Composers On Campus
Composer and conductor Lee Actor (b. 1952) was one of five composers selected in November 2014 as an “Honored Artist of the American Prize”, the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed. He has won a number of awards for his compositions, most recently for Dance Rhapsody, second place winner of the 2011 American Prize in Orchestral Composition, Redwood Fanfare, a winner of the 2009 Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra Fanfare Competition, and Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, the First Prize Winner in the 2007 International Horn Society Composition Contest. Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra was a finalist for the 2014 American Prize in Orchestral Composition, String Quartet No. 1 was a finalist for the 2014 American Prize in Chamber Music Composition, Circus Symphonicus was a finalist in the Columbia Orchestra's 2013 American Composer Competition, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra was a finalist for the 2013 American Prize in Orchestral Composition, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was a finalist for the 2012 American Prize in Orchestral Composition, Variations and Fugue for Orchestra was a finalist in both the Columbia Orchestra’s 2007 American Composer’s Competition and the Holyoke Civic Symphony’s 2005 Composition Competition, and Prelude to a Tragedy was selected as a finalist in the Columbia Orchestra’s 2005 American Composer’s Competition.
Actor has received commissions from the Palo Alto Philharmonic, the Redwood Symphony, the Mission Chamber Orchestra, the Silicon Valley Symphony, the Saratoga Symphony, the University of South Dakota, the Skaneateles Festival, the Peninsula Symphony, and the Saint Michael Trio. His works have been performed by more than 60 orchestras and bands in the U.S. and around the world. His first CD of orchestral works was released by MMC Recordings in June 2005, which Records International called "...one of the best new symphonic discs to have come our way." A second CD was released by Albany Records in April 2008, featuring Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, which was nominated for 2008 "Best of the Year" classical CD by Classical 94.5/WNED in Buffalo, NY. A third CD of orchestral music, featuring Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra and Dance Rhapsody, was released in 2011 by Navona Records, and subsequently named to Audiophile Audition’s list of “Best of the Year Discs for 2011”. Navona Records released Actor's fourth solo CD in February 2015, featuring Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and Symphony No. 3.
A former violinist with the Albany (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra, Actor has advanced degrees in both engineering and music composition. He has studied composition with Donald Sur, Brent Heisinger, Charles Jones, and Andrew Imbrie, and conducting with Angelo Frascarelli, David Epstein and Higo Harada. Actor was named Composer-in-Residence of the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2002, following his appointment as Assistant Conductor in 2001, and was Assistant Conductor of the Nova Vista Symphony from 2008 to 2010.
Born in 1978 in Blackwell, Oklahoma, Daniel Baldwin is quickly becoming one of the most highly sought after and widely performed composers in the world today. His music has been described as "epic", "refreshingly beautiful", "gorgeous and moving", and "beautifully inspired" by critics around the country. He is an award winning composer who has been commissioned by performers from the top orchestras in the world to include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and National Symphony Orchestra, among others as well as prestigious ensembles to include the Lincoln Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the West Point Band. His music has been presented on National Public Radio, in prestigious venues around the world such as Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, on hundreds of University stages around the world, and at National and International conventions around the world to include the Masterworks Festival, Midwest Clinic, MENC National Convention, Kansas Bandmasters Convention, and at the International Festivals of the associations of Clarinet, Horn, Trombone, and Double Reeds, among others.
An international composer, his music has been performed around the globe in Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Belgium, and Australia, just to name a few. His music is published exclusively by Imagine Music Publishing, through which he is the editor of a band/orchestra/choir series titled "The Pathways Series".
A frequent guest conductor, he has conducted honor bands across the Midwest and double reed festivals across the country. He has conducted ensemble recitals at the Society of Composers Region VI conference (Rice University), the International Double Reed Convention (New York University and the University of Arizona), and the International Horn Symposium (the Colburn School).
He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK, Master of Music in Composition with an emphasis in Wind Band Conducting from Kansas State University, and a DMA in Composition with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. His primary composition teachers include Eric Richards and Craig Weston as well as additional studies with Max Ridgway and Eric Ewazen. His primary conducting teachers include Michael Knedler at NWOSU, Frank Tracz at Kansas State University, and Tyler Goodrich White at UNL.
