Scott WollschlegerBrooklyn, NY
Scott Wollschleger (b. 1980) is a composer who grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His music has been highly praised for its arresting timbres and conceptual originality. Wollschleger “has become a formidable, individual presence” in the contemporary musical landscape (The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross). His distinct musical language explores themes of art in dystopia, the conceptualization of silence, synesthesia, and creative repetition in form. His music has been described as “apocalyptic”, “distinctive and magnetic” and possessing a “hushed, cryptic beauty” (The New Yorker, Alex Ross) and as “evocative” and “kaleidoscopic” (The New York Times). Much of Mr. Wollschleger’s music features a sense of “timeless lyricism”, something that influential avant-garde jazz pianist and blogger Ethan Iverson described as “the highlight of the disc” in his enthusiastic review of Mr. Wollschleger’s Brontal No. 3, on Barbary Coast, a 2014 New Focus Records release. His concert works can be heard across the US and the world, most recently featured at MATA Festival Interval Series, the International Music Institute at Darmstadt, and the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento. His critically acclaimed piano concerto, Meditation on Dust, was recently performed with pianist Karl Larson alongside Bang on a Can Festival fellows at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. His apocalyptic monodrama, We Have Taken and Eaten, was recently featured on NPR’s Arts & Letters.
Upcoming and recent projects include commissions from andPlay, Bearthoven, violist Anne Lanzilotti, Du.0, loadbang and Third Angle Music. His debut album, Soft Aberration, was released on New Focus Recordings in 2017 and was named a Notable Recording of 2017 in The New Yorker. His most recent album, American Dream, written for Bearthoven, was released by Cantaloupe Music in 2019. His next album, Dark Days, will be released by New Focus Recordings in 2021.
Following lightly in the footsteps of the New York School, Mr. Wollschleger received his Masters of Music in composition from Manhattan School of Music in 2005, where he studied with Nils Vigeland who himself Morton Feldman called “the most brilliant student I ever had.” Mr. Wollschleger has received support from a variety of organizations including New Music USA, BMI, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. Mr. Wollschleger was a Co-Artistic Director of Red Light New Music, a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and crafting contemporary music.
In addition to his musical ideas, Mr. Wollschleger frequently delves into the philosophical writings of Deleuze, Nietzsche, and Brecht and maintains an ongoing collaboration with Deleuzian scholar Corry Shores. Their recently co-authored thesis, Rhythm Without Time, was successfully presented at the London Graduate School’s academic conference, “Rhythm and Event,”.
Mr. Wollschleger’s work is published by Project Schott New York.
Meditation on Dust (piano concerto)
What would happen if a Richard Strauss tone poem was left out in the desert for 1000 years? This was the central questioning metaphor I had in mind when writing. What I imagine left is a kind of harmonic dust. Meditation on Dust is a dream landscape shaped by these harmonic particles. The piano, which in many ways acts as a hyper-violin, cuts through the dust and sometimes is enveloped within it. As the dream evolves we come back to the original Strauss moment but soon depart from it. Meditation on Dust was commissioned by the String Orchestra
Brontal Symmetry by Scott Wollschleger performed by Longleash
Brontal Symmetry is comprised of a series of “discarded scraps” of music from other pieces, here introduced in a sort of memory game. Each sound object is revealed and then slowly taken away while new ideas are introduced. What is left from these “scraps” is a series of sensations—objects without the context of their original meaning.