Drew Ziemba performed Arrays of Light at Boise Symphony Season Opening Gala, September 2019.
Ricardo Odriozola performed Fantasia and Dances for Solo Violin in Bergen Norway, Februrary 12, 2018.
Kraft Quartet performed Three Pieces for String Quartet March 9, 2018 Menotomy Concert Series.
Yelena Beriyeva premiered The Persistence of Memory for solo piano May 18, 2018 Menotomy Concert Series.
Please visit the link below to view my Kickstarter Campaign/Video:
CD Release Concert
ARRAYS of LIGHT
Mark Ponzo and Terry Everson, trumpets
JeongSoo Kim, piano
Tsai Performance Center
April 15, 2015, 8 pm
Berklee College of Music, Cafe 939
Mark Ponzo, trumpet and JeongSoo Kim, piano
April 14, 1PM
Mark Ponzo and Terry Everson, trumpets
April 13, 5:30 PM
Northern Illinois University
Mark Ponzo, trumpet
Jeong Soo Kim, piano
Gregory Beyer, percussion
Chicago Gargoyle Brass
April 17, 6:30 PM
HOLLY ROADFELDT, PIANO
Premiered Nov. 5 and 7, 2014
SCHRAMM TOCCATA for solo piano
Mars Hill New Music Festival
Western Carolina University
WRITTEN BY PASQUALE TASSONE THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2009 12:59
‘Words of War' by Arlington composer to premiere Nov. 6
Rep. Kaufman to help inaugurate concert series
Betsy Schramm, an Arlington-based composer, will conduct the premiere of her new work, "Words of War/Letters of War," on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Arlington Town Hall.
Featuring state Rep. Jay Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington and Arlington, as narrator, this chamber music work uses for a text war letters from American servicemen from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War as well as quotes about war.
Some of these letters, written by Arlington servicemen, were provided by the Arlington Historical Society. In addition to the narration, the piece contains four songs for soprano and tenor based on war poetry of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg.
Charles Blandy and Melanie Salisbury are the featured tenor and soprano.
This work was commissioned in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council.
The concert will include "Reconciliation" by Samuel Adler, a work for tenor and chamber ensemble, which is a setting of a beautiful poem by Holocaust survivor Elsa Lasker-Schuler.
Chicago-based trumpeter Mark Ponzo will perform a new work for flugelhorn by Schramm as well as "On Taps," for solo trumpet, by Pasquale Tassone.
Finally, Ponzo and percussionist Robert Schulz will perform "Luminous Duo," a new work by Schramm for trumpet and percussion.
Background of premiere composer
Schramm tells YourArlington that she has been in the Boston area since 1992 and Arlington since 1997. Before that, she was on a Fulbright in London and was a doctoral candidate at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.
She is a widow and has two children -- a son, 12, at Ottoson and a daughter, 6, at Bishop. Both are musical: Her son plays violin and her daughter sings.
Written by Grace Carpenter Tuesday, 03 November 2009 00:00
Bishop mom, premiere composer
Concert held at Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 |
When Arlington resident and composer Betsy Schramm agreed three years ago to be “Composer of the Month” at the Bishop Elementary School, she arrived with carefully prepared lessons plans.
What she wasn’t prepared for, says music teacher Janet Welby, was being treated like a rock star.
“She found out that all [the children] wanted to do was interview her,” says Welby, who had previously highlighted composers ranging from Beethoven to Stevie Wonder. “They were just thrilled to have a real composer in Arlington.”
For her part, Schramm was thrilled to be able to engage the kids and show them that a composer can be a “living thing”. So thrilled, in fact, that she continued to work with the school, and composed a fanfare for the graduation ceremonies for her son’s fifth-grade class.
Although Schramm writes a kind of music — contemporary classical — that is sometimes viewed as esoteric, there is nothing aloof about her approach to audiences or other musicians. She thrives on the personal connections that can happen between composer and audience, and between composer and performer.
“It’s a great feeling when a performer brings a piece of music to life. It’s such an intimate relationship you share with them, especially when you’re there to help in the rehearsal process to give comments.”
On Friday, Nov. 6, a work by Schramm with local links will be premiered as part of the Menotomy Concert Series. “Words of War/Letters of War” is a work for soprano, tenor, narrator and chamber ensemble featuring songs whose texts are war poems by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg. Interspersed with the songs, letters and quotes about war are narrated over instrumental music.
