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John Newell (1949-     )

John Newell, composerJohn Newell's earliest musical training was in piano. He attended Duke University, pursuing studies in composition (with Iain Hamilton), piano (with Loren Withers) and conducting (with Allan Bone). He attended California Institute of the Arts (1971-1973), earning an M.F.A. in composition and performance. His primary teacher at CalArts was composer Mel Powell. Newell completed his formal training at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he studied with Morton Feldman. While in Buffalo he held the first Edgard Varese Fellowship in composition, and completed his Ph.D. in composition in 1979. Like many composers today he draws from a variety of musical traditions. His objective is to create works that reflect his personal sensibility, that arise from his spiritual journey and response to the world. He finds inspiration in the beauty and wonder of nature, in poetic and visual imagery, and in what he learns from the world's sacred traditions. Newell is equally at home composing for vocal ensembles, chamber groups and orchestra. His recent works include a set of chants and mantras for vocal solo, a choral work for the Advent season, three preludes for flute and a string quartet. As an experienced performer he very much enjoys the process of working with musicians who have an interest in presenting new works, and welcomes inquiries about opportunities for collaboration. He has received commissions  from, among other, the Atlantic Sinfonietta, The Bowery Ensemble (New York), Enid Symphony Orchestra (Oklahoma), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), as well as amateur groups such as the Gateway Regional High School Choir (Huntington, Massachusetts). His work has received support from the American Music Center, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Meet the Composer.

COMPOSITIONS                                                            John Newell Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Music for Crazy Jane, dramatic monologue, speaker, viola and harp (1972) [text: based on Yeats' "Crazy Jane" poems]
Image, Song, Vision, flute, clarinet, violin and cello (1972)
Text, soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, guitar and percussion (1) (1973)
Horizontal, piano (1975)
Context, wind quintet, string quartet, percussion (2), celesta and piano (1976)
Heterophony, alto voices, English horn, violin and viola (1976)
Quodlibet, trumpet and celesta (1976)
Rondos, Eb clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba and percussion (1) (1977)
Prosody, solo percussion [timbales, temple bells, small gong] (1977)
Sonnet, speaker and piano (1977) [text: a spoken melodrama derived from various sonnets of Shakespeare]
The Bacchae, incidental music, voices, oboe and percussion (1977) [for the play by Euripides]
Emergent Choruses, orchestra (1978)
Audible, soprano and percussion (1) (1979) [text: Lyn Horton]
Aardvark Processions, harp (1980)
Suite of English Lyrics, chorus (1981, rev. 2009) [texts: Anonymous sacred & secular English lyrics from 14th & 15th centuries]
Lavender Axes, flute/picc, clarinet, oboe/EH, bassoon, percussion (1) and piano (1981)
Knossos, piano (1981)
Poems for Loving, baritone and clarinet in A (1982) [text: Lyn Horton]
Companions, piano (1984)
Voices, orchestra (1985)
Pleiades Starpoint, dance piece, pf, synth and perc (1) (1986) [a collab. project based on sculptural work of James Hendricks]
Rhapsody, horn and piano (1989)
Offering, organ (1990)
L'Appassionata, opera in 3 acts (1987-93) [libretto by John Newell, based on the writings of George Sand & Alfred de Musset]
Three Movements, 2 violins, 2 violas and 2cellos (1993)
Noel, chorus (1995) [text: Elaine Haas]
O Sabbath Rest of Galilee, chorus [w/soprano solo] (1995) [text: John Greenleaf Whittier]
Four Sacred Songs, soprano and piano (1995; rev. 2009) [text: I - III from various psalms; IV by John Newell]
Light of Heaven, chorus, 2 fl, pf & elec bass (1996) [text: John Newell; free trans. of Vajra Guru mantra of Tibetan Buddhism]
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, chorus (1996)
Eleven Choral Responses, chorus (1997)
O Sing Unto the Lord, chorus and piano 4-hands (1997)
Wake Up Children, chorus, w/soprano descant (1997) [text: John Newell]
Make a Joyful Noise, chorus and organ (1998)
O Lord, if my lips could sing, chorus and organ (1998)
Variations on Amazing Grace, piano (1998)
Sonnet 115, voice and piano (1999) [text: Shakespeare - "Those lines that I before have writ do lie..."]
The Greatest of These is Love, chorus [w/soprano solo] and piano (2000)
Kyrie Eleison, chorus (2001)
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2002)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, tenor (or soprano) and piano (2002) [text: Christopher Marlowe]
Song of Compassion, 2 violas, electronic keyboard and percussion (1) (2003)
Sky Music, flute, clarinet and harp (2004)
Veni Creator Spiritus, chorus (2005)
Sequoia Quintet, flute/picc, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (2006)
Peace, piano (2006)
Quartet for Strings - A Day’s Journey, string quartet (2008)
O Lord, You have searched me and found me, voice and organ (2008) [text: Psalm 139]
The Signature of All Things (3 songs), baritone, oboe and piano (2009) [text: Kenneth Rexroth]
Seven Antiphons for Advent, unison chorus, w/opt. accompaniment (2011)
Devotional Chants and Mantras (53), solo voice or group singing, w/opt. accompaniment (2011)
Three Preludes for Flute (2011)
Two Crows in a Tree Watching Sea Smoke, piano (2011)
...and nothing remains the same, flute, viola and cello (2012)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            John Newell Links     ~ top of page ~
Dramatic/Theater
Music for Crazy Jane, dramatic monologue, speaker, viola and harp (1972) [text: based on Yeats' "Crazy Jane" poems]
Pleiades Starpoint, dance piece, pf, synth and perc (1) (1986) [a collab. project based on sculptural work of James Hendricks]
L'Appassionata, opera in 3 acts (1987-93) [libretto by John Newell, based on the writings of George Sand & Alfred de Musset]

