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GARY LLOYD NOLAND, founder of the Facebook groups Wild Composers and Composers with Big Egos, was born in Seattle in 1957 and grew up in a broken home in a crowded house shared by ten or more people on a plot of land three blocks south of UC Berkeley known as People’s Park, which has distinguished itself as a site of civil unrest since the late 1960s. As an adolescent, Noland lived for a time in Salzburg (Mozart’s birthplace) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (home of Richard Strauss), where he absorbed a host of musical influences. Having studied with a long roster of acclaimed composers and musicians, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in music from UC Berkeley in 1979, continued his studies at the Boston Conservatory, then transferred to Harvard University, where he added to his credits a Masters and a PhD in Music Composition in 1989. His teachers in composition and theory have included John Clement Adams (not to be confounded with composers John Coolidge Adams or John Luther Adams), Alan Curtis (harpsichordist, musicologist, conductor, and one of the musical “stars” in Werner Herzog’s film on Gesualdo, “Death for Five Voices”), Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (Master of the Queen’s Music from 2004-16), William Denny (student of Paul Dukas), Robert Dickow, Janice Giteck (student of Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen), Andrew Imbrie (1995 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, student of Nadia Boulanger and Roger Sessions,), Earl Kim (student of Arnold Schoenberg, Ernest Bloch, and Roger Sessions), Leon Kirchner (1967 Pulitzer Prize winner, student of Arnold Schoenberg and assistant to Ernest Bloch and Roger Sessions) David Lewin (dubbed “the most original and far-ranging theorist of his generation”), Donald Martino (1974 Pulitzer Prize winner, student of Milton Babbitt, Roger Sessions, and Luigi Dallapiccola), Hugo Norden, Marta Ptaszynska (student of Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen), Chris Rozé (student of Charles Wuorinen, Ursula Mamlok, and Vincent Persichetti), Goodwin Sammel (student of pianist Claudio Arrau), John Swackhamer (student of Ernst Krenek and Roger Sessions), Ivan Tcherepnin (son of Alexander Tcherepnin, student of Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen,), and Walter Winslow (brother of Portland composer and fellow Cascadia co-founder Jeff Winslow). Noland has attended seminars by composers David Del Tredici (1980 Pulitzer Prize winner), Beverly Grigsby (student of Ernst Krenek), Michael Finnissy (leading British composer and pianist), and Bernard Rands (1984 Pulitzer Prize winner), and has had private consultations with George Rochberg (1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist, “Father of Neo-Romanticism”) and Joaquin Nin-Culmell (brother of essayist and diarist Anaïs Nin, student of Paul Dukas and Manuel de Falla).
Noland’s ever-expanding catalogue consists of scores of opuses, which include piano, vocal, chamber, orchestral, experimental, and electronic pieces, full-length plays in verse, “chamber novels,” and graphically notated scores. His critically acclaimed, award-winning 77-hour long Gesamtkunstwerk Jagdlied: a Chamber Novel for Narrator, Musicians, Pantomimists, Dancers & Culinary Artists (Op. 20) was listed by one reviewer as the Number One book of 2018. His 39 Variations on an Original Theme in F Major for solo piano (Op. 98) is, at approximately two hours duration, one of the lengthiest and most challenging sets of solo piano variations in the history of the genre. It has been called by American composer Ernesto Ferreri “an historical variation set for piano, a true descendant of the Goldbergs and Diabellis, beautifully targeted to an apotheosis of supreme grandeur.” Composer/pianist Ludwig Tuman described it as “an astounding tour de force. In its far-reaching, systematic exploration of the theme’s creative possibilities, as well as in the inexhaustible imagination brought to bear, it reminds one of the Goldberg and the Diabelli. But in its monumental dimensions it goes far beyond them both, and in the large number of historical styles referenced and integrated into the work ... I am unaware of any parallel. I especially enjoyed the consistent use of certain features of the theme, regardless of the style or the type of tonality, pantonality or atonality employed—among them the melodic turn, the phrases ascending by whole steps, and others. I offer my humble congratulations on a titanic achievement!”
Having received both effusive praise and violent censure of his music over the years, Noland has been called “the Richard Strauss of the 21st century,” “the [Max] Reger of the 21st century,” “the most prominent American composer (of modern classical music) of our times,” “the most virtuosic composer of fugue alive today,” “the composer to end all composers,” “court jester to the classical establishment,” and “one of the great composers of the 21st century,” and has on numerous occasions been branded a “genius.” He has also been called some pretty colorful names by his detractors —names unsuitable for publication in the pages of this program booklet. Although the composer feels something of a constitutional disinclination to share with his prospective “groupies” the aforesaid hyperbolical quotations, as it causes him (howsoever unwittingly) to mount a red flag, he is clevertheless all but compelled to trumpet such encomiums for the sake of ensuring his survival in the present-day blaringly obnoxious, braggadocious milieu, notwithgrandstanding that he is neither flannelmouthed nor overweening by nature but—quite au contraire—of a singularly equanimous poise and disposition. Unfreely farouche and retiring by nature, composer Noland is, by his own admission (and, beyond peradventure, to his ultimate detriment) an ineradicably head-in-the-clouds introvert par excellence.
