MARGARET BROUWER Biography Works List

Margaret BrouwerComposer Margaret Brouwer’s music has earned singular praise for its lyricism, musical imagery, and emotional power. Her Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, commissioned by the Dallas Symphony, was premiered by them with Ellen Rose, solo violist in January 2010. In The Dallas Morning News, Scott Cantrell wrote, "She has written skillfully and imaginatively for both viola and orchestra, and the music engages from start to finish." The feature article in the February 2010 edition of the on-line publication, is about Brouwer. She received a Meet The Composer Commissioning/USA award to compose Path at Sunrise, Masses of Flowers which was premiered by the Cleveland Women’s Symphony in April 2010. Reviewing the concert in, Mike Telin said "The title describes exactly what one sees when listening to this stunning piece. The colors that Ms. Brouwer draws from the orchestra throughout this gorgeous six-minute work made this listener wish it had lasted six minutes longer." A 2010 Voices of Change concert (Dallas) featured several of Brouwer’s works. Her first work for children, Daniel and Snakeman, A Children’s Symphonic Drama, will be premiered by CityMusic Cleveland in May 2011. Premieres in 2009 included Brouwer’s Rhapsody for Orchestra commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony, Leonard Slatkin, conducting, and BREAKDOWN, a collaborative work by Brouwer and video/sound artist Kasumi, commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra, George Manahan conducting, at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press wrote, "Rhapsody proved to be a compact, cleverly scored concerto for orchestra…latent with romanticism but rippled." In 2007, violinist Michi Wiancko and conductor James Gaffigan premiered Brouwer’s Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra with CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra. In reviewing this work, Donald Rosenberg wrote “…what makes her concerto so alluring is its surprising tension between skittish and poetic material. The three-movement commissioned work abounds in extroverted passages that call upon the soloist to negotiate acrobatic flights and suddenly switch gears. In the opening “Narrative,” the violinist has long, bravura statements that melt seamlessly into tender utterances and back again.” Wiancko played the work again in 2010 with the South Carolina Symphony and the Columbus GA Symphony. Light was performed at the Tanglewood Music Center’s 2005 Festival of Contemporary Music. Reviewing this concert Allan Kozinn wrote in The New York Times, “Margaret Brouwer’s fantastically eclectic “Light” filtered fragments of medieval and Renaissance pieces through a prism of free-ranging melody.”

Ms. Brouwer received an Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and letters in 2006, was named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2004, and was awarded an Ohio Council for the Arts Individual Fellowship for 2005. In January 2006, Naxos released a CD of her orchestral music called Aurolucent Circles (CD #8.559250) featuring Evelyn Glennie, solo percussionist and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Gerard Schwarz conducting. In review of the title work on the CD, Lawson Taitte of The Dallas Morning News praised Brouwer saying, “Ms. Brouwer has one of the most delicate ears and inventive imaginations among contemporary American composers… Ms. Brouwer not only gets seductive sounds out of the instruments, she also creates a dramatic through line that keeps the attention riveted for 27 minutes.”

Many of the country’s most distinguished ensembles in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Cleveland regularly program her works. In New York Ms. Brouwer’s music has been programmed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Composers’ Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Cutting Room, and Symphony Space; by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s on its “Second Helping” series; and by the Cassatt and Cavani String Quartets. Her works have also been played by the Seattle, Dallas, Detroit, and Columbus Symphonies, among others; and in Washington, D.C. audiences at the Kennedy Center, the Concoran Gallery, and the Philips Gallery have heard her music. Brouwer’s music is published by Pembroke Music Co., Inc., a division of Carl Fischer LLC. She served as head of the composition department and holder of the Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1996 to 2008. Residencies include those at the MacDowell Colony where she has been a Norton Stevens Fellow and Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. In addition to Naxos, other recordings of Ms. Brouwer’s music can be found on the New World, CRI, Crystal, Centaur, and Opus One labels.

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