On March 22nd, AUA College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be hosting a public presentation led by American composer and UCLA Professor Ian Krouse. The presentation is about "Armenian Requiem”, an evening length work for soloists, choir and orchestra, commissioned by the Lark Musical Society in honor of the 100th year Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, that premiered in Los Angeles in 2015.
Soundboard described Krouse’s music as "absorbing, brutal, beautiful, and harsh, all at the same time." He is especially known for his pioneering efforts in the development of a brand new medium, the ‘guitar quartet’. So far, he has composed up to ten that have been popularly received and featured regularly in the touring repertories of the leading groups of our time. Several of his solos appear to be firmly ensconced in the solo repertoire, having been championed and recorded by some of the world’s most noted soloists including Randall Avers, William Kanengiser, Alberto Mesirca, Ronald Pearl, Ben Pila, Scott Tennant, and Jason Vieaux, to name a few. His Variations are included in a list of the ‘top 100 modern guitar solos to be recorded’, while his Air was played between the reading of names by Presidents Bush and Obama at the 2011 ‘9/11 Commemoration’ at Ground Zero in New York City.
Though he is widely known for his guitar music, he has written music in nearly every genre including opera. Krouse’s works have not only been globally recognized, but also performed and recorded by major musical acts, such as the Chicago Symphony, Ukraine Radio, Pasadena Chamber Orchestras, the Aureole Trio, Dinosaur Annex, 20th Century Consort, Pacific Serenades, Dilijan Ensemble, and Los Angeles Chamber Singers, to name a few.
In 2009, Urtext Digital Classics released to critically acclaim the compact disc premiere of his setting in Spanish of the Biblical text Cantar de los Cantares (Song of Songs) with Soprano Jessica Rivera. As the culmination of a US tour, Ms. Rivera sang Cantar de los Cantares at her Carnegie Hall debut with clarinetist Todd Palmer and pianist Maryanne Kim.
Other recent premieres include the composer’s first two works in the Armenian language: “Nocturnes” poems by Metzarents, Mahari and Terian, for baritone and string quintet, conducted last year in Los Angeles, Tuscany and Yerevan, with baritone Vladimir Chernov and the UCLA Camarades string ensemble. In addition, he composed “Fire of Sacrifice”, poetry by Charents, for soprano and chorus, that premiered earlier this year by Vatsche Barsoumian and the Lark Geghard Choir.
Of “Nocturnes”, critic Charles Fierro wrote in 2010, “The most striking work of the day was the song cycle Nocturnes for baritone and string quintet…The metaphors of darkness and light, both physical and psychological, inform the words and the music with depth and empathy. The trajectory of Krouse’s score is powerful because it is complex and truthful. His expert use of a widely extended tonality conveys strong emotion, as witnessed by the enthusiastic audience response. This is music that will repay many hearings. It clearly deserves a place in the standard repertory.”
Throughout his career he has received dozens of awards, including an AT&T American Encores Grant (for the second performance of an orchestral work), three opera development grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several from the American Composer’s Forum and Meet the Composer, as well as those from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Atlantic-Richfield Corporation. He has won the BMI Award and the Gaudeamus Festival Prize, was a semi-finalist in the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, and a finalist in the Barlow Competition, and Big Ten Commissioning Project.
Krouse's works have been recorded and released by Brain, Chandos, Delos, GSP, GHA, Koch, Lisaddell, Naxos, RCM, and Urtext Digital Classics among others. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree, as well as Performer’s and Composer’s Certificates from Indiana University at South Bend, and Master of Music and Doctorate of Music degrees in composition from the University of Southern California, and is currently a distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also serves as the Chair of the Division of Composition and Theory.
Organizer: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Phone: +374 10 32-40-40
Venue: Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall