“I think you have a great craft as composer . . .”
Andreas Mitisek, Artistic & General Director, Long Beach Opera
THERE’S A WIND
“The concerts went great and we got a good review. There was a nice mention of your piece. Thank you again for your lovely song. It was the perfect opener for the program!” Timm Adams, conductor, Chicago Chamber Choir
“This is a fine addition to the repertoire. A piece you can very well be proud of, David. Thanks for writing it.” J J Biggs, composer, Ojai CA.
“Well done. The piece is very effective and well performed.” Dale Jergenson, composer, Los Angeles
“Enjoyed your “wind” work very much This could become a standard encore work. Congratulations!” Dr. G. Edward Bruner, Music Director, Vox Pro, Prof. of Choral Music, UC Riverside
“I CANNOT get ‘We Do Enact’ out of my head. Good work; you’ve created a song with a show-tune like ability to worm its way around our brains!” Dr. Jonathan Talberg, Director of Choral, Vocal and Opera Studies, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, CSULB
“We commend you for your fine work.” Craig Jessop, Director, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“‘Principles’ is a work that says something of tremendous importance to our time—something that we as a nation desperately need.” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle
“ . . . thank you for the tape of your Variations! I find the work exciting and especially your instrumentation is very colorful and excellently chosen. I congratulate you to this composition.” Karel Husa, composer
“ . . . a work that demonstrates the full spectrum of tonal color and rhythmic drive within a concert band. Works of this quality and caliber are in great demand nationally to enhance the repertoire of bands.” Maj. James Bankhead, Commander/Conductor, USAF (HQ) Band, DC
“The concert went beautifully last night, and your piece was very well received. Greetings from several of our concertgoers who remembered your tenure here in Missoula.” Fern Glass Boyd, String Orchestra of the Rockies
“I enjoyed listening to your very heartfelt piece.” Allen Robert Gross, conductor, Santa Monica Symphony
“I was very moved by your Elegy, a deeply felt and very touching composition. Contratulations to you for creating such a personal and communicative message.” Simon Sargon, composer.
“We did our first performance of “Do You Believe in Angels?” last Friday at the Cathedral Church of the Advent here in Birmingham. It was well received and . . .
Laura Doss, Choral Director, Alabama School of the Arts
“Idiomatic, evocative, composed but never sounding contrived! Delicious! I hear a “debt” to the Impressionists in the orchestration. This is the most compelling flute orchestra work I have ever heard.” Ginny Atherton, flutist, conductor, music educator, Los Angeles
“This is an insanely good piece. I want to talk to you about writing something for my clarinet group.” [Note: she did.] Margaret Thornhill, Director, LA Clarinet Orchestra
“The flute orchestra piece is amazing. What an unearthly sound!” John David Lamb, Composer
“Je viens de jouer votre Oeuvre Diversion Pour Violon et Timbales hier à l’Opéra National de Lorraine: dans un concert Apéritif. . .
Marcel Artzer, virtuoso timpanist, Lorraine Opera, France
”We really enjoyed performing it — and I think the audience enjoyed it as well. The work is so fun to play we almost want it to be longer!!” John Tafoya timpanist, educator, Prof. of Percussion, Indiana U., former timpanist, Florida Philarharmonic and National Symphony, DC
“In November, 2005 the strings from my community orchestra joined up with a small group of talented high school strings to premiere David Avshalomov’s Diamond Variations, which our orchestra co-commissioned. . .
Emily Ray, Music Director, Mission Chamber Orchestra, San Jose, CA)
PANGS OF LOVE
“What a treat! There are some truly ravishing passages. . . . a wonderful piece. . . It is a ,. . .
“Avshalomov is obviously a composer of achievement and scope, mature in his style and firm in his convictions. I admire his ability to . . .
David Enlow, Organ Faculty, The Juilliard School;
Organist & Choir Master, Church of the Resurrection, New York City
“This is a masterpiece. . . an outpouring of passion and true art.” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle
“Well, we did it. And very well I think… We had a lot of enthusiastic reactions from our public. Especially about US 30 and The Lamb. People enjoyed it very much! Thanks again!” Loes Aartsen/Vocoza, Holland
“Dear Mr. Avshalomov, If you still remember us, I am a member of chamber choir Vocoza in Holland. We performed some of your work a year ago. It gave us great joy and it was a success.” Adrien Kuijten, chamber choir Vocoza, Holland
“As promised hereby some live-recordings of your pieces by Vocoza. It was received with a lot of compliments by both auditors and singers!” Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen, conductor, chamber choir Vocoza, Holland
SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE
“You have obviously produced a significant body of work with your Blakes, something I really can be in awe of. It amazes me to think that you started . . .
Of course everybody would love these songs. They are altogether lovely. You know I always appreciate the outpouring of melody in your work, and these songs are rich in that way. I especially enjoy the seemingly effortless way you have with words. Nothing is ever forced. Special effects always seem to arise naturally, such as the echo at the end of the Nurse’s Song or the coda to Tyger.
I am in awe of your mastery of choral writing. It is a joy to see how you handle the unique accents and flow of the English language, always with an ear for the nuance of expression. Then there is the way you think about chord spacing. You obviously have a feel for what will work with a chorus, and this is not the standard practice that works for instrumental groups. I applaud the straightforward way you handle harmony and especially admire those places where you make an unexpected and delicious modulation to highlight an important moment in the text.
