Skip navigation

Category Archives: Green-Edward

Dr. Edward Green is an award-winning composer and music educator, as well as a prolific scholar in the field of music history.  He currently sits on the faculties of both the Manhattan School of Music and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.  He has received numerous awards for his work.

He provides his own extensive notes, plus some additional biography, for his 1999 orchestral suite, Music for Shakespeare:

This orchestral suite was composed in 1999 and premiered by the Minnesota Sinfonia early in 2000. In 2013, Andy Pease gave it a parallel form for concert winds.

This suite grew out of incidental music Dr. Green had originally written to accompany Shakespearian productions by the Aesthetic Realism Theater Company—and throughout the writing of this music, he explained, he was inspired by this principle of Aesthetic Realism, which he learned from the great American philosopher Eli Siegel:  “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

A key pair of opposites is old and new; in this music, the composer has said, he wanted to be true to both the Elizabethan spirit and the music of our own times.  With melody always in the forefront, the suite evokes the dances of Shakespeare’s day, and the rhythms of our own. As a result, the style is both heartfelt and surprising: serious, yet filled with warmth, charm, humor.

“Love Music” is the title to the opening movement, and its long-arched melody is in the bright tonality of E Lydian. “When I wrote this melody,” the composer has said, “I had in mind Shakespeare’s heroines and also my wife, the actress Carrie Wilson.  In fact, I wrote this melody immediately after seeing her in the role of Desdemona with the Aesthetic Realism Theater Company.”

The second movement is in five parts: a complete “Dance Suite” unto itself. It begins with an Elizabethan “Gigue”—only written not in the traditional 12/8 meter, but in a modernistic 11/8—which gives it delightful irregularity. It is followed by an “Air,” and then three dances which flow into each other: a “Galliard”—depicting some of Shakespeare’s more comic (and slightly drunken) characters, such as Sir Toby Belch—a “Pavane,” and then a “Rigadoon,” which is written in rousing five-bar phrases.

Music for Shakespeare is perhaps Edward Green’s most frequently performed orchestral work. But hardly his only one—for orchestras across the US and also in England, Russia, Argentina, Australia, the Czech Republic and several other countries have also performed such works as his Piano, Trumpet and Saxophone concertos, all three of which have appeared on commercial CDs. He has also written much chamber and choral music, and a Symphony for Band, which was jointly commissioned by a consortium of thirteen of America’s leading concert wind ensembles.  He is currently at work on a ballet based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, and on a symphony commissioned by the Catskill Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his creative activities—which likewise includes work as a film composer in collaboration with the Emmy Award-winning director Ken Kimmelman—Edward Green is also an active music educator.  He teaches at Manhattan School of Music, where he is a professor in the departments of Composition, Music History, and Jazz, and also at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. Trained in Ohio (Oberlin Conservatory) and New York (NYU), he has appeared as a guest composer and lecturer throughout Europe and both North and South America.  He is editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington, and was editor of China and the West: The Birth of a New Music (Shanghai Conservatory Press).

Among his many professional honors is the Zoltan Kodaly Composers’ Award, and a 2009 Grammy nomination for his Piano Concertino (Best Contemporary Classical Composition). He also was the recipient, in 2004, of the highly sought-after Music Alive! Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League.

In putting together the wind band version of Music for Shakespeare, I retained the opening “Love Music” as a separate movement and split the second “Dance Suite” movement into its five component dances: “Gigue”, “Air”, “Galliard”, “Pavane”, and “Rigadoon”, of which the last three run together attacca.  I made several key adjustments, so that the “Love Music” is now in E-flat rather than E, and the final four movements are down a whole step from where they began, putting them in more wind-friendly keys.  I also rebarred the “Gigue” from 11/8 to a mix of 5/8 and 6/8, making it easier for players (and hopefully conductors) to interpret the length of each beat.  At every step, I was in contact with Dr. Green, who approved all of the changes and endorsed the final product.

Listen to a MIDI mock-up below.  Feel free, also, to read along in the score (.pdf):

Here is the Arizona State University Concert Band performing the first movement, “Love Music”, on March 1, 2014.  Please excuse the trumpet-heavy mix, owing to the camera placement:

As Green said, the orchestral version has been performed around the world.  The band version will have its first partial airing by the Arizona State University Concert Band on Saturday, March 1 on the ASU campus.  Anyone else who is interested performing it should contact me: misterpease “at” gmail.com.

Dr. Green has an extensive website that includes his full biography.  I recommend exploring the site a good deal.  His scholarly articles are probing and very accessible.  The site also has mp3s of several of his compositions, including this recording of the orchestral Music for Shakespeare (scroll to the bottom to find it).  These are very much worth a listen as window into his style.

Dr. Green’s faculty page at the Manhattan School of Music.

