by Georgia Rowe, San Francisco Classical Voice
November 17, 2009
William Bolcom has always made his own way. Throughout his career, which has produced symphonies, operas, chamber pieces, and piano and vocal works, the Seattle-born, Michigan-based composer has often rejected the prevailing notions of what “serious” music should include.
He was among the first to revive the piano rag form, and with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, has explored the American song repertoire in concert and recordings for over 35 years. Bolcom, who won multiple Grammy Awards for his setting of William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and of Experience,” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Twelve New Études for piano. At 71, he continues to compose. This week, the New Century Chamber Orchestra will perform his Three Rags and Serenata Notturna. Later this season, the ensemble will premiere his newest work, Romanza. I spoke to him by phone in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Read more