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Joseph Bertolozzi

Beacon, NY         

American composer Joseph Bertolozzi forges a unique identity as a 21st century musician with works ranging from solo gongs to full symphony orchestra to architectural music installations. With increasingly numerous performances across the US and Europe to his credit, his music is performed in concert halls and conservatories, and he himself has played at such diverse venues as The Vatican and The US Tennis Open.

His latest explorations in sound have brought him to Tower Music,’ using the Eiffel Tower in Paris itself as his instrument.  This project builds upon ‘Bridge Music,’ his “audacious plan” (New York Times) to compose music for a suspension bridge using New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge. These works have brought Bertolozzi sustained international attention. In 2009 his CD “Bridge Music” (Delos) reached #18 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Music Chart while in 2016 the “Tower Music” album (innova) reached  #11 and #16 respectively on the iTunes Classical and Billboard Classical Crossover charts.

His concert music and theatrical scores have also enjoyed particular success, including “The Contemplation of Bravery,” an official 2002 Bicentennial commission for The United States Military Academy at West Point and his incidental score to “Waiting for Godot” at the 1991 Festival Internationale de Café Theatre in Nancy, France. He also has a large body of liturgical music for use in both Christian and Jewish worship. Many of his compositions can be heard at www.JosephBertolozzi.com and The American Music Center www.amc.net/josephbertolozzi.

Skilled as a concert organist, he’s performed his own compositions as well as those of the classical literature in the US and in Italy, Poland, Portugal (for the US State Dept.), and Spain on some of the finest and oldest organs in the world, including St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. He is Organist and Choirmaster at Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie, NY and The Church of St. Joseph in Middletown NY. He also performs and composes for his percussion project “The Bronze Collection,” a unique collection of over 60 gongs and cymbals from around the world.

Born in 1959 in Poughkeepsie, NY one year after his parents and sister emigrated from Lucca, Italy, he was a voracious reader as a child. When his interest turned to music he read biographies of composers, music encyclopedias, and ultimately musical scores from the local library. He began organ lessons solely to learn how to notate the compositions he aspired to create.

He went on to receive his B.A. in music from Vassar College, and did further study at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (with Xenakis and Donatoni), Westminster Choir College, and The Juilliard School, as well as numerous professional workshops with ASCAP, The American Music Center, and Carnegie Hall (contemporary conducting techniques with Boulez).

His foremost influences are Wendy Carlos, Rick Wakeman, Yes, Messaien, Stravinsky, Gregorian Chant, Caravaggio and Bernini. He also counts among his favorites the work of Scriabin, Bartok, The Beatles, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Mark Rothko, the English Romantic painters Millais, Leighton and Waterhouse, poet Amy Jo Zook, and writer Nikos Kazantzakis.

CDs and digital downloads of his music are available from iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Delos, Naxos,  innova and all other major outlets and also from his website www.JosephBertolozzi.com.

MELTDOWN

From the album Bridge Music, you’re hearing only the sampled sounds of the Mid Hudson Bridge in New York. No other instruments or effects were added. The poet Goethe is attributed with saying “Architecture is frozen music.” And so with this great work of bridge architecture is melted back into sound. Every available surface of the bridge is used, a calling card, as it were, to the public that this is what a bridge can sound like.

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The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

‘Is it the wind or is it the cries of the spirits within which sound among these pillars?’
Played upon “The Bronze Collection,” a solo percussion rig of assorted gongs, a haunted, otherworldly atmosphere is achieved in the utilization of many special effects.

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The Soldier’s Memorial Fountain

“The Soldier’s Memorial Fountain” is an orchestral elegy to our country’s fallen.
Performed here by SEATTLEMUSIC, Joel Eric Suben, conductor.

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