May 13 2017 · 0 comments · What's New ·

“Death and a Knight” in November 2017 with Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

Left Coast presents a double feature in November 2017 at ZSpace in San Francisco: The West Coast premiere of Never was a knight…, Kurt Rohde’s new singspiel about the interior life of Don Quixote sung by tenor Joe Dan Harper. This production will feature video by Jennifer Coates and art direction by David Humphrey. Also featured will be a new production of Kurt Rohde and Tom Laqueur’s opera Death With Interruptions, directed by Barbara Heroux, with singers Nikki Einfeld, Joe Dan Harper and Daniel Cilli.

Sep 18 2016 · 0 comments · What's New ·

Cellist Rhonda Rider premieres new works for solo cello

Cellist Rhonda Rider will be premiering a number of new works for solo cello throughout March 2017 as part of her amazing US National Parks Artist-in-Residence Project at Petrified Forest National Park. One of the new pieces she’ll be playing is a strange work I composed for her called credo petrified:

March 16 at 6pm
Lecture concert – Boston University, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

March 17 at 8pm
Concert – Boston Conservatory, Seully Hall, 8 The Fenway, Boston

March 28 at 7:30pm
Concert – University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

March 31 at 7:30pm
Concert, radio show (tba) – Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Jul 17 2016 · 0 comments · What's New ·

ChamberFest Cleveland 2016 review for “…maestoso…misterioso…” in The Plain Dealer

ChamberFest Cleveland 2016 concludes as it began, with top-notch eclectic nights
June 5, 2016

CLEVELAND, Ohio — “Once a piece of music is done, it’s not yours anymore,” said composer Kurt Rohde, whose “…maestoso…misterioso…” for amplified violin and viola and assorted items was given a stunning performance Friday night at Severance Hall, in the penultimate concert of ChamberFest Cleveland 2016.

Rohde spoke in a pre-concert interview on Reinberger’s stage of the seemingly myriad ways his piece could be performed, noting that not only are there differences between performances, but even differences between rehearsals and the finished reading.

Violinist Diana Cohen and violist Yura Lee were the main performers in this evocative and dreamlike essay, while Rohde took on the critical task of managing the electronic aspects of the piece from the front row of the auditorium, manipulating sounds that were created by the violin and viola, as well as an array of tuned gongs, harmonicas, tiny Chinese toy accordions and the ethereal voices of Cohen and Lee.

Rohde’s piece traffics in a free tonality wherein striking dissonance exists comfortably alongside moments of triadic harmony. With his laptop and mixing board, Rohde took these human-generated sounds and looped them into a background of electronic reminiscence, while the players traversed a score that took them from exuberant flux to hushed stasis.

The assorted items proved not to be mere gimmicks but important elements in the entropic progress of the work. As the activity of the music slowed to an almost molecular stillness, the emergence of harmonicas and the tiny un-tuned notes of accordions created an almost unbearable poignancy. Cohen, Lee and Rohde masterfully conjured a complete world in the span of 15 minutes, and the only cavil one might have is that the piece was not played a second time.

Rohde’s music was framed between two somewhat disparate works by Schubert, the intense and compact Quarettsatz in C Minor (a fragment of an uncompleted string quartet from 1820) and the gloriously overlong Octet in F Major, written in 1824.