)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never Be Defeated!'. Ursula Oppens, piano (Vanguard Classics: 8056, 1993)

North American Ballads. Kathleen Supové, piano (CRI: 653, 1993)

Coming Together; Attica. Group 180 (Hungaroton: 12545, 1993)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never Be Defeated!'. Stephen Drury, piano (New Albion: 63, 1994)

Spots; Wails; The Lost Melody; Crusoe. Zeitgeist (OOdiscs: 15, 1995)

De Profundis; Four Pieces (excerpt); Sonata; Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Anthony de Mare, piano (OOdiscs: 16, 1995)

Moonrise with Memories. David Taylor, bass trombone; Louise Schulman/ensemble (New World: 80494, 1996)

To the Earth. Evelyn Glennie, voice, percussion (BMG: 68195, 1996)

Jefferson; Antigone-Legend. Carol Plantamura, soprano; Frederic Rzewski, piano (CRI: 747, 1997)

Night Crossing with Fisherman; Ludes; Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (version for 2 pianos). Ursula Oppens, Frederic Rzewski, pianos (Music and Arts: 988, 1997)

Turns (The Road, Part 1); Tracks (The Road, Part 2); Whangdoodles; To the Earth. Frederic Rzewski, piano; Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio (Music and Arts: 1000, 1997)

Scratch Symphony. Michael Gielen/SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg (Col Legno: WWE 3CD 20026, 1999)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never Be Defeated!'; North American Ballads (excerpts). Marc-André Hamelin, piano (Hyperion: 67077, 1999)

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Emanuele Arciuli, piano (Stradivarius: STR 33555, 2000)

Turns (The Road, Part 1) (excerpt). Marcel Worms, piano (NM Classics: 98014, 2000)

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. James Lent, piano (The Orchard: 8575, 2001)

Down by the Riverside. Lara Downes, piano (Postcards: 2002, 2001)

Coming Together. Frederic Rzewski, speaker; Talujon Percussion Quartet (Capstone: 8681/88, 2001)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never be Defeated!'; Turns (The Road, Part 1); Tracks (The Road, Part 2); Tramps (The Road, Part 3); Stops (The Road, Part 4); Fantasia; Sonata; Mayn Yingele; Fougues; A Life; North American Ballads; The Housewife's Lament; De Profundis. Frederic Rzewski, piano, harpsichord (Nonesuch: 79623, 2002)

North American Ballads. Lisa Moore, piano (Cantaloupe Music, 2003)

North American Ballads. David Jalbert, piano (Endeavour: END 1001, 2004)

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (version for 2 pianos). Quattro Mani (Klavier: 11106)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never Be Defeated!'. Yuji Takahashi, piano (ALM Records: ALCD 19)

Mayn Yingele. Ursula Oppens, piano (Music and Arts: 4862)

36 Variations on 'The People United Will Never be Defeated!'. Frederic Rzewski, piano (Hat Hut: ART 6066)

North American Ballads; Squares. Frederic Rzewski, piano (Hat Hut: ART 6089)

Sonata; De Profundis. Frederic Rzewski, piano (Hat Hut: ART 6134)

Four Pieces. Frederic Rzewski, piano (Vanguard Classics)

Bumps; Andante con moto; The Turtle and the Crane. Frederic Rzewski, piano (Newport Classics)

Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano (JLH: 1002)

The Turtle and the Crane. Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano (Welspringe Productions: WEL001)

North American Ballads. Paul Jacobs, piano (Nonesuch)

Song and Dance. (Nonesuch)

Coming Together. (Opus One)

To the Earth. Steven Schick, voice, percussion (unknown)

Four Pieces (no. 4). Lisa Moore, piano (Sony Classical)

(Last updated on June 24, 2004)

Frederic Anthony Rzewski, Frederic A. Rzewski, Frederick Anthony Rzewski, Frederick A. Rzewski, Fredrick Anthony Rzewski, Fredrick A. Rzewski, Frédéric Rzewski, F.A. Rzewski