Noland’s compositions have been performed and broadcast (including on NPR) in many locations throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. His music has also been heard on six continents via various music- streaming platforms. Noland founded the Seventh Species Contemporary Classical Music Concert Series in San Francisco in 1990 and has, since, produced upwards of fifty-plus concerts of contemporary classical music on the West Coast. This has happened with diminished frequency over the years, resulting in Seventh Species devolving into an endangered species. He is also a founding member of Cascadia Composers, which has, since the time of its inception in 2008, mushroomed into a veritable colossus of an organization supporting regional and national composers, as well as performers of contemporary classical music, and has, furtherover, distinguished itself as one of the premier collectives of its kind on the West Coast. Noland has taught music at Harvard, the University of Oregon, and a couple of community colleges (bleah!), and currently teaches piano, theory, and composition as a private independent instructor in the Portland, Oregon metro area.
A number of Noland’s works (fiction, music, and graphic scores) have been published (and/or were at some time or another slated for publication) in various litmags, including Quarter After Eight, Berkeley Fiction Review, Portland Review, Denali, The Monarch Review, Prick of the Spindle, theNewerYork Press, Wisconsin Review, The Writing Disorder, and Heavy Feather Review. His graphic scores are included in Theresa Sauer’s book NOTATIONS 21 (2009), which is a sequel to John Cage’s celebrated compilation of graphic scores: NOTATIONS (first published in 1969). A chapter on Noland is included in Burl Willes’s celebrated book TALES FROM THE ELMWOOD: A COMMUNITY MEMORY published by the Berkeley Historical Society in 2000. In 1999 Noland was awarded the Oregon Composer of the Year Award jointly by the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and was commissioned to compose a septet for clarinet, saxophone, French horn, two violins, double bass, and piano (Op. 43). Noland’s Grande Rag Brillante (Op. 15) was commissioned by KPFA Radio to celebrate the inauguration of its (then, in 1991) brand new Pacifica Radio Headquarters in Berkeley. This premiere was later acknowledged in Nicolas Slonimsky’s book Music Since 1900.
Many of Noland’s scores are available from J.W. Pepper, RGM, Sheet Music Plus, and Freeland Publications. Six CDs of his compositions are available on the North Pacific Music label at northpacificmusic.com and 21 other more recent CDs
of his music are, or soon will be, available from 7th Species via outlets such as Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon, and others. Approximately 600-700 videos and audio recordings of Noland’s music and narratives are available for listening and viewing on YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora and dozens of other music streaming networks worldwide. Many of Noland’s music videos and audio recordings are also available for viewing and listening on this website. Noland’s COLLECTED PIANO WORKS: Volumes 1 and 2, his COLLECTED CHAMBER WORKS: in Varying Combinations for Piano & Strings, his critically acclaimed six-hour-play Nothing is More: a High Black Comedy in Verse with Music for Six Actors, and his award-winning 77-hour long Gesamtkunstwerk Jagdlied: a Chamber Novel for Narrator, Musicians, Pantomimists, Dancers & Culinary Artists are available for purchase at most major book retailers worldwide.
As an OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association) member, Gary encourages his students to play in OMTA sponsored recitals. Many of his composition students have participated in the Young Composers Project, sponsored by Fear No Music (one of Portland's premier contemporary music ensembles). Several of his composition students have won competitions at the national level.
Gary has been recently setting poems by Alexander Theroux for soprano & piano (six texts thus far). Howbeit, at the moment, he has been diverted to another project—a more topical piece for "military band" entitled "Demagogue Unseatment Celebration March" (Op. 110). Upon completion, he plans on submitting this new work to several West Coast Symphony Orchestras. music [Composition Lessons Beaverton Portland Lake Oswego]
Scores may be purchased from Sheet Music Plus at: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?Ntt=gary+noland and from JW Pepper at: https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/search.jsp?myScoreFlag=true&brandCodes=MSGN01 and CD recordings may be purchased from www.northpacificmusic.com
[Composition Lessons Piano Beaverton Portland Lake Oswego]
This work received mention in Nicolas Slonimsky's celebrated book MUSIC SINCE 1900. This piece received its world premiere on KPFA in Berkeley (4 October, 1991) to celebrate the inauguration of its then brand new Pacifica Radio headquarters. Composer Lou Harrison had a work premiered on the same broadcast that evening.
This piece is one of Noland's "24 Postludes" for piano Op. 72 [composition lessons]
Pianist Randall Hodgkinson performs.
Performed by Corinne Stillwell, violin; Pamela Ryan, viola; Dorien De León, cello. This piece was composed as a tribute to Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Commissioned by Marzena for the Free Marz String Trio with funding support from the Baby LeRoy Memorial Trust.
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