Richard Brooks

Compositions in the LICA catalog

RICHARD BROOKS (b. 1942) is a native of upstate New York and holds a B.S. degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUC Potsdam, an M.A. in Composition from SUNY Binghamton and a Ph. D. in Composition from New York University. From 1975-2004 he was on the music faculty of Nassau Community College where he was Professor and, for 22 years, Department Chair.
From 1977 to 1982 he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Society of University Composers (now the Society of Composers, Inc.) on which he continues to serve as the Producer of the SCI Compact Disk Series. In 1981 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Composers Alliance. After serving two terms as Secretary and three terms as Vice-President he was elected President in the Fall of 1993. From 1992-1998 he was a member of the Junior/Community College Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music. He has received a major grant from the SUNY Research Foundation (for composition), a Composer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Music Center grant and several Meet the Composer awards. In 1994 he received a commission for Quintet for Oboe (Sax) and Strings from the New York State Music Teachers National Association; premiere performance took place at the NYSMTA Conference in Ithaca, NY in October 1994. Landscape…with Grace, commissioned for the twentieth anniversary season of the Kent Philharmonia Orchestra in Grand Rapids, Michigan was premiered on April 21, 1996. Preludes to Books I & II of Paradise Lost commissioned for January 2001 by The Lark Ascending and coomissioned him again for Four Miniatures for viola and guitar in 2004. A commission from Elaine Comparone and Harpsichord Unlimited in 2001 resulted in Cassation for harpsichord, strings and percussion. He has been commissioned again by the Kent Philharmonia for a new work for the 2005-2006 season.
He has composed over seventy works in all media. His opera for young audiences, Rapunzel, was commissioned by the Tri-Cities Opera (Binghamton) in 1971 and has been mounted also by the Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Wolf Trap Farm Park and the Denver Symphony/Central City Singers. Most recently, it received 65 performances by the Cincinnati Opera during the 2002-2004 season.
A full length opera, Moby Dick, was completed in 1987 and a second full length opera, Robert and Hal, was given a workshop performance in October 2004 by the Lark Ascending. Sonata for violin and piano (1973) is published in Vol. XI of the ASUC Journal of Music Scores and recorded on Record no. 5 of the ASUC Record Series (Advance label). Prelude and Lament for wind quintet (1970) and Suite for Percussion (1975) are recorded on the Capstone label(CPS-8601). Chorale Variations for Horns and Strings is recorded on compact disk by the Constanta Symphony Orchestra (Capstone CPS-8627 “Tonus Tomis”). Seascape; An Overture to Moby Dick and Landscape…with Grace are recorded by the Polish National Radio Orchestra and the Kent Philharmonia, respectively, on Capstone Records (CPS-8634 “And the Eagle Flies…”).

In addition to the productions of Rapunzel mentioned above, important performances of his music include:
February 6, 1983: A Meet the Composer concert by North-South Consonance featured Fantasy-Impromptu for solo piano, Invention for solo cello and Trio for violin, cello and piano at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, New York.
December 8, 1983: A concert by the Atelier pour Musique Contemporaine in St. Germaine-en-Laye, France featured
Trio for violin, cello and piano, Serenade for flute, cello and piano, and Fantasy-Impromptu for solo piano.
May 24, 1984: Minnesota Composers Forum concert featured
Trio for violin, cello and piano at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
January 20, 1985: Opus One ensemble, Seattle premieres Chorale Variations for horns and string orchestra.
April 22, 1985: Sonata for violin and piano performed by the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, D.C. at the Corcoran Gallery.
January 20, 1986: Trio for violin, cello and piano performed by North-South Consonance at Carnegie Recital Hall.
September 22, 1986: Merkin Hall concert featuring Trio for violin, cello and piano, Rhapsody for violin and piano, “Ahab’s Monologue” from Moby Dick and Whitman Choruses (performed by I Cantori di New York).
March-April, 1990: Eight performances of extended excerpts from Moby Dick staged by Golden Fleece, Ltd. at Theatre 22, New York City.
December 11, 1992: A Surprise Fiftieth Birthday Concert presented at Weill Recital Hall included Set Pieces for guitar and harpsichord, Trio for violin, cello and piano, Bachatelles for solo percussion and Fantasy- Impromptu for piano.
September 1994: Seascape; An Overture to Moby Dick was recorded by the Polish Radio National Symphony in Katowice.
April 1994: Chorale Variations for string orchestra and horns and Set Pieces for guitar and harpsichord were performed at the Kiev Composers Festival.
August 1994: Chorale Variations for string orchestra and horns was performed at the Constanta Festival in Romania and the Constanta Symphony recorded the work for release on CD(Capstone Records, CPS-8627 “Tonus Tomis”).
October 23, 1994: Quintet for Oboe and Strings,
commissioned by the New York State Music Teachers National Association, premiered at Ithaca, NY.
April 21, 1996: Landscape…with Grace, commissioned by the Kent Philharmonia Orchestra, premiered by them in Grand Rapids, MI.
October 7, 2004: Robert and Hall performed in workshop by the Lark Ascebding at St. Paul’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, New York, NY.
Recent commissions include new works for The lark Ascending, Elaine Comparone, and the Kent Philharmonia.
Numerous other performances have been given at important festivals held at Memphis State University, Louisiana State University, Bowling Green State University, Florida State University, the University of Georgia and the American Society of University Composers (now the Society of Composers, Inc.) Annual Conferences as well as other venues throughout the United States.