06.24.10

12:46am // As usual, some time has elapsed since my last blog (something I aim to remedy), and consequently much has happened!  In March I was admitted to the Eastman School of Music as a Ph.D. candidate, and was subsequently granted a Fulbright fellowship. To make things more complicated, this occurred after I had already accepted Eastman’s offer.  Thankfully, the faculty were kind enough to allow me to defer enrollment for the following year upon my return from Germany.  I completed my Master’s coursework at UNLV in May, and after saying my goodbyes I was off to California.  This time was spent in preparation for the coming year, as well as the Brevard Music Institute and our first annual new music concert in Chicago, which was a great success!

I will be spending the next six weeks at the Brevard Institute of Music doing intensive compositional work.  My last summer here proved incredibly productive, and I intend to maintain a similar or higher level of output.  In the next two weeks my first major work for orchestra will be completed, and I will also begin work on a handful of songs and chamber works to be performed here at the Music Festival.

Upon arrival in Germany in August, I will spend six weeks at the University of Marburg’s Fulbright sponsored language program with other Fulbright fellows in various fields of study.  In October, I will begin my musicological research at the Universität Hamburg as well as my studies with Peter Michael Hamel and Manfred Stahnke as a visiting scholar at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre.  The focus of my research project involves compositional process and aesthetics, specifically a comparative analysis of the effects of methodology from one composer to the next.  I will seek to interview a number of prominent living German composers, consult leading musicologists, and perform archival sketch studies to illustrate the effects of each method utilized by a sampling of composers from the twentieth century.

I have found that many people are not really aware of what composers actually do.  My goal is to essentially “demystify” the craft of composition, to collect and present this information in such a way so as to dispel any misconceptions and elucidate that composition is a learned craft that should be accessible to anyone that would otherwise be discouraged.  More details to come soon, I expect these next few months should be quite eventful!

– Jason Thorpe Buchanan

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About Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan (b. 1986) is an American composer of contemporary concert music. He began his studies at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA with Charles Gustavson and holds degrees in composition and in music technology, from San José State University, where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Senior award (2008). As an undergraduate he was commissioned by the SJSU Concert Choir, founded melosmusic.com, and held positions as music supervisor, composer, and sound engineer for the winner of Best Feature at the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival (2009). During graduate study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he worked as an instructor of composition and music theory, and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student award (2009-10) by both the Music Department and the College of Fine Arts before receiving his master's degree. He has studied composition with Virko Baley, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts and Robert Aldridge, as well as conducting with maestro Takayoshi Suzuki. Mr. Thorpe Buchanan has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg as a visiting scholar where he will study with Peter Michael Hamel and Manfred Stahnke while conducting research and interviews throughout Germany in regards to compositional process and aesthetics. He has received the Mu Phi Epsilon International Sterling Achievement Award (2008), fellowships from the NEON Music festival (2009) and the Brevard Institute of Music Festival (2009, 2010), and has won both the UNLV Cristina Valdés solo piano composition competition (2009) and the Mu Phi Epsilon international composition competition (2009). His first work for large ensemble - A Zarzuela & Other Lost Works (2007) was premiered and recorded in 2009 by the Tad Wind Symphony in Tokyo, with a CD released on the Windstream label in Japan. Jason has participated in masterclasses, seminars and private lessons with composers such as Brian Belet, Koray Sazli, Lei Liang, David Crumb, Joel Hoffmann, FredJason Thorpe Buchanan (b. 1986) is an American composer of contemporary concert music. His work draws from a broad variety of aesthetic genres and influences, and has been described by leading composers in the United States and Europe as “symphonic…” and “ambitious.” He began studies at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA, later attending San José State University to receive Bachelor’s degrees in composition and in music technology, where he was awarded the Outstanding Senior award (2008). He received his Master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught courses in composition and music theory (2008-2010), later presented the Outstanding Graduate Student award (2009-10) by both the Music Department and the College of Fine Arts. Since 2007, he has served as director of the composer’s consortium Melos Music (http://www.melosmusic.com/), as well as their annual New Music Concert series. He has studied composition with Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as conducting with maestro Takayoshi Suzuki. Jason spent 2010-2011 living in Germany, where he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg as a visiting scholar for studies with Peter Michael Hamel, Manfred Stahnke, Georg Hajdu, and Sascha Lino Lemke while conducting research and interviews in regard to compositional process and aesthetics. In 2011 his 'Berlin Songs', for two singers and mixed chamber ensemble, were performed for an audience of 400 grantees and staff at the Pan-European Fulbright conference in Berlin, Germany under the baton of Thomas Heuser, who commissioned the work. An expanded orchestration was later recorded and premiered in the United States at the 2nd Annual Melos New Music Concert in San Francisco, conducted by the composer. In 2010 his orchestral work - 'The Gods of Pegãna', was read by the Brevard Music Center Orchestra under the baton of Ken Lam, and was later a finalist in both the ASCAP Morton Gould and ACF Minnesota Composer’s Institute competitions (2011). In 2009, 'A Zarzuela & Other Lost Works' was premiered by the Tad Wind Symphony in Tokyo for an audience of over 800, and recorded with a CD released on the Windstream label in Japan. As a conductor and advocate for contemporary music, Jason is committed to providing opportunities for young composers by producing high-profile concerts, where he has premiered and recorded works by composers such as Daniel Temkin, Tonia Ko, Chin Ting Chan, and Tom Brennan, in addition to his own. He has received awards from ASCAP, ACF, ΜΦΕ, the NEON and Brevard Music Festivals, UNLV, SJSU, the Eastman School of Music, and the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival as composer and music supervisor for the winner of Best Feature (2009). His current projects include a cycle of works for soloists, a sound collage/score for a documentary on Busking/street artists in Hamburg, and a Horn Concerto commissioned by Michael Walker. Jason currently studies composition with Allan Schindler and holds a Teaching Assistantship at the Computer Music Center as a Ph.D. student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.rick Kaufman, and Augusta Read Thomas. Upon returning from Germany in 2011, Jason will begin his studies as a Ph.D. candidate in composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
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