Filed under: Composers
Current Location: Philadelphia, PA
When honoring him with its Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters noted that “A rare economy of means and a strain of religious mysticism distinguish the music of James Primosch… Through articulate, transparent textures, he creates a wide range of musical emotion.” Andrew Porter stated in The New Yorker that Primosch “scores with a sure, light hand” and critics for the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Dallas Morning News have characterized his music as “impressive”, “striking”, “grandly romantic”, “stunning” and “very approachable.”
Primosch’s compositional voice encompasses a broad range of expressive types. His music can be intensely lyrical, as in the song cycle Holy the Firm (composed for Dawn Upshaw) or dazzlingly angular as in Secret Geometry for piano and electronic sound. His affection for jazz is reflected in works like the Piano Quintet, while his work as a church musician informs the many pieces in his catalog based on sacred songs or religious texts.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1956, James Primosch studied at Cleveland State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. He counts Mario Davidovsky, George Crumb and Richard Wernick among his principal teachers.
Since 1988 he has served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Presser Electronic Music Studio.
Dream Journal © Theodore Presser Co.
One Thing I Know, Times Like These © James Primosch.
Audio of Dream Journal and Times Like These © Albany Records
Audio of One Thing I Know © Emmanuel Music
Photograph © 2011 Deborah Boardman
Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of No Extra Notes
Podcast © 2011 No Extra Notes
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