News from January

The News from Poems
The staged reading of The News from Poems came off terrifically on November 2 at The Cell in New York.  The producer, Center for Contemporary Opera, is interested in developing the opera further and I will get composing under way for the last 50 minutes of the opera at the end of this month.  A huge Thank You to everyone involved at CCO!

Hermestänze World Premier
On a different plain altogether, a piece I wrote this fall will have its world premier on January 31 at Yale School of Music.  My son, Jacob Ashworth, commissioned “a song cycle for violin and piano” for his MMA degree recital because he was jealous of pianists and singers who have plenty of cycles written for them (think Schumann, for starters.) But violinists have nothing comparable, no series of thematically linked, short evocative pieces.  Ergo, Hermestänze:  14 movements one way or another about the god Hermes.   Also on the program will be a world premier commissioned by Jacob to fill another gap in the violin repertoire: Sonata para violine solo, variations for solo violin by Mexican composer Francisco Ladron de Guevara.  Lee Dionne is Jacob’s fantastic pianist, also an MMA candidate at Yale.  This concert will be streamed live, January 31 at 8 pm, at  Tune in!

A Garden’s Time Piece
Jessica Petrus, soprano, and Jacob Ashworth, violin, gave a gorgeous performance at the recent concert by Cantata Profana in New Haven on December 15.  Cantata Profana is a new ensemble for vocal and instrumental chamber music.  Visit their website at

One False Move
This opera about girl bullying was produced in Guanzhou, China this September at the Utahloy International School.  Madeline du Toit, the faculty member who directed and spearheaded the production, reported that it was extremely successful and led to very helpful – and in some cases critical – discussion among the students and faculty. I’m so pleased that this short anatomy of how bullying can happen under the radar continues to be so useful.

The Lunch Counter
David Sogg, bassoonist, played the quietly ecstatic movement “Jennifer” at Compline at Heinz Memorial Chapel in Pittsburgh on September 23.  Very cool.