Bernadette Speach

BSpeach@aol.com


Biography

List of Compositions

Program Notes

Recordings

 

Biography


Bernadette Speach was born in Syracuse, New York on January 1, 1948. She took piano lessons from the age of four, organ lessons at the age of ten, and also played accordion and guitar. She performed as pianist for the first time at the age of four at The Everson Museum of Fine Arts where she would not play the piece that she was required to play unless she could perform her own work as well.

Bernadette joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet at the age of eighteen, at the same time attending The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, where she earned a BS in Music Education. She continued to compose works for various vocal ensembles and piano solos while performing as pianist and organist throughout the Capital District.

She taught for a while in the primary and secondary schools of Syracuse, NY, then began preparing for graduate studies at Columbia University's School for General Studies in 1975. After attending a summer session in Siena, Italy, where she met her future teacher, composer Morton Feldman, she spent an entire year at Columbia University where she began composing chamber works based in the classical tradition. At this point Bernadette left the religious order and began her studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo in the fall of 1977. There she studied with Feldman, Lejaren Hiller and Leo Smit, earning her Ph.D. in 1982. She chose not to attend her graduation so that she could attend a performance of her work, Moto, at Symphony Space in New York City which was performed by The Bowery Ensemble. This is considered Bernadette's first work in which she found her own voice. (Without Borders, Mode 16)

Bernadette married composer/guitarist Jeffrey Schanzer in May of 1984, and they moved to Brooklyn, New York in August of that year. She became Associate Director of Composers' Forum, Inc., where she continues to hold a position on the Board of Directors, currently as Vice-President.

Through her efforts as an administrator, fundraiser,Board member, presenter and educator with organizations and institutions such as Composers' Forum, Inc. (1984 - present), the Alternative Museum (1987 - 1993), Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative (1987 - 1991), MusicVistas, Inc. (1988 - present), The New School University (1994 - 1998), The Kitchen (1995 - 1998), Women Make Movies (1998 - 1999), CUNY - Brooklyn (1999 - present), Engine 27 (1999 - 2001),  Electronic Music Foundation  (1999 - present), Purchase College (2005) and The Flea Theater (2000 - present) Bernadette continues to bring the work of a broad range of contemporary artists to audiences in the New York metropolitan area and beyond.

Throughout these years and to the present time, Bernadette has followed three career paths: composer/performer, presenter/arts administrator and teacher/lecturer/educational consultant.

Her work as a composer embraces a variety of styles, and includes solo, chamber and orchestral works. In recent years PARALLEL WINDOWS - UNFRAMED for piano and orchestra was performed by Anthony de Mare and the Absolute Chamber Orchestra, and WITHIN for piano and orchestra was performed by Ursula Oppens and the Brooklyn Philharmonic under the direction of Lukas Foss. Her second string quartet, LES ONDES POUR QUATRE, was premiered by the Arditti String Quartet in Darmstadt, Germany (where Ms. Speach lectured as a part of the composition faculty) and at the Ravinia Festival, where it received its American premiere.

Bernadette and poet/writer Thulani Davis have worked together extensively since 1986. TELEPATHY SUITE, their first collaborative settings, were released on the CD, WITHOUT BORDERS (Mode 16), which also included chamber works by Ms. Speach performed by the Bowery Ensemble, Anthony de Mare, Leonard Krech, Michael Pugliese, Jeffrey Schanzer and Jan Williams. A new CD of her more current chamber works, REFLECTIONS (Mode 105), with performances by The Arditti String Quartet, Anthony de Mare, Lois Martin, Rozanna Weinberger, Speach/Davis & Musicians and others was released in early 2002.

She has performed as pianist with her husband Jeffrey Schanzer as the Schanzer/Speach Duo across the United States, in Puerto Rico, Gent and Liege, Belgium, and Cologne and Herne, Germany. Their first CD, DUALITIES, was released on the Mode/Avant Label in 1992.

Her works have been played by numerous performers including: pianists Anthony de Mare, Yvar Mikhashoff, Kathleen Supove and Nurit Tilles; vocalists Joan La Barbara, Cheryl Marshall and Thomas Buckner; percussionists Robert Previte, Robert Schulz and Jan Williams; cellist Frances-Marie Uitti; The Arditti String Quartet and Soldier String Quartet, Maelstrom Percussion Quartet, The Omni Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Quartet, Leroy Jenkins' Sting, The Contemporary Ensemble of the University of Nottingham in England, The Abel/ Steinberg/Winant Trio, Fidelio, Zeitgeist and Auros Group for New Music.