Bruce Broughton is best known for his many film scores such as Silverado, Tombstone, The Rescuers Down Under, The Presidio, Miracle on 34th Street, the Homeward Bound adventures and Harry and the Hendersons, his television themes to JAG, Dinosaurs and Steven Spielberg’s Tiny Toon Adventures, TV mini-series (Texas Rising, The Blue and Gray), TV movies (Warm Springs, O Pioneers!), as well as countless episodes of TV series like Dallas, Quincy, First Monday and Hawaii Five-O. He has been nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy and has won the Emmy a record ten times. His music has accompanied many of the Disney theme park attractions throughout the world.
Broughton’s concert music includes numerous works for orchestra and chamber groups, performed by ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He is a board member of ASCAP and a past president of The Society of Composers and Lyricists. He is an adjunct professor in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television for the Thornton School of Music at USC, and a lecturer in music composition at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
A Nacogdoches, Texas native and proud son of James and Martha Dickson, John began his musical journey at a very young age. He began piano studies at the age of eight and won numerous regional and statewide piano competitions in his formative years, and then decided classical piano probably was not the way to go. He has degrees in music (Piano Performance and Composition) from Stephen F Austin State University and from the University of Miami, FL (Media Writing and Production). He came to horn very late in the game, but took to it quickly thanks largely to Charles Gavin and Frøydis Ree Wekre.
After many late nights in the Miami studios, and early mornings at the beach, John relocated to Houston, TX and found work as a freelance horn player and pianist. He performed with some of the great artists of the day there, including Tommy Tune, Diahann Carroll, Ray Charles, Andy Williams, Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, to name a few and with numerous ensembles, including Theater Under the Stars, the Paragon Brass, HSO, HGO, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and others. His efforts also led to a period as resident composer at the Alley Theater where he assisted in the World Premiere of Frank Wildhorn’s Jekyll and Hyde and scored and composed songs for Alley productions of As You Like It and A Christmas Carol, all to terrific reviews and not just from his mom.
After a couple years John headed to LA. He began life there primarily as a session horn and piano player. He has performed and/or recorded with many artists including: Alanis Morissette, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Billy Joel, Lynn Harrell, Liza Minelli, Johnny Mathis, Patti Austin, Bernadette Peters, Eddie Van Halen, Kenny Loggins, Chick Corea, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Shirley Horn, Warrant, Harry Connick, Lionel Ritchie, and ““Weird Al” Yankovic. He’s also performed on over 300 feature films, TV shows, trailers and national commercials and countless daytime shows (synths count).
John began an association with jazz giant Chick Corea as an orchestrator and rehearsal assistant resulting in works for piano and string quartet and pieces for orchestra and jazz quintet/sextet. The first of these, “Spain for Sextet and Orchestra,” won the Grammy Award for the Best Instrumental Arrangement in 2000. More recordings to come!
John’s filmography as a composer includes USA’s smash “Burn Notice”, “Miss Nobody”, Fox’s “The Good Guys”, “Killer Per Caso”, “A Galaxy Far Far Away” and over a dozen (too many!) sci- fi/horror films for SyFy including “Mammoth”, “Alien Lockdown”, “Larva”, and Mark Lester’s “Pterodactyl”. His compositions, arrangements and orchestrations have also appeared in a great number of daytime shows, reality shows and several large-scale feature films. (See Brad Warnaar’s statements regarding ghost writing. We’d tell you more, but we’d have to kill you.) He is also now moving into the chamber music field and has some new works for horn, piano, cello, and various ensembles published or in the works.
John is the recipient of four ASCAP Film and TV Awards for his work in Prime Time television.
Personally, I am so happy to be back on the horn after several years away. The journey back has been fraught with peril, but has been worth it. Buy me a beer, and I’ll tell you about it.
Geoffrey Gordon's list of works includes orchestral and chamber music—vocal and instrumental—as well as scores for theater, dance and film. His music has been called “brilliant” (Boston Globe), “stunning” (Milwaukee Journal), “wonderfully idiomatic” (Salt Lake Tribune), “haunting” (Strings Magazine) and “remarkable” (Fanfare). Chicago Tribune music critic John von Rhein called Mr. Gordon’s lux solis aeterna, premiered by the acclaimed Fulcrum Point New Music Project, “a cosmic beauty ... of acutely crafted music.” And music critic Lawrence Johnson, of Classical Review, called Mr. Gordon’s work Tiger Psalms, “a very impressive and significant world premiere ... the composer makes the music sing magnificently.”