Orchestra
Emergent Choruses, orchestra (1978)
Voices, orchestra (1985)
    - An Ardent Joining
    - Toccata
    - Twilight Shadows
    - Sinfonia

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2002)

Choral
Suite of English Lyrics, chorus (1981, rev. 2009) [texts: Anonymous sacred & secular English lyrics from 14th & 15th centuries]
    - I sing of a maiden
    - Adam lay ybounden
    - Westron wind (baritone solo)
    - Ich am of Irland (SSA)
    - Jesu Crist, myn leman swete
    - Alas! Deceite
Noel, chorus (1995) [text: Elaine Haas]
O Sabbath Rest of Galilee, chorus [w/soprano solo] (1995) [text: John Greenleaf Whittier]
Light of Heaven, chorus, 2 fl, pf & elec bass (1996) [text: John Newell; free trans. of Vajra Guru mantra of Tibetan Buddhism]
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, chorus (1996)
Eleven Choral Responses, chorus (1997)
O Sing Unto the Lord, chorus and piano 4-hands (1997)
Wake Up Children, chorus, w/soprano descant (1997) [text: John Newell]
Make a Joyful Noise, chorus and organ (1998)
O Lord, if my lips could sing, chorus and organ (1998)
The Greatest of These is Love, chorus [w/soprano solo] and piano (2000)
Kyrie Eleison, chorus (2001)
Veni Creator Spiritus, chorus (2005)
Seven Antiphons for Advent, unison chorus, w/opt. accompaniment (2011)
Devotional Chants and Mantras (53), solo voice or group singing, w/opt. accompaniment (2011)