Bernadette was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composers Fellowship in 1992. In the same year she received a commission through the American Composers Forum with funding by The Jerome Foundation to compose for the ensemble Zeitgeist, as well as commissioning funds from The New York State Council on the Arts through MusicVistas to continue her collaboration with Thulani Davis. Bernadette was a Music Composition Fellow through the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship program in 1998 - 1999. She was the Composer in Residence at the Electronic Studios of CUNY - Brooklyn's Conservatory of Music in 2001 - 2002.

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List of Compositions

(with information on premieres)


TreeSing (2007)

for Bass Clarinet and Marimba with video processing

May 24, 2007 Roulette, New York, NY Performed by: Margot Leverett, Bass Clarinet Gustavo Aguilar, Marimba Anney Bonney, Video

My fuchsia is small, like me ... (2006)

for solo Piano

May 24, 2007, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by: Bernadette Speach, Piano

A Set of Three (2005):
in time of daffodils; if up's the word; let it go

for Soprano and Piano

Texts by e.e. cummings

February 24, 2007, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Performed by: Lauralyn Kolb, Soprano, Tina Toglia, Piano

Only/Solimente (2003 - 04)

for solo Vibraphone

Commissioned by Ricardo Souza

June 6, 2005, Festival International de Musica, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Performed by: Ricardo Souza, Vibraphone

Piano Plus (2002)

for Digital Medium

November 6, 2002, International Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, Levenson Recital Hall, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY

Embrace the Universe (2001)

for Orchestra, Chorus (SATB) and soloists: Mezzo-Soprano, Viola, Piano

Text: "Hymn to Matter" from The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Your Friend, Susan (2000)

for Two Pianos and Reciter

April 29, 2000, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Bernadette Speach, Piano, Kathleen Supové, Piano/Reciter. Nurit Tilles, Piano/Reciter

Viola (1999)

for Viola and Piano

April 29, 2000, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Rozanna Weinberger, Viola, Anthony de Mare, Piano

Recording: Mode Records

Le Donne (1998)

for Chamber Ensemble

February 19, 1998, Merkin Hall, New York, NY. Performed by J.D. Parran, Clarinet, Joseph Reardon, Trumpet, John Sherman, Accordion, Bernadette Speach, Piano, Soldier String Quartet

Anne (1998)

for Two Sopranos, Baritone, String Quartet and Clarinet

February 19, 1998, Merkin Hall, New York, NY. Performed by, Joan LaBarbara, Soprano, Cheryl Marshall, Soprano, Thomas Meglioranza, Baritone, J.D. Parran, Clarinets, Soldier String Quartet

Parallel Windows - Unframed (1996)

for Piano and Orchestra

National Endowment for the Arts Composers' Fellowship (1992)

March 20, 1997, The Kitchen, New York, NY. Performed by Absolute Chamber Orchestra, Anthony de Mare, Pianist

From Death Row, This Is Mumia Abu-Jamal (1996)

for Piano, 3 Percussionists and Tape

November 16 & 17, 1996, The Kitchen, New York, NY. Performed by Essential Music

When It Rains, Llueve (1995)

for Piano

February 1, 1996, Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY. Written for and performed by Anthony de Mare

Recording: Mode Records

Publisher: Kallisti Music Press

Angels in the Snow (1993)

for Piano Solo

December 9, 1993, Real Music Series, CBGB's Galleria, New York, NY. Performed by the Composer

Recording: Mode Records

Avanzando (1993)

for Bass Clarinet, Piano, Marimba, Vibraphone and Glockenspiel. Underwritten by the MinnesotaComposers Forum with funds providedby the Jerome Foundation

November 4, 1993, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Commissioned and Performed by Zeitgeist

Complaints (1993)

for Speaker, Flute, Bass, Vibraphone & Traps

April 15, 1993, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Piano Trio Plus

Walking Again (1993)

for Piano, Flute, Bass & Traps

April 15, 1993, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Piano Trio Plus

Walking Again (1992)

for Piano Solo

February 2, 1992, Knitting Factory, New York, NY. Bernadette Speach, Piano

Trio des trois III (1992)

for Piano, Viola and Cello

April 28, 1993, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT. Written for and performed by: Fidelio

Recording: Mode Records

Trio des trois II (1991)

for Flute, Harp and Viola

December 9, 1994, Composers' Forum Inc., The New School for Social Research. Performed by Stefani Starin, Flute, Lois Martin, Viola, Elizabeth Panzer, Harp

Trio des trois I (1991)

for Violin, Piano and Percussion

February 19, 1993, Mills College Concert Hall, Oakland, CA. Written for and performed by Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio

