The distinguished American composer Lewis Spratlan, recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and NEA fellowships; an American Academy of Arts and Letters composer award; and the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera Life is a Dream, premiered by the Santa Fe Opera in 2010 ?is producing new works at a prodigious rate. The last half-decade has seen the premieres of:
- Wonderer (commissioned by pianist Jonathan Biss and performed frequently in the United States and Europe)
- Shadow (commissioned by cellist Matt Haimovitz and performed more than fifty times in the U.S., Canada, and Europe; on the Oxingale CD “After Contemplating Shakespeare?
- Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra (a consortium commission performed in Holland MI, Athens GA, and Long Beach CA; BMOP Sound CD release, 2012)
- Architect (a chamber opera drawn from the life and work of Louis Kahn – video version screened in New York, Chicago, New Haven, Fort Worth; Parma CD/DVD release 2012)
- Elephant Rocks (nine a cappella choral songs on poems by Kay Ryan premiered in Amherst MA ?Yale University, October 2012)
- A Summer’s Day(Boston Modern Orchestra Project Commission; BMOP Sound CD release, 2012)
- Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano (Albany CD release, Spring 2013)
- City Song (double chorus SATB/SATB; commissioned by the Yale Glee Club for its 150th anniversary; poem by Elizabeth Alexander)
- Process/Bulge (chamber ensemble; commissioned by Wet Ink; New York April 2011)
- Travels (commissioned by the Rutgers University Glee Club; South Hadley MA, New Brunswick NJ)
- Vespers Cantata: Hesperus is Phosphorus (a 65-minute, nine-movement work for chorus SATB and chamber sextet, commissioned by The Crossing Choir and Philadelphia’s Network for New Music; Philadelphia and New York, June, 2012; Parma CD release 2013)
He is currently at work on a double concerto for cello (Matt Haimovitz) and piano (Christopher O’Riley) and several different orchestras, and developing a new three-act opera, with performances to be announced during the coming months.
His music is marked by both immediacy and depth of feeling, joie-de-vivre, and the highest technical expertise. It is written with loving regard for the performers who bring it alive and incorporates their sensibilities into the essence of the music. His works have been praised and extensively discussed by Anthony Tommasini and Allan Kozinn of the New York Times, Richard Dyer and Jeremy Eichler of the Boston Globe, and Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix. See the WORKS page for details and a list of available recordings.