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Richard Drehoff Jr.

Baltimore, MD      

Richard Drehoff Jr. (b. 1991) is a musician intrigued by mathematical patterns, captivated by philosophy’s deepest questions, and fascinated with the relationship between our understandings of musical and extramusical concepts.

Richard’s works have been performed across the US and internationally by the ECCE Ensemble and the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. In 2017, he was selected as a composition fellow for the first-annual James Tenney Memorial Symposium in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has had the opportunity to work with performers and composers of international acclaim. Richard has been selected to participate in the 2017 Etchings Festival and the 2018 VIPA Festival and was awarded the P. Bruce Blair Award (Peabody Conservatory) and the Thelma Thompson Award (UNC-Chapel Hill) in composition.

An active composer and pianist, Richard serves as the managing director and co-founder of earspace, a North Carolina-based ensemble dedicated to cultivating invigorating, site-specific performances of modern works. Richard also founded and directed the Chapel Hill Contemporary Music Ensemble (2012-2016), which premiered over twenty new compositions during his tenure as conductor. 

Richard currently resides in Baltimore, MD, where he completed master’s degrees in composition and in music theory pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, studying with Felipe Lara and Michael Hersch. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in music and math from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working with Stephen R. Anderson, Severine Neff, Evan Feldman, Thomas Otten, and Allen Anderson.

…this mortal coil, Must give us pause… (2018): for large orchestra

“…this mortal coil, Must give us pause…” is a nod toward the infamous soliloquy of the third act of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I’ve long been fascinated with both the metaphor of life existing as some sort of string, strand, or cord, along with the characters depicted across mythologies and literatures that weave, stitch, and sew these fibers of destiny.

Peabody Symphony Orchestra (reading)
Jisoo Kim, conductor
May 2, 2018
Baltimore, MD
Roc Xu, recording engineer

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utopia (June/October 2018): for string quartet

Sir Thomas More coined “utopia” in his 1516 book of the same name; with this piece I wanted to try and connote some sort of a sonic landscape that remains somewhat ambiguous in its illustration—it exists purely, without the coloration of “good” or “bad.” The piece has a sense of development, but one that I feel exists within a realm of seemingly ill-defined pitch, characteristic of the fractured edges of a civilization that cannot be categorized by its morality, but can only grace our imaginations.

Mivos Quartet
July 13, 2018
Valencia, Spain

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Refractions: On Escher (2017): for solo flute

“Refractions: On Escher” is inspired by Dutch artist M. C. Escher’s 1938 woodcut “Day and Night” (depicted below). The work explores the impossible transformations of foreground into background and background into foreground across the passage of time, yet exists entirely within a single frame. In these refractions, I’ve attempted to capture a similar metamorphosis of motives within the piece, framing its opposing elements within the confines of a single performer.

Gyuri Kim, flute
April 20, 2017
Baltimore, MD

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