Chosen Voices (1991)

for Toy Piano and Prepared Guitar

June 8, 1991, MusicVistas, Inc., The Parlour, Brooklyn, NY. Performed by Schanzer/Speach Duo

Recording: Mode Records

and so it is ... (1990)

for Piano Solo

December 13, 1990, Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative, Roulette, New York, NY. Bernadette Speach, Piano

Resoundings (1990)

for Piano 4 Hands

December 13, 1990, Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative, Roulette, New York, NY. Conceived and Performed by Myra Melford and Bernadette Speach

It Came to Me in a Dream (1990)

In Counterpoint with "Ash Wednesday," T.S. Eliot; for Flute, Alto Flute, Guitar, Piano and Baritone

September 15, 1990, MusicVistas, Inc., Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Thomas Buckner, Baritone, Barbara Held, Flutes, Stefani Starin, Flutes, Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar, Bernadette Speach, Piano

Bone, Burned, Abandon/Creak (1990)

Music with Dance

June 1 & 2, 1990, St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, NY. Collaborative improvisation by Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar, Bernadette Speach, Piano, in collaboration with David Alan Harris, Choreographer

9/8/89 (1990)

for Digital Sampler and Tape

March 27, 1990, RPI - iEAR Studios, Troy Music Hall, Troy, NY. Performed by the Composer

Within (1990)

for Piano and Orchestra

February 15, 1990, Cooper Union, New York, NY. Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra "Meet the Moderns," Lukas Foss, Conductor, Ursula Oppens, Pianist

a page upon which... (1989)

for Piano solo

September 23, 1989, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by the Composer

Recording: Mode/Avant

Boppin' Again (revised 1991)

for 10 Piece Ensemble

May 24, 1991, Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative, St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, NY. Performed by MOBI New Music Ensemble

Boppin' Again (1989)

for Chamber/Jazz Ensemble

February 3, 1989, St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, NY. Written for and performed by Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble

les ondes pour quatre (1988)

for String Quartet

August 7, 1988, Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt, Germany. Performed by Arditti String Quartet

Recording: Mode Records

Publisher: Kallisti Music Press

Inside Out (1987)

for Piano solo

October 18, 1987, Festival of Women Improvisers, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Bernadette Speach

Shattered Glass (1986)

for Percussion Solo

October 17, 1986, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New York, NY. Performed by Bobby Previte

Recorded By Michael Pugliese on Mode Records

Spero (1986)

for Solo Guitar

October 17, 1986, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New York, NY. Written for and performed by Jeffrey Schanzer

Sonata (1986)

for Piano

June 4, 1986, Ann Goodman Recital Hall, New York, NY. Written for and performed by Anthony de Mare

Recording: Mode Records

To Tango or Not (1986)

for Piano

February 27, 1986, Dance Theater Workshop, New York, NY. Written for and performed by Yvar Mikhashoff

Streamline (1985)

January 26, 1986, The Kitchen, New York, NY. Written for and Performed by Leroy Jenkins' Sting

Light Rail (1985)

for Subway Track (Music/Theater)

November 15, 1985, The Open Center, New York, NY. Photography: Lori Seid, Environmental Tape: Lauren Amazeen, Pop Music Consultant: Joel Dinerstein, Performed by: Bobby Previte, Percussionist/Actor

Gertrude (1984)

Musical Theater

June 15-17, 22-24, 1984, Nichols School, Buffalo, NY. Constance Schulz, Playwright, Robin Kay Willoughby, Actress, Bernadette Speach, Pianist/Percussionist

Between the Lines (1984)

for Violin, Piano and Percussion

April 9, 1984, North American New Music Festival, Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Thomas Halpin, Violin, Yvar Mikhashoff, Piano, Jan Williams, Percussion

Pensees I, II & III (1983)

for Solo Guitar

December 4, 1983, Cabaret 650, Buffalo, NY. Written for and performed by Jeffrey Schanzer

Recording: Mode Records

Trajet (1983)

for Trombone and Percussion

November 13, 1983, Buffalo New Music Ensemble, The Tralfamadore Cafe, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Donald Miller, Trombone, Jan Williams, Percussion

Recorded by Leonard Krech, Trombone, Jan Williams, Percussion for Mode Records

Quatri (1983)

for Percussion Quartet

April 27, 1984, Black Mountain College II, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Performed by The Maelstrom Percussion Quartet

Onde (1983)

For Flute and Percussion

September 20, 1984, Rye Country Day School, Rye, NY. Performed by Mary Luehrsen, Flute, Michael Pugliese, Percussion

