Commissioned Composer

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

April 11, 1997

World Premiere Set for Wind Ensemble Piece

The UW-RF Wind Ensemble will feature the world premiere of a commissioned work by internationally acclaimed composer Joseph Turrin, the 1997 UW-River Falls Commissioned Composer.

The concert is at 8 p.m. on May 1 in the Abbott Concert Hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature the world premiere of Turrin's newly commissioned work, "Soundings," for wind ensemble. Other compositions by Turrin will also be performed, including two selections for wind ensemble as well as a variety of chamber music.

He also will give a public lecture at 3 p.m. on May 1 in Room 134 of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.

The UW-RF commissioned composer project began in 1967 and has featured internationally known composers including John Cage, Leslie Bassett, William Albright and Fisher Tull. The commissioned composer is chosen each year by students and a faculty adviser. The composers typically give lectures and master classes and attend music classes during their stays at UW-RF.

Turrin's career includes a wide range of musical talents. He received his formal education at the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He has received awards and grants from the United Nations, ASCAP, American Music Center and the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.

As a composer, Turrin has been recognized with major commissions from the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. As a conductor he has conducted several American orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony.

In film, Turrin has gained success as a composer and conductor. He was the composer for Alan Alda's film, "A New Life," for Paramount Pictures. In 1986 he was commissioned to write an original orchestral score for the restoration of the silent film classic "Sadie Thompson." The release of the movie was acclaimed in major cities throughout the United States and Europe. Other films include "Little Darlings," "Verna-USO Girl" (with Sissy Spacek and William Hurt), "Weeds" (with Nick Nolte), "Nightmare on Elm Street 3," and "Tough Guys Don't Dance" (written and directed by Norman Mailer).

Turrin's work in musical theater includes performances on Broadway. He did orchestrations for the 1992 Olympic Fanfare for the summer Olympic ceremonies in Barcelona, Spain. His recent recordings includes a CD, "New York Legends" with Philip Smith and other Principal Players of the New York Philharmonic (Cala Records) in which he appears as both composer and pianist.

The UW-RF Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Kristin Tjornehoj. For more information, call the UW-RF music department at 715/425-3183.

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