A winner of the Aaron Copland Award, Mr. Gordon has twice served as composer-in-residence at the Aaron Copland House. His work has been funded by the Barlow Endowment, the National Endowment for the Arts, the United Performing Arts Fund, the Concert Artists Guild, the American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, the MacArthur Foundation, the American Music Center, the Abelson Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the Cheswatyr Foundation and the Bush Foundation. He has been in residence at the La Napoule Arts Foundation in Cannes, and at the historic Cliff Dweller Club in Chicago. He has been nominated for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Elise Stoeger Prize, and recognized by the Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received academic fellowship support from the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, New York University and the Guildhall in London.
Over the past several seasons, Mr. Gordon’s works have been performed more than fifty times on three continents, including premieres conducted by rising stars including Rory Macdonald, James Gaffigan, Christophe Mueller and Ilan Volkov, and featuring soloists Toke Møldrup, Moshe Aharonov, Megumi Kanda and Carol Wincenc. Next season and beyond, highlights include new works for celebrated soloists including Los Angeles Philharmonic principle horn Andrew Bain, English Symphony Orchestra principals Simon Desbruslais and Clare Hammond (trumpet and piano), Czech Philharmonic soloists Jana Bouskova and Jirí Bárta (harp and cello), Stephen Burns and Ransom Wilson (trumpet and flute), Grammy award- winning soloist Tim McAllister (saxophone) and Tonhalle Zurich principal Philippe Litzler (trumpet). He has worked with (or soon will work with) some of the best ensembles in the world, including the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the English Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, JACK Quartet, Zeitfluss, AKOM Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, Third Angle Ensemble, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the International Contemporary Ensemble. In 2015, he will spend time in residence in Copenhagen, at the invitation of the Danish Arts Council, to continue work on a new theater piece, featuring avant garde bassist/vocalist, Kalina Goudeva. And in March of 2016, he will serve as composer in residence at the International Centre for Composers in Visby, Sweden. He has been named the 2015 commissioned composer for the American Music Project, with a major new chamber work for clarinet and string quartet (the JACK Quartet) to premiere in New York City, followed by a commercial recording of the new work. The English Symphony Orchestra and the Copenhagen Philharmonic will also issues commercial recordings featuring Mr. Gordon’s works in the coming year. In November of 2015, cellist Toke Møldrup will premiere Mr. Gordon’s cello sonata, FATHOMS, after Shakespeare’s Tempest, at Carnegie Hall in New York. A commercial recording, on the Orchid label, is planned to follow.
He has been featured on the cover of M Magazine, and profiled on National Public Radio. His work has been broadcast on WFMT in Chicago and WNYC in New York. Mr. Gordon has also served as an ASCAP representative in Washington, lobbying Congress on behalf of copyright protection and composers’ rights. He serves as composer-in-residence for the Boston-based Xanthos Ensemble and is a staff composer for the American Composers Orchestra in New York City.
Adrian Hallam has redefined Beginner Band music with his highly innovative and energetic approach. His works, "Stadium Rock", "Haunted" and "Kung Fu", have become some of Australia’s most popular performance pieces. Adrian has published many Horn and Piano works across all grade levels. His compositions have been performed at the Midwest Clinic and shortlisted in the American Band Association’s Young Band Composition Competition as well as the UK Songwriting Contest. Adrian is currently the Principal Horn with the New South Wales Police Concert Band. As a freelance musician, he has performed on studio recordings and soundtracks. Adrian has also worked with many orchestras and diverse performers such as comedian Eric Idle, Bootleg Beatles, Daleks from Dr Who, and Grammy nominated hip-hop artist Ryan Leslie.
A native of Asheville, NC, Dr. Jack M. Jarrett holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Composition from the University of Florida, the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, respectively, as well as a Diploma in Opera Conducting from the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. His career spans over fifty years as teacher in American colleges and universities, and includes a Fulbright grant, a Ford Foundation grant as composer in the public schools, and an Aspen Conducting Fellowship. From 1980 to 1982 he was Assistant Conductor of the Richmond, Virginia Symphony Orchestra. His orchestral works have been performed by more than fifty major orchestras, worldwide. His many published works include a twenty-minute “Tribute to Gershwin” (Warner Brothers), works for string orchestra (FJH Publishing Co.) and a number of choral works (G. Schirmer, Lawson-Gould and Bourne). In 2008 he received the coveted Rudolf Nissim Prize from ASCAP for his orchestral song cycle “…autumn too long.”