His faculty page at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

Dr. Edward Green is an award-winning composer and music educator, as well as a prolific scholar in the field of music history.  He currently sits on the faculties of both the Manhattan School of Music and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.  He has received numerous awards for his work.  As a Fulbright Senior Scholar in American Music, he has taught doctoral courses in the summer of 2010 in Buenos Aires, and he plans to do the same in Zagreb in the summer of 2013.  He has been named composer-in-residence at Kean University for 2012-2013.  He was also nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for his Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra in the “Best Classical Contemporary Composition” category.

The idea for the Symphony for Band came out of discussions between Dr. Green and Mark Scatterday, the conductor of the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble.  It was to use a re-worked version of the Overture in E-flat as its first movement, adding three movements of new music. The result is a 30-minute composition unified, first and foremost, by melodic material.  In various ways–both overt and subtle–the first theme of the Overture forms the basis of the main melody in each subsequent movement.  You can listen to MIDI recordings of each movement below.  Of course, these are computer representations of a very human piece of music.  Tempos, styles, and timbres are thus approximate and not 100% accurate.  But these recordings will at least give you a sense of the piece.

The first movement begins confidently (in E-flat), and mostly stays that way:

Tragedy suddenly appears in the second movement.  It begins with a jarringly sparse and dissonant chord, travels through much Sturm und Drang, and ends as disquietingly as it began:

The third movement is an extended, and at times virtuoso, scherzo.  Says Dr. Green: “It encompasses tempi that are exhileratingly fast, and also tempi that are very thoughtful and moderato.”:

A burst of percussion heralds the fourth movement, which unfolds in sonata form.  Dr. Green adds: “Returning us to the opening key of E-flat, it is predominantly bold and confident in mood–but its second theme is deeply lyrical.  It has an extended and very exciting coda.”:

Dr. Green speaks concisely of his guiding philosophy of composition:

Hearing this symphony, with its wide range of moods and its tight thematic structure, you’ll not be surprised that my work as a composer is inspired by this central idea of Aesthetic Realism, stated by its founder, the great poet and critic Eli Siegel: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

In case you’ve made it this far, you can also hear the full symphony played live at its world premiere by the Columbia University Wind Ensemble:

This Symphony was commissioned by a consortium of thirteen bands, headed by Mark Scatterday of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Andy Pease (that’s me) of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble.  Below is a list of the bands and their directors.  I’ll also include the premiere dates and cities as I find them out.

Eastman Wind Ensemble – Mark Scatterday

Columbia Wind Ensemble – Andrew Pease – Sunday, December 9, 2pm, New York City

Wake Forest University – C. Kevin Bowen

South Dakota State University – Eric Peterson

Manhattan Wind Ensemble – Christopher Baum – Tuesday, December 4, 8pm, New York City

Dartmouth College – Matthew Marsit – Tuesday, October 23, 7pm, Hanover, NH

Brooklyn Wind Symphony – Jeff W. Ball – Sunday, December 16, 2pm, Brooklyn, NY

Mansfield University – Adam Brennan

Furman University – Leslie Hicken

Kansas State University – Frank Tracz

University of Arizona – Gregg Hanson

Yale University – Thomas Duffy

Auburn University – Rick Good

Dr. Green has an extensive website that includes his full biography.  I recommend exploring the site a good deal.  His scholarly articles are probing and very accessible.  The site also has mp3s of several of his compositions for orchestra and chamber groups.  These are very much worth a listen as window into his style.

Dr. Green’s faculty page at the Manhattan School of Music.

His faculty page at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

Dr. Edward Green is an award-winning composer and music educator, as well as a prolific scholar of music history, music criticism, and Aesthetic Realism. He currently sits on the faculty of both the Manhattan School of Music and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. The most recent addition to his numerous prizes and awards is his nomination for a 2010 Grammy Award for his Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra in the “Best Classical Contemporary Composition” category.

Overture in E-flat originated during Green’s period as composer-in-residence for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York in 2004-05. After its first performance by the ISO Symphonic Band under the direction of Brian Worsdale, the piece lay dormant for several years. In summer 2009, Green attended a performance of the Columbia Summer Winds in Washington Square Park. After hearing this performance, he contacted their music director, Andy Pease (me), to help revive the Overture in E-flat. Dr. Green and I subsequently worked together to re-orchestrate and expand the piece. This new edition of the piece was premiered by the Columbia University Wind Ensemble on March 7, 2010 and replayed by the Columbia Summer Winds, with some further revamping,during the 2010 season.

Dr. Green has an extensive website that includes his full biography. I recommend exploring the site a good deal. His scholarly articles are probing and very accessible. My favorite so far analyzes the melodies in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

Dr. Green’s faculty page at the Manhattan School of Music.

His faculty page at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

The ever-evolving MIDI file of the Overture in E-flat, posted 5/11/2010. This is the closest to a “real” recording of this you’re going to get. I promise it’s good and accurate! It begins with a couple seconds of silence, so please be patient when listening.