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Charles Wuorinen

Charles Wuorinen

(b. 1938)

Charles Wuorinen (b. June 9, 1938 in New York City) is one of the world's leading composers. His many honors include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize (the youngest composer to receive the award). His compositions encompass every form and medium, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, soloists, ballet, and stage. Recent works include Theologoumenon for James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Fourth Piano Concerto for Peter Serkin, James Levine and the Boston Symphony, Flying to Kahani, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Peter Serkin and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and his opera, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, based on the novel of Salman Rushdie.

Wuorinen has been described as a "maximalist," writing music luxuriant with events, lyrical and expressive, strikingly dramatic. His works are characterized by powerful harmonies and elegant craftsmanship, offering at once a link to the music of the past and a vision of a rich musical future.

Both as composer and performer (conductor and pianist) Wuorinen has worked with some of the finest performers of the current time and his works reflect the great virtuosity of his collaborators

His works have been recorded on nearly a dozen labels including several releases on Naxos, Albany Records (Charles Wuorinen Series), John Zorn's Tzadik label, and a CD of piano works performed by Alan Feinberg on the German label Col Legno.

Charles Wuorinen's signature

Recommended Recordings

Chamber Music

New World NW385-2
String Quartet #3; Fast Fantasy; Violin Sonata/New World NW385-2 (80385)
Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Benjamin Hudson & Carol Zeavin (violins), Lois Martin (viola), Fred Sherry (cello)
String Trio; Arabia Felix; Variations for Piano; Variations I,II for Flute; Bearbeitungen über das Glogauer Liederbuch; Speculum Speculi/Music & Arts CD-4800
Easley Blackwood (piano), Rolf Schulte (violin), Fred Sherry (cello), John Graham (viola), Harvey Sollberger (flute), Richard Fitz (percussion), Paul Dunkel (flute), Stephen Taylor (oboe), Donald Palma (double bass), Virgil Blackwell (bass clarinet), Ursula Oppens (piano), Donald MacCourt (bassoon), Benjamin Hudson (violin), Robert Miller (piano), David Starobin (guitar), Raymond DesRoches (vibraphone), Fred Sherry/Speculum Musicae, Group for Contemporary Music
Naxos 8.559264
Trio for Bass Instruments; Horn Trio; Horn Trio; Piano Trio; Double Solo for Horn Trio; Trombone Trio/Naxos 8.559264
Ronald Borror (trombone), William Purvis (French horn), David Braynard (tuba), David Taylor (bass trombone), Benjamin Hudson (violin), Rolf Schulte (violin), Fred Sherry (cello), Donald Palma (double bass), Alan Feinberg (piano), Charles Wuorinen (piano), James Winn (piano), Daniel Druckman (vibraphone/marimba), Group for Contemporary Music
String Sextet, String Quartet #2, Divertimento, Piano Quintet/Naxos 8.559288
Ani Kavafian (violin), Benjamin Hudson (violin), Carmit Zori (violin), Carol Zeavin (violin), Curtis Macomber (violin), Ida Kavafian (violin), Theodore Arm (violin), Lois Martin (viola), Paul Coletti (viola), Paul Neubauer (viola), Scott St. John (viola), Steve Tenenbom (viola), Fred Sherry (cello), Joshua Gordon (cello), Leslie Parnas (cello), Ursula Oppens (piano), Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tashi, Group for Contemporary Music

Orchestral Music

Nonesuch 79185-2
Piano Concerto #3; Golden Dance/Nonesuch 79185-2
Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Herbert Blomstedt/San Francisco Symphony
Mass for the Restoration of St. Luke-in-the-Fields, A Solis Ortu, Ave Christe: Josquin, Genesis/Koch International 3-7336-2
Edo de Waart/Minnesota Orchestra & Chorale; Charles Wuorinen/New York Virtuoso Singers