From 1989 until 2001 Jarrett taught at Berklee College of Music, where he served as Chair of the largest composition department in the world. There he trained both traditional and film composers, and oversaw Berklee’s unique technology-based training program in conducting, which incorporates his own software.
Jarrett left Berklee in the fall of 2001 to devote full energies to Notion Music, Inc. in Greensboro, North Carolina. As Vice President of Research and Development, he drew not only on his knowledge and skill as an accomplished musician, but also on his background as one of the pioneers in the field of musical software. In 2005 he resigned his position at Notion to resume a career as full-time independent composer and conductor. Recently he has conducted several opera performances at UNCG, including “Don Giovanni” in 2012.
American composer-conductor Kevin Kaska is one of America’s leading young musical talents. During his high school years, Kaska was the only protégé of famous Hollywood composer-arranger Vic Schoen. He attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in Film Scoring.
Kaska’s orchestral compositions and arrangements have been played by over 50 orchestras worldwide, including John Williams and Keith Lockhart with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band, Saint Louis Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra (five CDs), Royal Scottish National Orchestra (four CDs), New Zealand Symphony, Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the Seattle Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, Berkshire Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Austin Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Modesto Symphony, Buffalo Symphony, Bavarian Philharmonic, Bach Collegium of Munich, Puerto Rico Philharmonic, and the Boston Metropolitan Orchestra.
Kaska was introduced into the Boston Pops Orchestra at the age of 21. Legendary film composer and conductor John Williams approved his work, and he was invited to write for the orchestra. He was commissioned in 1997 to compose a 20-minute work for narrator and orchestra commemorating the 150th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s birth, entitled The Wizard of Menlo Park. In 1996, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Campaign 2000 commissioned Mr. Kaska to compose a new fanfare; the result was the enthusiastically received BSO 2000 Fanfare.
A documentary featuring Kaska has been broadcast on PBS. The film, EROICA!, follows him as he composes a Triple Concerto for the award-winning, Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio. The concerto was premiered in November 2001 with Hans Vonk and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Kaska is one of the few musicians with an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. The World Harp Congress commissioned him to compose a work that would be premiered with the largest harp ensemble in recorded history. He conducted this piece and others at a July 2008 concert of 232 harps in Amsterdam.
Film composer John Debney asked Kaska in 2005 to orchestrate music based on his Academy Award nominated score to The Passion of the Christ into a moving 70-minute concert choral symphony. In 2009, Kaska was asked to write a big band composition for the movie Public Enemies. He has orchestrated for the 2012 Oscars as well as the films Interstellar, Man of Steel, Lone Ranger, Life of Pi (Oscar winning score), Dark Knight 1&2, Angels and Demons, Rango, Madagascar 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, Megamind, Sherlock Holmes 1&2, Inception, Pirates 4, Transformers 2 & 3, Iron Man 2, Chicken Little, Mummy 3, Evan Almighty, Zathura, and Idlewild.
In 2010, Kaska recorded a CD with the Los Angeles Chamber Artists (a chamber orchestra he founded), featuring all new works commissioned for the CD. The following year he recorded his “Tone Poems” album with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In 2014 he released two CDs: The Kevin Kaska Jazz Orchestra featuring Arturo Sandoval and The Hollywood Epic Brass featuring the finest brass musicians in Los Angeles. His music has been licensed by the Bose Corporation to demonstrate the quality of the company’s speakers. www.kevinkaska.com
Of Lithuanian heritage, composer Veronika Krausas was born in Australia raised in Canada, and lives in Los Angeles. She has directed, composed for, and produced multi-media events that incorporate her works with dance, acrobatics and video. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) writes "her works, whose organic, lyrical sense of storytelling are supported by a rigid formal elegance, give her audiences a sense that nature's frozen objects are springing to life."
Her chamber opera The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was premiered at the New York City Opera’s VOX 2008 festival. It was staged and won both the Best Opera and Best Performance with soprano Michelle Jasso at Goat Hall Productions Works for Opera (San Francisco - 2009). A full production was mounted in Los Angeles in August 2010 to sold-out audiences. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times said of her chamber opera “Something novel this way comes.”
Commissions and performances include Ensemble musikFabrik, Esprit Orchestra, The Vancouver Symphony, ERGO Projects, Continuum Music, Toca Loca, Fort Worth Opera, and Motion Music. In February 2009 the Penderecki String Quartet gave the US Premiere of midaregami, her work for string quartet and mezzo-soprano, at REDCAT Theater in Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. It will receive repeat performances this March at USC in a multi-media event with films by Mike Patterson, Candace Reckinger, David Lynch and Agnes Varda and in Canada at the Perimeter Institute.
