Suite of Preludes
Steinway & Sons releases the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY Award-winning composer William Bolcom’s “Suite of Preludes” performed by innovative pianist Jenny Lin.
National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and GRAMMY Award-winning composer William Bolcom’s Suite of Preludes was given its World Premiere in October 2021 at Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York by Steinway Artist Jenny Lin. Composed during the Coronavirus lockdown, this nine-movement suite is comprised of miniatures that reveal the personal side of Bolcom - they contain elements of humor, obscure thematic quotes, jazz chords - all within the European American style for which the composer is known.
“Each Prelude can stand alone while each also suggests the start of something longer and more complex. The 3rd movement, Light Fantastic, raises new questions with almost every measure…the effect is mesmerizing.”
— Classical Post
“Lin’s playing expresses every nuance of the musical story... Intelligent piano playing of enormous verve and emotional range.”
— Audiophile Audition
“Jenny Lin is a pianist of the first rank who commands an enviably economical technique and a silvery singing sound that propels music directly to the heart.”
— Washington Post
William Bolcom: Suite of Preludes / Jenny Lin • STNS 30209
Release Date: 4/7/2023
Recorded September 22, 2021 at Steinway Hall, New York City.
Producer: Jon Feidner
Engineers: Joshua Frey, Lauren Sclafani, Melody Nieun Hwang
Mixing and Mastering: Daniel Shores
Editing: Renée Oakford
Executive Producer: Jon Feidner
Art Direction: Jackie Fugere
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Photo of William Bolcom: Peter Smith
Photo of Jenny Lin: Liz Linder
Production Assistant: Renée Oakford
Piano Technician: John Veitch
Piano: Steinway Model D #607799 (New York)
About the Composer
National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award-winner William Bolcom is an American composer of keyboard, chamber, operatic, vocal, choral, band, and symphonic music. He is the 2021 winner of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, awarded by the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
Born in Seattle, Washington, he began composition studies at the age of 11 with George Frederick McKay and John Verrall at the University of Washington while continuing piano lessons with Madame Berthe Poncy Jacobson. He later studied with Darius Milhaud at Mills College while working on his Master of Arts degree, with Leland Smith at Stanford University while working on his D.M.A., and with Olivier Messiaen and Milhaud at the Paris Conservatoire, where he received the 2éme Prix de Composition.
He joined the composition faculty of the University of Michigan's School of Music in 1973, was named the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition in 1994, and retired in 2008 after 35 years.
Bolcom won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Etudes for Piano, and his setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience on the Naxos label won four Grammy Awards in 2005.
As a pianist Bolcom has performed and recorded his own work frequently in collaboration with his wife and musical partner, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Their primary specialties in both concerts and recordings are cabaret songs [written with Joan Morris's voice in mind], show tunes, and American popular songs of the 20th century. They have recorded 25 albums together – Autumn Leaves was released in 2015.
As a composer, Bolcom has written four violin sonatas; nine symphonies; four operas (McTeague, A View from the Bridge, A Wedding, and Dinner at Eight), plus several musical theater operas; twelve string quartets; two film scores (Hester Street and Illuminata); incidental music for stage plays, including Arthur Miller's Broken Glass; fanfares and occasional pieces; and an extensive catalogue of chamber, choral, band, and vocal works. McTeague, A View from the Bridge, and A Wedding were commissioned by and premiered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Dinner at Eight was commissioned by and premiered at Minnesota Opera. The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance Opera Department mounted four performances of it in November 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Wexford Festival Opera presented five performances in October and November 2018. A November 2018, radio broadcast in Ireland with streaming across Europe was followed by a rebroadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the U.K. in March 2019.
Bolcom's setting of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, a full evening's work for soloists, choruses, and orchestra, culminated 25 years of work on the piece. The April 8, 2004, performance in the recently-renovated Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was recorded by Naxos. The CD won four Grammy Awards in 2005: Best Choral Performance, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Producer of the Year, Classical. Leonard Slatkin conducted that performance as well as an earlier performance in Carnegie Hall.
In 2018, nine world premieres of new Bolcom works commemorated his 80th year.
About the Artist
Pianist Jenny Lin is an artist of keen musicianship, brilliant technique, and a compelling perspective shaped by a deep fluency in global culture. Born in Taiwan, raised in Austria, educated in Europe and America, Lin has built a vibrant international career, notable for innovative collaborations with a range of artists and creators
Jenny Lin is the featured pianist in Elliot Goldenthal's original motion picture score for Julie Taymor's 2020 film, The Glorias and recently recorded an album for the Steinway & Sons label with accordionist Guy Klucevsek (created in “contactless” fashion) featuring the music of Giya Kancheli. Notable recordings in Lin’s catalogue (which includes more than 30 albums on Steinway & Sons, Hänssler Classic, eOne, BIS, New World, Albany, etc.) include Philip Glass’s Etudes, Arthur Schnabel’s complete solo piano music, the complete Chopin Nocturnes, an album of Broadway song arrangements titled Get Happy, her ingenious release of transcriptions of the songs of Chinese pop singer Teresa Teng, and Melody’s Mostly Musical Day, an album, picture book, and multimedia children’s concert, all released on the Steinway & Sons label.
Lin has performed with orchestras throughout the world, including the American Symphony Orchestra, NDR and SWR German Radio Orchestras, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and others. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, at BAM Next Wave, Spoleto USA, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and elsewhere.Fluent in English, German, Mandarin, and French, Jenny Lin holds a bachelor’s degree in German Literature from The Johns Hopkins University and studied music at the Hochschule für Musik, and at the Peabody Conservatory. Jenny Lin resides with her family in New York City.
A recipient of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, "remarkable and insightful musician" (LA Times), and "relentlessly adventurous pianist" (Washington Post) "joyfully rocking out at his keyboard" (New York Times), Adam Tendler is an internationally recognized interpreter of living, modern and classical composers. A pioneer of DIY culture in concert music, at age 23 Tendler performed solo recitals in all fifty United States as part of a grassroots tour he called America 88x50, which became the subject of his memoir, 88x50, a Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and Lambda Literary Award nominee. He maintains a career as a concert soloist, recording artist, speaker and educator.
Tendler released an album of piano works by Robert Palmer on New World Records in 2019. He has also recorded performances and masterclasses for the digital music platform, Tido, collaborated with Edition Peters on a new edition of John Cage's In a Landscape, and released the premiere recording of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes. An active presence in all contemporary concert music genres, Tendler has also performed the complete major piano works of Aaron Copland, and collaborates with the John Cage Trust and Edition Peters in presenting Cage’s work internationally. He released his second book, tidepools, in 2018.
A graduate of Indiana University, Tendler lives in New York City and, in addition to guest lectures at the New School and Manhattan School of Music, serves on the piano faculty of Third Street Music School Settlement, the country’s first community music school.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.