The Art of Composing: Chamber Music

A section from a Michael Parsons manuscript



Winners of the 2015 Chamber Music Composition Competition will be given world premieres as part of the Wednesdays at One series on April 20.


Saad Haddad

Saad HaddadI’ve always wanted to be a composer even before learning to play an instrument. When I was 7, my second grade teacher had our class write one-page biographies on important figures. One month was writers, so I did Steinbeck. Another month was a scientist, so I did Einstein. During the music month, I picked up a picture book about Mozart and it said that he composed his first piece at 5 years old, and I kind of had a moment of panic since I was already two years behind! I begged for piano lessons so I ould learn to read the notes and I haven’t stopped composing since. (Photo by Michael Lenahan)



Michael Dean Parsons

Michael Dean ParsonsUnbound for string quartet is a reflection of not only my upbringing as a concert music composer, but also my work for film, TV, and other media. As I passionately pursue both paths, I find myself freely drawing upon the many styles that these genres encompass to express what I feel is my most genuine artistic voice. While my music has consistent surface level stylistic traits, the true common thread is a commitment to musical instinct. I try not to be too self-analytical, and I believe that years of training and study have informed my intuition in a way that allows me to make quality music by simply following my ear. I find that this approach—composing not as a craftsman but as a listener—keeps my music open to a variety of influences and fosters a creative process rooted in discovery and exploration. (Photo by Joey Lavarias)

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