Chamber
Image, Song, Vision, flute, clarinet, violin and cello (1972)
Text, soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, guitar and percussion (1) (1973)
Context, wind quintet, string quartet, percussion (2), celesta and piano (1976)
Heterophony, alto voices, English horn, violin and viola (1976)
Rondos, Eb clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba and percussion (1) (1977)
Lavender Axes, flute/picc, clarinet, oboe/EH, bassoon, percussion (1) and piano (1981)
Pleiades Starpoint, dance piece, pf, synth and perc (1) (1986) [a collab. project based on sculptural work of James Hendricks]
Three Movements, 2 violins, 2 violas and 2cellos (1993)
    - The Voice of the Stream
    - Danse Profane
    - Memory
Song of Compassion, 2 violas, electronic keyboard and percussion (1) (2003)
Sky Music, flute, clarinet and harp (2004)
    - River of Clouds
    - The Winds
    - Starry Night
    - December Full Moon Rising
    - Song of the Mountains and the Sky
Sequoia Quintet, flute/picc, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon (2006)
    - Toybox Symphony
    - From Away
    - I was a serious young man
Quartet for Strings - A Day’s Journey, string quartet (2008)
    - Thoughts at dawn...
    - through heat and grit...
    - become a canticle...
    - seeking in faith the light
...and nothing remains the same, flute, viola and cello (2012)

Instrument and Keyboard
Quodlibet, trumpet and celesta (1976)
Rhapsody, horn and piano (1989)
    - From "The Sanctuary of Dreams"
    - Dance of the spirits
    - Soliloquy
    - ...worlds passing

Solo Instrument
Prosody, solo percussion [timbales, temple bells, small gong] (1977)
Aardvark Processions, harp (1980)
    - March
    - Aardvark Dreams
    - Apotheosis
Three Preludes for Flute (2011)
    - Song of the Air
    - Such blue sky! Such blue waters!
    - Quoddy Jig

Piano/Organ
Horizontal, piano (1975)
Knossos, piano (1981)
Companions, piano (1984)
    - Aardvark Processions
    - Apotheosis
    - Old Secrets
    - A Pleasant Fugue
Offering, organ (1990)
Variations on Amazing Grace, piano (1998)
Peace, piano (2006)
Two Crows in a Tree Watching Sea Smoke, piano (2011)

Vocal
Text, soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, guitar and percussion (1) (1973)
Heterophony, alto voices, English horn, violin and viola (1976)
Sonnet, speaker and piano (1977) [text: a spoken melodrama derived from various sonnets of Shakespeare,
        dealing with the themes of love, death, and memory]
Audible, soprano and percussion (1) (1979) [text: Lyn Horton]
Poems for Loving, baritone and clarinet in A (1982) [text: Lyn Horton]
Four Sacred Songs, soprano and piano (1995; rev. 2009) [text: I - III from various psalms; IV by John Newell]
    - I lift up mine eyes
    - The Lord is my shepherd
    - Sing oh my soul
    - I thank thee God
Sonnet 115, voice and piano (1999) [text: Shakespeare - "Those lines that I before have writ do lie..."]
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, tenor (or soprano) and piano (2002) [text: Christopher Marlowe]
O Lord, You have searched me and found me, voice and organ (2008) [text: Psalm 139]
The Signature of All Things (3 songs), baritone, oboe and piano (2009) [text: Kenneth Rexroth]
    - Falling
    - The Oak Grove
    - Phosphorescence
Devotional Chants and Mantras (53), solo voice or group singing, w/opt. accompaniment (2011)

Incidental/Film
The Bacchae, incidental music, voices, oboe and percussion (1977) [for the play by Euripides]


JOHN NEWELL  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~

Composer's website   . . .   contact John Newell:  here
John Newells' Web Diary (Composer's Blog)

John Newell @ American Composers Forum
John Newell @ American Music Center
John Newell @ CD Baby
John Newell @ ChoralNet
John Newell @ Classical Composers Database
John Newell @ Cobscook Community Learning Center
John Newell @ Composer's Forum
John Newell @ CulturePass
John Newell @ Facebook
John Newell @ Google+
John Newell @ LinkedIn
John Newell @ ReverbNation
John Newell @ SummerKeys

Publisher
John Newell @ Composer's website
John Newell @ Abierto Music
John Newell @ Amazon.com
John Newell @ CreateSpace

Streaming Audio
John Newell @ Composer's website  -  check under individual work listings
John Newell @ ReverbNation
John Newell @ SoundCloud

Recordings
John Newell @ Amazon.com
John Newell @ CD Baby

Video
[none at the moment]
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