2016 MACCC Composition Master Class

Dr. Carolyn Bremer
California State University, Long Beach

It is easy to regard Carolyn Bremer as a “one hit wonder.” Early Light is a mainstay in the wind ensemble repertoire and has received well over 1,000 performances. The original version for orchestra has been performed by the Houston Symphony and California Philharmonic among others. The wind version has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, for the 150th anniversary concert at WestPoint, and by the President’s Own Marine Band on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. It is recorded by over a dozen ensembles including the North Texas Winds and Heritage of American Band.

Tibetan Singing Bowls play an ever-expanding role in Carolyn’s musical life. She and several colleagues perform interactive concerts in which the audiences listen to and then play the bowls. Singing bowls have informed her understanding of the experiential listening process and have led her to study the interaction of spacious, meditative listening, and composition; they have also made her a better teacher. Other occasionally obsessive interests include landscape and concert photography, fountain pens and too many colors of ink, and just about any gadget made by Apple.

Carolyn Bremer has been dubbed a composer "driven by hobgoblins of post modernist cant." She came to composition on the heels of intensive training as an orchestral bassist. She studied at Eastman, CalArts, and received the Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara. Carolyn was Chair of Composition at the University of Oklahoma from 1991-2000 where she held the O’Brien Presidential Professorship. Currently, Carolyn is Director of the Bob Cole Conservatory at Cal State Long Beach: she immensely loves her job.

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