The letters are written by servicemen — including one from Arlington — on active duty during wars ranging from the American Revolution to the Gulf War. The work was funded in part by the Arlington Cultural Council.
State Representative Jay Kaufman will narrate the letters, and tenor Charles Blandy and soprano Melanie Salisbury will perform the songs.
Schramm got the idea for the work when she passed a handmade sign on Jason Street that kept track of the number of American military deaths in the most recent Iraq war.
She wanted to delve behind the numbers into personal stories of war.
Although she describes composing as great exercise for both the mind and the emotions, reading so many texts about war, she says, “was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done.”
Schramm grew up in a musical home and began studying piano at age 4 or 5. In middle school she switched to percussion, which she credits with giving her an excellent basis for composition. Not only did it develop her sense of rhythm, but playing a variety of instruments — from triangle to snare drum to marimba -- gave her a good feel for the timbre, or tone quality, of different instruments.
But she didn’t expect to be a composer, and at the University of Texas at Austin she majored in psychology and minored in computer science.
“I tried doing other things,” she says with a laugh. But she was very drawn to writing, and the first piece she wrote, for a music theory class, was chosen to be performed and then given an award.
Hearing her music played, she says, is very special.
“I remember the first time I had a big performance, I had this feeling inside that I wanted to buy everyone a car, I was so grateful.”
She went on to earn her Ph.D. in composition from Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., and then went to England on a Fulbright, where she was in a program for composers and young directors offered by the English National Opera in London and also studied composition at Cambridge University.
In addition to writing music, she learned the crucial skill of rounding up performers.
“I would stand at the orchestra door,” she says, “and get people to commit to playing for me.”
She made some lasting connections with performers, such as the trumpeter Mark Ponzo, who frequently commissions her to write music for him. Ponzo, who will be performing on Friday, points out that “when the composer is alive it’s a lot easier to get to the source.”
“It’s fun working with composers who are actually working and breathing,” he adds.
For Schramm, who started conducting about five years ago, there is also real value in participating in the rehearsal process.
“It makes you become very articulate about your music,” she says, “because you have to talk about it with a performer to get what you want.”
But ultimately what she finds most satisfying is the solitary work of composing. After her children, ages 6 and 12, have gone to school, she sits down at her piano to write.
“I just love that act of creation,” she says. “It gives me so much energy to bring it forth.”
Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 November 2009 06:26 )
WRITTEN BY PASQUALE TASSONE SUNDAY, 06 FEBRUARY 2011 00:00
Piano-violin duo to perform Friday at Town Hall
The third concert in the 2010-11 Menotomy Concert Series is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Town Hall. Violinist Ricardo Odriozola, who performed here last year, and pianist Einar Røttingen will perform. Admission is free.
During their stay in Arlington, the duo will be working with and performing for the students at Arlington High School and Ottoson Middle School.
At the Menotomy Concert, they will perform music of Grieg, Sæverud, Hvoslef as well as music written for them by Arlington composers Leslie Hurwitz, Betsy Schramm and Pasquale Tassone. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited.
Their appearance is made possible in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council.
Odriozola was born in Bilbao, Spain, and grew up in the northern Basque town of Bermeo. Beginning first with the guitar, Ricardo, at age 9, moved on to the violin.
In 1982, he spent his senior year at Arlington High School, graduating in 1983. On graduating, he was awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Eastman School of Music studying with Zvi Zeitlin, a famed violinist.
After finishing his studies in the US, he moved to Bergen, Norway, where he accepted a position at the Music Conservatoire, now called Grieg Academy, where he remains to this day. In addition to his activities as a teacher he is also a very active conductor and composer. We welcome Ricardo back to Arlington.
Røttingen is a professor of music performance and head of the master's program in performance or composition at the Grieg Academy Department of Music, University of Bergen. He is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music.
In addition to being a regular guest at the annual Bergen International Festival and Edvard Grieg Museum concert series in Norway, he has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in major cities in Europe, USA and Asia. Throughout the 1980s, Røttingen worked closely with the Norwegian composer Harald Sæverud and has recorded all the solo piano music in addition to the Piano Concerto with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.