News and Performances
The music that I have chosen for my news page is the second movement from my brass quintet,
Desert Light. Click on the arrow to hear it if it's not already playing.
WINTER/SPRING 2023 EVENTS
January 29: Musicians of the University of Michigan Symphony Band perform a recital of chamber music that includes my Rossiniana for woodwind octet. Graduate conducting student Nicholas Balla conducts. The free concert will be at 8 pm in the McIntosh Theater on the Ann Arbor campus.
February 16: The New World Trio (violin, cello, piano) will perform my Sweet Prospect during two programs for the students at Noah Webster Micro Society Magnate School in Hartford, Connecticut. I'm looking forward to talking to a group of third and fourth graders and, later, a group of middle schoolers.
February 21: The University of North Carolina's Wind Ensemble will perform my bassoon concerto, titled Guignol, and my orchestration of Debussy's "General Lavine" -- eccentric on the university's Greensboro campus. Both works will feature bassoonist and UNCG faculty member Michael Burns as soloist. Jonathan Caldwell will direct the ensemble. The free concert will take place in the UNCG Auditorium at 7:30.
February 24: Trombonist Matthew Russo will perform my con sordino for trombone alone as the opening work on his recital on the campus of the University of Connecticut where he teaches trombone. Matthew earned degrees at the Hartt School and at Yale University and is the principal trombonist with the Norwalk Symphony. The free recital will take place at 8 pm in Von der Mehden Recital Hall on the Storrs campus.
February 25: The Oboe Duo Agosto will perform my piece for oboe and English horn, Scherzi, at 1:30 pm in the Avery Court at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest continuously-operating public art museum in the United States. The museum is located at 600 Main Street in Hartford, CT. To attend the concert you must pay the entrance fee to the museum, so make an afternoon of it by viewing some of the museum's great collections. The two oboists are Ling-Fei Kang and Charles Huang who also performs on English horn.
February 25: The Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Andrew Mast, will perform Guignol: Concerto for Bassoon and Small Orchestra of Winds and Percussion in the university's Memorial Chapel at 8 pm. The soloist will be bassoonist and university professor Carl Rath. The concert is free of charge.
March 3: Trombonist Matthew Russo will reprise his recital program of February 24 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The concert will be part of Muhlenberg's annual New Music Festival. You can hear my con sordino for trombone alone along with a diverse and fascinating array of recent music. The free concert will take place in the college's Egner Memorial Chapel at 7:30 pm.
March 19: The Concordia Sante Fe Wind Orchestra will give the first performance of my Stone Colors: Three Desert Images in a free concert at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe at 2 pm. My colleague and friend Glen Adsit will conduct. The work was written in memory of another friend and colleague, Eric Rombach-Kendall. Eric was Director of Bands at the University of New Mexico for three decades and commissioned more music from me than any other conductor.
March 26: The Washburn University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Professor J. Thomas Seddon IV will perform my new work titled Stone Colors: Three Desert Images at 3 pm in White Concert Hall on the Topeka, KS campus. The concert is free.
April 16: Saxophonist Hannah Wren, a student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, will perform my Three Resonant Pieces for alto saxophone and piano on her senior recital. The recital will be at 6 pm in the Moore Musical Arts Building's Choral Room on the Bowling Green campus.
April 28: Members of the Temple University Wind Symphony will perform Rossiniana for woodwind octet at 7:30 pm in the Temple Performing Arts Center on the Philadelphia campus. Dr. Patricia Cornett will conduct the free concert.
April 29: The Hartt Wind Ensemble under the direction of Glen Adsit will perform Stone Colors: Three Desert Images at 7:30 pm in the Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus. The concert is free.
May 1: The Hartt Wind Ensemble will record my Stone Colors: Three Desert Images for a recording to be issued on the Naxos label. The session will take place in the Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus.
United States Coast Guard Band Performs and Records
Six Romances After Mendelssohn
Lieutenant Commander Adam Williamson
The United States Coast Guard Band's Chamber Winds ensemble performed my Six Romances After Mendelssohn in three locations in Connecticut this past September. Lieutenant Commander Adam Williamson conducted the ensemble. The musicians then recorded the work at Leamy Hall on the campus of the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut on September 20. This was the fourth of six works to be recording by the band for an all-Gryc compact disc.
Trombonist Haim Avitsur
Tree of Life with the
International trombone soloist and recording artist Haim Avitsur performed my work for trombone, harp, and string orchestra with the Hartt School's Philharmonia on September 16 in the University of Hartford's Lincoln Theater. Avitsur, who requested the work, is Hartt's professor of trombone. Avitsur's latest CD release, Mostly Bach, Vol. III, is a demonstration of this performer's ability to make the trombone a vehicle for the most intimate kind of musical expression.
Tree of Life is a somber yet hopeful meditation composed as a response to the murders of eleven members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg in 2018. The work is dedicated to the memory of the victims. The piece is not principally a lament but rather a statement of solidarity with minority groups of every kind and of rededication to the ideals of equality and justice for all in our country.
Dutch Duo Perform
"Music for Tuba and Timpani" on New CD
Cora Dellebeke and Stefan Knuijt
Knuijt en Dellebeke, a remarkable mother/son duo from the Netherlands, has recorded my Music for Tuba and Timpani for a CD issued by Zefir Records in 2021. Percussionist Cora Dellebeke and her son, tubist Stefan Knuijt lead independent musical lives. Cora performs with the Zeeland Orchestra, and Stefan plays in the Marine Chapel of the Royal Navy. Cora is also a conductor and teacher, while Stefan is active as a composer and arranger. The duo performed the works on their new CD in concert on September 19, 2021 in the Zeeuwse Concert Hall in Middelburg, Netherlands. The recording, both in digital as well as CD form, is available from many retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and Tower Records.
I found an amusing Dutch review of my piece that reads in translation as follows: The American composer Stephen Cyrc [sic] is represented with his three-part "Music for Tuba and Timpani', not a pompous work, but on the other hand not harassing the ear or the perception. Both musicians expressively dig as deep as possible and know how to turn it into a true sound festival."
First African Performance Features Egyptian Oboist
Renowned Egyptian oboist Wessam Amin performed my Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Bela Bartok with his Cairo Classical Ensemble on October 31, 2021. This was my first performance on the African continent. The concert took place in the beautiful Malak Gabr Theater, part of the New Cairo Center for the Arts on the campus of the American University in Cairo. Wessam Amin is the principal oboist with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and is Professor of Oboe at the Cairo Conservatoire. The instrumentation of the Cairo Classical Ensemble is oboe and string quartet, the exact instrumentation of the Fantasy Variations. I shared the program with three other living composers who are on the faculty of the AUC: Egyptian Ashraf Fouad, Austrian-born Amr Okba and American composer and choral conductor John Baboukis. The concert was live-streamed with excellent audio quality and good camera work. The archived performance can be watched at: https://youtu.be/YZiCOH6O_xs