HARVARD DISSERTATION

PHD DISSERTATION


String Quartet No. 1 in four movements (Op. 12).  Duration:  ca. 90 minutes.  188 pages (1989).


Was it not Frederic Rzewski who said that "the road to hell is paved with unperfomed string quartets"?

My Harvard University dissertation is a passionately intense, over-the-top, highly contrapuntal work that has been compared by some experts to the late quartets of Beethoven and symphonies of Mahler. I consider it to be one of my masterpieces. I know of no other piece quite like it in the literature and am unaware of anyone of my generation who  has outdone me at this kind of undertaking. Although I owe a lot to Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Korngold and Schoenberg, among others, I also feel indebted to the late George Rochberg for the profound influence his Concord quartets, and most especially his third string quartet, have had on my compositional aesthetic. Other composers who have deeply influenced my writing are Joseph Fennimore and Gottfried von Einem.

After almost twenty years, my quartet still awaits a premiere. No string quartet has yet taken on the challenge.