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David Del Tredici at 75: A Celebration in Song
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 03/15/2012 at Symphony Space.

Kicking off the celebration of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Symphony Space All-Star David del Tredici's 75th birthday, Symphony Space presents an evening of Del Tredici's music. Joined by soprano Courtenay Budd, a frequent collaborator, Del Tredici performs two of his most celebrated song cycles for soprano and piano, Miz Inez Sez and Lament for the Death of the Bullfighter. In between pieces, he discusses his life and work with Laura Kaminsky, Artistic Director of Symphony Space, in a revealing composer-to-composer conversation.




David Del Tredici

Miz Inez Sez (1996/98) (text by Colette Inez)

"Alive and Taking Names"

"The Happy Child"

"Good news! Nilda is back!"

"The Beckoning"

"Chateauneuf Du Pape, The Pope’s Valet Speaks"


Conversation with David Del Tredici and Laura Kaminsky


David Del Tredici

Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (1998/2001)


"A Giant Wave"

"A few Romances"



"A Good Cry"

"A Point of Contention"


"Piano Interlude"



Encore – "Acrostic Song" from Final Alice

+ About the Artists

Generally recognized as the father of the Neo-Romantic movement in music, David Del Tredici has received numerous awards (including the Pulitzer Prize) and has been commissioned and performed by nearly every major American and European orchestral ensemble. "Del Tredici," said Aaron Copland, "is that rare find among composers — a creator with a truly original gift. I venture to say that his music is certain to make a lasting impression on the American musical scene. I know of no other composer of his generation who composes music of greater freshness and daring, or with more personality."

Much of his early work consisted of elaborate vocal settings of James Joyce (I Hear an Army; Night Conjure-Verse; Syzygy) and Lewis Carroll (Pop-Pourri, An Alice Symphony, Vintage Alice and Adventures Underground, to name just a few). More recently, Del Tredici has set to music a cavalcade of contemporary American poets, often celebrating a gay sensibility (three examples: Gay Life, Love Addiction and Wondrous the Merge). OUT Magazine, in fact, has twice named the composer one of its people of the year.

Over the past several years he has ventured into the more intimate realm of chamber music with String Quartet No. 1, Grand Trio (brought to life by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and recently printed by Boosey & Hawkes), and — harkening to his musical beginnings as a piano prodigy — a large number of solo-piano works (Gotham Glory, Three Gymnopedies, Ballad in Yellow, S/M Ballade, and Aeolian Ballade).

Still, the extravagant Del Tredici remains at large and busy. In May 2005 Robert Spano conducted the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus in the premiere and subsequent recording of Paul Revere's Ride, recently nominated for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards as the Best New Classical Composition of 2006. November 2005 held the world premiere of the melodrama Rip Van Winkle with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin and narrated by world famous Broadway actor, Brian Stokes Mitchell.

In recent years several Del Tredici CDs have abounded: on Deutsche Grammophon, an all-Del Tredici CD (released in its highly-regarded "20/21" series) featuring conductor Oliver Knussen, soprano Lucy Shelton and the Netherlands' ASKO Ensemble; on the Music and Arts label, a pair of recent Del Tredici song cycles featuring soprano Hila Plitmann with the composer at the piano; on Dorian, In Wartime, a spectacular new work for concert band; and on Koch, a selection of piano compositions played by Anthony de Mare. Among past recordings were two best-sellers — Final Alice and In Memory of a Summer Day (Part I of Child Alice); the latter work won Del Tredici the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.

March 2007 marked David Del Tredici's 70th birthday, with concerts given throughout the year, including the premiere of Magyar Madness, a chamber piece for clarinet and string quartet, commissioned by Music Accord for clarinetist David Krakauer and the Orion String Quartet. Another premiere was S/M Ballade for solo piano which was commissioned and performed by Marc Peloquin.

Recent publications include a collection entitled Songs for Baritone and Piano as well as the score and parts for the piano trio entitled Grand Trio. A second printed volume of solo piano pieces is in progress which will include Gotham Glory and Three Gymnopedies.

Distinguished Professor of Music at The City College of New York, Del Tredici makes his home in Greenwich Village.


Soprano Courtenay Budd, "a voice for connoisseurs," has been heard with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the National Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and repeatedly at Carnegie Hall, Spoleto USA, and the Grand Teton and Bard Music Festivals. The recipient of a 2001 Sullivan Award, Ms. Budd won First Prize in the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, leading to acclaimed recital debuts at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center, Boston’s Gardner Museum, and New York’s 92nd Street Y, prompting Darrell Rosenbluth of New York Concert Review to applaud: "Ms. Budd effortlessly took New York; the East Coast is secured.”

Critic Wes Blomster calls Courtenay Budd “one of the fastest-rising stars on the American opera stage.” A 1998 Metropolitan Opera National Finalist, her operatic performances include Ilia in Idomeneo at Alice Tully Hall, Baby Doe, Zerbinetta, Zerlina, Pamina, Amy in Little Women, Laurie in the Tender Land, and Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment, with such companies as Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, Atlanta Opera, and the Colorado and Charleston Symphonies.

Courtenay has enjoyed recent performances with Pulitzer-winning composer and pianist David Del Tredici at Brooklyn’s Bargemusic, appearing also in concerts of his music at the Guggenheim Museum and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Additional upcoming performances include a recital at Vassar College with pianist Miriam Charney and mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, Handel’s Messiah with the Danbury Music Centre, chamber music at the Villar Center in Vail, CO, and Carmina Burana with the Fresno Philharmonic. Highlights of her 2011 season included opera concerts with the Symphony of the Americas, recitals with the Artists Series of Sarasota, Young Concert Artists’ 50th Anniversary Concert in NYC, and Marie in La fille du regiment with Sugar Creek Festival.

Ms. Budd’s chamber music performances range from Bach and Handel to Schönberg’s String Quartet #2, I Hear an Army by David Del Tredici, and Rachmaninoff songs with pianist Ruth Laredo at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has collaborated with symphony orchestras across the United States in the Requiems of Brahms and Mozart, Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Strauss’ Brentanolieder, Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, Handel’s Samson, Beethoven’s Symphony #9, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bach’s Cantatas 201 and 199, and Haydn’s Creation.

Courtenay Budd is a favorite of audiences and critics at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., where she has appeared in orchestral concerts and has been a regular on the Dock Street Chamber Music Series, appearing alongside her mentor and collaborator of choice, pianist Charles Wadsworth. The 2002 Festival featured Ms. Budd in the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Tenebrae, performed to critical acclaim with Todd Palmer and the St. Lawrence Quartet.

Budd’s own CD Sleep is Behind the Door was named “Lullaby Album of the year” by The CD features several distinguished artists including soprano Sylvia McNair and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and benefits survivors of natural disasters. She also appears on the VMS recording Korngold’s Hollywood Songbook with baritone Steven Kimbrough and pianist Dalton Baldwin.

A Georgia native, Courtenay Budd was honored with the 2004 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from and the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She also holds a masters degree from Westminster Choir College and resides in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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