Music professor releases chamber music disc

By: Spencer DeRoos,  A&S Communications
November 15, 2017

Xak Bjerken, professor of music, has released a downloadable disc of solo and chamber music composed by Steven Stucky, professor emeritus of music.

The project, “Steven Stucky: Chamber Music” which was released by Open G Records on Nov. 10 includes premiere recordings of the Violin Sonata, Piano Sonata, Piano Quintet, and Piano Quartet, as well as the Chorale from “Album Leaves,” written for Bjerken.

Stucky ‘78, who passed away in 2016 after teaching at Cornell for 34 years, was an award-winning composer who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his piece “Second Concerto for Orchestra.” The piece was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for whom Stucky worked for 21 years. Stucky was active as a conductor, writer, lecturer and teacher.

“Steve Stucky has been the most influential person in my musical life at Cornell, a passionate composer, advocate for excellence, and model of generosity towards students and friends,” Bjerken said. “Musicians love performing his music as he gives them room to express themselves. It was an honor and pleasure to produce this record of his musical spirit.”

Bjerken, a pianist, has appeared with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and all over the world, including Amsterdam, Berlin, and throughout the U.S. He was the pianist of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, which toured the U.S. regularly and is the director of Ensemble X, as well as co-director of Mayfest, Cornell’s international chamber music festival. Currently, he is touring with and recording three piano concertos being written for him by Grammy-winner Stephen Hartke, Chicago Symphony composer-in-residence Elizabeth Ogonek, and Cornell DMA graduate Jesse Jones, on the faculty at Oberlin College.

CD's are available through Open G Records, or as downloads from BandCamp.  The album is also available on Amazon, ITunes, and Spotify.

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