Language of the Birds, a commission for the 25th Anniversary of the San Francisco Choral Artists with the Alexander String Quartet, using text by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, premiered in May 2011 in San Francisco. It was released as a CD by Foghorn Classics with Ferlinghetti reciting his poetry. Her chamber orchestra work analemma was an official selection of the US for the 2012 World Music Days in Belgium and she was the featured composer at the 2013 Céret Music Festival. In 2008 she organized a concert and CD release for The Player Piano Project, a collection of works for player piano by 22 composers from 6 countries.
Sillages for four double basses premiered on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Chamber Series in 2014 and on the Jacaranda concert series in March 2015. Stephen Vanhauwert commissioned and will premiere her new piano études at RedCat in June as part of the Piano Spheres series, and her new work for microtonal piano (Terços) will be premiered by Aron Kallay in the fall. She is one of 6 composers involved in The Industry’s new mobile opera project Hopscotch in 2015.
Krausas has music composition degrees from the University of Toronto, McGill University in Montreal, and a doctorate from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she is a Professor in the Composition Department. She is a lecturer and interviewer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, serves on the advisory council of Jacaranda and People Inside Electronics, and is an associate artist with LA’s acclaimed new opera company The Industry.
Violinist and six-time Emmy award-winning composer Gary Kuo began his formal musical studies at the age of eight in his home state of Connecticut. By his senior year of high school, Gary had won statewide competitions, performed as soloist with several orchestras, and served as concertmaster for numerous festival ensembles, including the All-Eastern MENC Conference Orchestra, where he was chosen from violinists in 12 states to play first chair. At the age of 17, he combined his interests in amateur electronics and woodworking to construct an electric violin of his own design.
Gary moved to New York City after accepting a scholarship to Juilliard, where he majored in violin performance as a pupil of Dorothy DeLay. He also explored music technology and composition, self-teaching between classes. His early works as an undergraduate attracted the attention of organizations such as Meet the Composer, one of his first sponsors, and Coopers & Lybrand, which commissioned him to compose and produce the radio theme song to their Summer Jobs program. Gary’s growing interest in film music was given a major boost when he served as concertmaster of the All-American College Orchestra at Walt Disney World, performing with noted Hollywood composers and arrangers, legendary artists, and entertainers.
After completing his Bachelor of Music degree, Gary accepted a scholarship to the two-year Media Writing and Production graduate program at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Concentrating his studies in orchestration, arranging, composition, and production in a variety of styles, Gary featured the instrument he constructed in his thesis titled The Integration of the Electric Violin into Commercial and Popular Instrumental Music. Gary’s live performances also caught the eye of Coca-Cola, which hired him to appear on camera for their “Thirst for Greatness” advertising campaign for the Summer Olympics. Upon completing his Master of Music degree, Gary relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television.
During his formative years in Hollywood, Gary worked as a session musician performing on over 100 motion picture soundtracks including The Rock, Clear and Present Danger, and Finding Nemo, under the baton of such legendary composers as Elmer Bernstein, James Horner, and Jerry Goldsmith. He has recorded for The Simpsons, JAG, and Family Guy, appeared on live telecasts of The Tonight Show, the Grammy Awards, and the Academy Awards, and played with dozens of artists including Pearl Jam, Harry Connick, Jr., Natalie Cole, and Aerosmith.
As a composer, Gary received a special recognition award for his score to Another Night from the First Run Film Festival sponsored by New York Magazine. His music for television has been heard on well over 130 programs including National Geographic Explorer, The Dog Whisperer, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly after receiving the first of five Emmy Awards for his work on the daytime drama All My Children, Gary was invited to compose for As the World Turns, winning him a sixth statuette to add to his collection. With five BMI TV Music awards to his credit, Gary has also received commissions from orchestras and chamber ensembles across the United States as a composer of music for the concert stage. Written in 2013, “Mountain Spires” was premiered at the 45th International Horn Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, by the Messiah College Horn Studio under the direction of Dr. Michael A. Harcrow. While being Gary’s first composition exclusively for the brass instrument, it was an instant success and described as “phenomenally beautiful” and “a staple in the horn choir repertoire.”