My observations on individual titles (click to reveal):
John David Lamb
THIS SACRED SPACE
“I love this work. . . . the organ part is also fantastic. I am proud of our choir, brass, timpani player, and organist. They worked really hard on the piece and they did it the best they had ever done. Congregation – loved it. . . Choir – huge “thumbs up”. . . Brass, timpanist, organist – oh man! They . . . (more)
Congregation – I haven’t had so many positive comments on a non-Christmas/Easter anthem ever! I had us sing it at the beginning of the service as the Call to Worship. I didn’t have the congregation sing with us, but I did have the words put on the screens as we sang. And I gave a brief explanation of what they were about to hear before we sang. For the entire week following Sunday, I had at least one congregational member every day call, email, or talk to me to tell me about how much they liked “that first song” or “that one that was different” or “the new song”.
Choir – I had several choir members tell me it was their favorite piece of the year. I also had several singers who told me that they did not like it at all when we started rehearsing it, but now they really liked it a lot. I had 2 choir members who changed plans so they could be present to sing the song! Many of the choir told their friends and family about the song and told them to be sure not to miss that Sunday. My most musically capable singers appreciated the challenge.
Brass, timpanist, organist – It was challenging and fun for them. The organist and timpanist especially commented about how hard it made them work to learn the song and the resulting personal reward was huge.
Me, personally – I thought the piece was fantastic the first time I heard it from the demo, and I love it even more having been able to hear it “live”. The music is exciting, the text is excellent, the hymn tune is wonderful, and the ending is exhilarating.
Grady Manley, Jr., Director of Music, Christ Community Church, Carmichael, CA
“It is rare when I hear a recently composed work for viola which stirs me emotionally to the point of saying, ‘I can’t wait to play this!’ Thank you again for . . .
Patricia McCarty, New England Conservatory, Principal Viola (ret.) Boston Pops Orchestra
cThis is truly a masterpiece—easily the equal of the Bloch or the . . . “]Clarke. Daniel’s playing is incredibly intense. It was an electrifying performance—maybe even better than the studio version. It just doesn’t get any better than this. I played the recording for a violist friend of mine, and she was quite swept away. ” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle[/toggle]
“Yes the tunes sound Eastern European . . . but you organize them in a very American way.” Joel Smirnoff, Juilliard String Quartet
“The cello sonata is excellently written, a fine addition to the repertoire. I do hope you get more performances of it.” Simon Sargon, composer
AROUND THE YEAR
“I love the woodwind quintet miniatures. What a delightful piece! Everything is so . . .
“This is a lyrical work in a clear American style, and I love it! I’m GREATLY enjoying preparing your piece for . . .
Amelia Russo Neustadt, oboist, commissioner of the Sonata Breve/Concertino for Oboe
I BEND THE KNEE OF MY HEART
“It was a joy doing your piece this Fall. Thanks for your continuing support.” Jim Person, Conductor, Anglican Chorale of Southern California
“The Canticle 14 (I Bend the Knee) is sure to be a hit with the Episcopalians. They will love, as I do, your . . .
US 30 IN IDAHO
“Thank you for your charming “US 30 in Idaho”. It is a delightful little bonbon showing a precocious grasp of what choral writing is all about.” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle, composer
“This the best Chanukah song I have heard . . . and I have heard quite a few.” Bunny Thornburgh, director, Cantori Domino
“Thank you for your great music and your support . . . and we really appreciate your gorgeous voice on our album!!” Meredith Kennedy, poet/lyricist/singer
“Your magnificent clarinet choir work is a real gem and earns the right to stand alongside . . .
“ . . . your fascinating scores . . . we were deeply impressed by the high quality of your works.” Brett Banducci, Mladi ensemble, Los Angeles
“I have just listened yet again to your string quartet. You mentioned that some people find the ending depressing . . . but I hear strength . . .
” . . . thanks for creating such a moving and inspirational setting. I think you have not only captured a beautiful mood, but have designed a wonderful vehicle for both me and the choir.” Mark Saltzman, Cantor, Santa Monica Synagogue
“It is a worthy piece and not difficult for choirs to sing.” Dr. Judith Tischler, Director, Transcontinental Music
WHERE YOU GO, I WILL GO
“Ruth/Naomi is just one of the most moving choral works I have ever heard. If I had to pick one favorite out of all the music you sent me, this would be it.” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle
“I was so moved by the piece that I rushed out and bought chocolate!” John David Lamb, composer, Seattle
SGT. PEPPER MEDLEY
“I still recall your ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ medley for the Singing Sgts.—It was a great gift to us and so well done I wish we had recorded it formally.” Robert Kuzminski, (Capt.), former conductor, USAF Band Singing Sergeants
“I just listened to your orchestral Dickinson songs. What brilliant orchestration! . . . superb—you manage to . . .
CONCERTO CON TIMPANI
“I received the Concerto con Timpani today, put it up on the stand, read straight through it–and I was grinning the entire time. . . At the concert the concerto was well received.” Greg Candy, timpanist, who played the US premiere with the Farmington Valley (NY) Symphony under John Eeels.
AARON AVSHALOMOFF – PRELUDE AND RONDO
“We performed the lovely Prelude and Rondo at our November orchestral concert. I am sure you would be glad to know that the response was just fine.” Huang Yijun, Conductor, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
LET’S GROW AN ORCHESTRA
“I’ve never heard an orchestra tell a story before. I want to come again. I liked it. I liked the way the conductor waved his hands a certain way to make the musicians go fast and slow, loud and soft.” Meredith Sutton
“The conductor didn’t have to say anything to tell the musicians what to do.” Jenilee Reeve.
Both were third graders at Lowell Elementary School, Long Beach.
Quoted in the Long Beach Press-Telegram
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