Sunday, May 22, 2011

Q&A with Composer Curtis Bryant

1) Name five influences.

Bartók, Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Beatles come to mind under the letter B.... But, then there's C.... I recognize many mentors, and I can wear many musical hats.

2) What are you currently working on? What can we expect to hear from you?

This summer I'm doing the orchestration of my opera "The Anarchist," in anticipation of a 2013 premiere with Atlanta's Capitol City Opera. I also have a recent piano quartet and a new song cycle that are awaiting premieres. Stay tuned....

3) What's good about the Atlanta music scene? Or, why do you live and/or work here?

I am an Atlanta native with roots that go back to the city's founding, but mostly, I like it here, and I have a cool place in the woods on a private lake that makes for an ideal place to compose.

4) What is the biggest challenge you face as an Atlanta composer and how do you address it?

The music scene here offers a great amount of variety, and there are some good opportunities for performances of new works. But I have to say that the city's major music organizations, such as the Atlanta Symphony and the Atlanta Opera have shown not the slightest interest in the work or talent of Atlanta composers. Another major problem working as a composer in Atlanta and in the South in general is the lack of funding for commissioning new works and the lack of funding for the arts in general.

5) Who in the local scene would you like to collaborate with and why?

I am open to collaboration with any group performing chamber music, orchestral music, opera, art song, or liturgical music.

6) What instrument(s) haven't you written for that you would like to write for?

Never composed anything for the Wagner tuba, Heckelphone or the Theremin. Beyond that, there are several genres that I haven't had the opportunity to write for. Most glaringly absent in my catalog is a concerto. I'd be happy to tackle one for piano or any other major solo instrument, given the promise of a performance. That could include any of the above instruments, as well.

7) How does technology play a role in your work?

I got tired of producing hand-written scores and instrumental parts years ago. I currently use Finale for most of my concert music. I use Logic Pro for most commercial work, including film scores and video game music.

8) When and where is your next performance?

Still waiting for exact dates, but at least 3 premieres are in the wings. The major one with Capitol City Opera is slated for the 2012-13 season.

9) Where can we find you online?

My website is http://www.curtisbryantmusic.com. You can go to the "news" page for updates on performances. I also maintain a group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=79336280906. Anyone can join my group.

Thanks, Curtis!

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