Gary has served as adjudicator for the Music Center’s Spotlight Awards, which for over 25 years has been the premier arts training and scholarship program for high school students in Southern California. He has been invited as a guest speaker and clinician by the Rotary Club and music educators at all levels to inspire and coach young talent and has appeared on camera for a number of projects including print work, several commercials for United Airlines, Honda, and Visa, the feature film Wild Bill, the sitcom Veronica’s Closet, the drama series Alias, and videos for Faith Hill and Sting.
As an artist sponsored by several manufacturers of musical instruments, audio equipment, and software, Mr. Kuo also serves as an instructor at Biola University and La Sierra University, teaching both violin performance and composition. This fall, Gary will be installed as Director of Music for Pebblekick, Inc. and oversee the creative direction, composition, and production of all musical content for the Southern California-based video game developer and publisher. www.garykuo.com
Robert Litton (b. 1978) received his undergrad and graduate degrees in composition and percussion performance as well as the 2010 "Young Alumnus of the Year" award from CSU Hayward (now East Bay) before graduating 1st in his class from the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at the University of Southern California. He has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Marin Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, Composers Inc., and was a marimba soloist with the Kensington and Fremont Symphony Orchestras. His compositions have been performed by members of the San Francisco Symphony, SF Opera, SF Contemporary Music Players, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, LA Chamber Orchestra, as well as the New York Philharmonic, and in 2001 was he honored with a featured performance in New York's Carnegie Hall.
Kerry Turner has become one of the most recognized names, not only in the horn world, but in brass playing in general. Whether as a composer or a performing artist on the horn, he appears regularly on the great concert stages of the world. Mr. Turner's major ensembles with whom he performs include the world-famous American Horn Quartet, the stunning Virtuoso Horn Duo, and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. As a member of these prestigious organizations, he has concertized on four continents. He is also a frequently invited soloist and clinician, having performed and taught in Germany, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, the United States and the Czech Republic.
Hi, I’m Brad. I don’t like writing about myself in the third person, so I’m gonna just tell you about some of the stuff I’ve done so far.
I was born in Flint, Michigan. I was very young at the time. I attended the Interlochen Arts Academy for three years as a French horn major, and after that I went to the Eastman School of music for a while. At the end of my first year the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced auditions for two openings, and I thought, “What the hell... it’s right across the hall” so I took the audition and, to my amazement, won the job as Second Horn. After three years there I was hired by Karel Ancerl and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I left the TSO after three seasons but remained in Toronto to free-lance. During that time I was frequently asked to play with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa(with whom I performed the Hindemith Horn Concerto), and I played regularly with the National Ballet of Canada. I also had the pleasure of joining up with Rob McConnell’s famed jazz band, The Boss Brass, with whom I made several recordings. I was also Principal Horn of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for three seasons.
In 1980 I answered the siren call of Southern California and moved to LA. I thought it would be cool to play on movies and TV, and to record with big-name artists. I got to do that – Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Metallica, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Barbra Streisand, Lennie Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Celine Dion, John Legend, Paul McCartney – these were some of them. I have also played on over 1,000 film scores, and countless TV shows and commercials. In the jazz world, I have recorded with Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Stan Getz, Diane Shuur, Quincy Jones, Sammy Nestico, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, and Shirley Horn, to name a few. One of my career highlights was touring Japan with Jaco Pastorius in support of the “Word of Mouth” album, which I also played on. I have performed regularly with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1982, and have played hundreds of concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Oh wait, you probably wanted to hear about Brad Warnaar, composer. I have written music for the concert stage, as well as for movies, TV, and commercials. I have done a good deal of “ghost-writing” for other composers. I could tell you their names, but then I’d have to kill you. Some secrets are best left untold. I have orchestrated music for well over 100 movies, and this I can talk about. My first orchestrating job was marching band music for the movie “The Right Stuff”, for whose score Bill Conti received an Academy Award. Since then I have orchestrated for many composers, including Arthur B. Rubinstein, Craig Safan, David Newman, Michael Kamen, Aaron Zigman, and Brian Tyler, for such films as “Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves”, “The Three Musketeers”, “The Notebook”, “Sex and the City”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”(woo-hoo!) and several of the “Fast and Furious” movies, including the recent “Furious 7”.
My wife Hélène and I have two great kids. Clara, 24, is a busy free-lance percussionist based in Brooklyn, NY. Ary, 26, also a Brooklynite, is a composer and member of the popular 8-bit band, Anamanaguchi. I like other stuff besides music. I’m a licensed pilot with a seaplane rating, and I love to read, paint, and photograph birds. So there!