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Music in their Words
New chamber works incorporate the recorded voices of important 20th Century composers. Performances and history lessons for all.Created By: Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble
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Marc MellitsChicago, IL
Composer Marc Mellits is one of the leading American composers of his generation, enjoying hundreds of performances throughout the world every year. From Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, to prestigious music festivals in Europe and the US, Mellits’ music is a constant mainstay on programs throughout the world. His duo “Black” alone has been performed nearly 1,000 times since its premiere. His unique musical style is an eclectic combination of driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colorful orchestrations that all combine to communicate directly with the listener. Mellits’ music is often described as being visceral, making a deep connection with the audience. “This was music as sensual as it was intelligent; I saw audience members swaying, nodding, making little motions with their hands” (New York Press). He started composing very early, and was writing piano music long before he started formal piano lessons at age 6. He went on to study at the Eastman School of Music, Yale School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood. Mellits often is a miniaturist, composing works that are comprised of short, contrasting movements or sections. His music is eclectic, all-encompassing, colourful, and always has a sense of forward motion.
Mellits’ music has been played by major ensembles across the globe and he has been commissioned by groups such as the Kronos Quartet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Duo Assad, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Eliot Fisk, Canadian Brass, Nexus Percussion, Debussy Quartet, Real Quiet, New Music Detroit, Four-In-Correspondence (National Symphony Orchestra), Musique En Roue Libre (France), Fiarì Ensemble (Italy), Percussions Claviers de Lyon (France), Third Coast Percussion, Talujon, the Society for New Music, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony’s Dog’s Of Desire. Additionally, Mellits’ music has been performed, toured, and/or recorded by members of the Detroit Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, eighth blackbird, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New Millenium Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the American Modern Ensemble, among many others.
On film, Mellits has composed numerous scores, including the PBS mini-series “Beyond The Light Switch” which won a 2012 Dupont-Columbia award, the most prestigious award in documentaries. Mellits also directs and plays keyboards in his own unique ensemble, the Mellits Consort. He was awarded the prestigious 2004 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award. On CD, there are over 40 recorded works of Mellits’ music that can be found on Black Box, Endeavour Classics, Cantaloupe, CRI/Emergency Music, Santa Fe New Music, Innova, & Dacia Music. On youtube, Mellits has become an internet sensation with videos encompassing over 40 million views. Marc Mellits is on the music faculty of the University of Illinois-Chicago where he teaches Composition and Theory. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters, and spends significant time in Romania.
Mara’s Lullaby (third Movement from “Tight Sweater”) for Cello, Piano, Marimba.
The Seduction of Brie
First movement of Platter of Discontent
Marc Mellits working with New Music Detroit
First episode from New Music Detroit documentary, filmed by Ed Moore/KDN Films. Features the music of composer Marc Mellits. Tight Sweater for Piano, Cello, and Marimba: Andrew Russo, piano; Ian Ding, marimba; Una ORiordian, cello. Red for two Marimbas: Ian Ding & Daniel Bauch, marimbas. String Quartet No. 3: Tapas: Adrienne Rönmark, violin; Gina DiBello, violin; Theresa Rudolph, viola; Una ORiordian, cello. All music composed by Marc Mellits. www.marcmellits.com. Aired on Detroit Public television.