Echange (1982)

for Guitar, Piano & Percussionist

October 28, 1983, Black Mountain College II, SUNY - Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar, Bernadette Speach, Piano, Marc Wooldridge, Percussionist

Pentamenta (1982)

in Five Movements, for String Quartet (Ph.D. Dissertation)

March 13, 1988, North American New Music Festival, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Arditti String Quartet

Moto (1982)

for Trombone, Piano and Percussion

April 12, 1983, Cooper Union, New York, NY. Performed by The Bowery Ensemble

Recording: Mode Records

A Set of Two (1982)

for Cello

April 11, 1984, North American New Music Festival, Cabaret 650, Buffalo, NY. Written for and performed by Frances-Marie Uitti

Untitled (1982)

for Piano

December 5, 1982, Buffalo New Music Ensemble, Tralfamadore Cafe, Buffalo, NY, Performed by Anthony de Mare

des Sondages (1981-82)

Movements for Piano

No. IV: April 17, 1983, Buffalo New Music Ensemble, Tralfamadore Cafe, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Yvar Mikhashoff.

Published in "The Buffalo Collection" - SUNY at Buffalo

Nos. I, II, III: October 27, 1981, Composers' Forum, SUNY - Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Performed by Mark Vona

Sono I & II (1981-82)

on a text by Liv Ullmann, for Soprano, Flute, Clarinets, Alto Saxophone, Trombone andPercussion

April 2, 1982, Black Mountain College II, SUNY - Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

"I Think We Are Small Enough" (1979)

text from The Book of Naturalists, for Electronic Tape

May 1 & 15, 1979, Baird Recital Hall, SUNY - Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Ode to Thelonius (1978-79)

in three movements, for Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Trumpet, French Horn, Viola, Cello, Prepared Piano and Percussion (Masters Thesis)

May 1, 1979, Baird Recital Hall, SUNY - Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Incidental Music for "A Clearing in the Woods" (1979)

(play by Arthur Laurents)

for Piano, Flute, Recorded Tape

March 23-31, 1979, North Fork Community Theater, Mattituck, L.I., New York

Wind Trio (1977)

for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon

May 5, 1977, Columbia Composers' Forum, Columbia University, New York, NY

Lost (1976)

on the poetry of H. Hesse, for Flute, French Horn, Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and String Bass

August 20, 1976, Piccolo Teatro de Siena, Siena, Italy

Poetry/Music Collaborations With Poet Thulani Davis

Meditations: Abandon All Hope of Fruition (2004)

for Reciter and Piano

April 21, 2004, Pen and Brush, New York, NY. Performed by Thulani Davis, Reciter, Bernadette Speach, Piano

Passages and Outtakes (2000)

for Chamber Ensemble

April 29, 2000, Roulette, New York, NY. Performed by Thulani Davis, Reciter, Alva Rogers, Voice and Percussion, Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar,Bernadette Speach, Piano

Woman Without Adornment (1994)

Settings from the Novel (1959) for Piano and Reciter

December 21 & 22, 1994, Clark Theatre, Lincoln Center, NYC. Thulani Davis, Reciter, Bernadette Speach, Piano

Recording: Mode Records

Baobab 4 (1994)

for Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trombone, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass, Two Pianos, Balafon, Reciter, Three Women's Voices and Dancer. Commissioned by MusicVistas, Inc. with funds provided by the New York State Council on the Arts

April 9, 1994, MusicVistas and P.S. 122, P.S. 122, New York, NY

Performed by: Rob DeBellis, Reeds, Jeff Hoyer, Trombone, Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitars, Lindsey Horner, Bass, Myra Melford, Piano, Thulani Davis, Poet/Reciter, Michelle Kinney, Voice, Alva Rogers, Voice, Dawn Saito, Voice, Bernadette Speach, Conductor, Piano II, Balafon; Ron Brown, Dancer

Almost Tadzio/Overbite Alarm (1991)

Music with Dance

February 7 & 8, 1991, MusicVistas, Inc., Dia Center for the Arts, NYC. Collaborative improvisation by Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar, Bernadette Speach, Piano, in collaboration with David Alan Harris, Choreographer

A Set of Five (1989)

for Chamber Ensemble

January 11, 1989, Alternative Museum, New York, NY. With Thulani Davis.

Telepathy Suite (1988)

for 20 Piece Ensemble

March 18, 1988, Prospect Park Picnic House, Brooklyn, NY, Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative (MOBI). Performed by MOBI New Music Ensemble, Bernadette Speach, Conductor, Poetry by Thulani Davis

Telepathy Suite (1986-87)

for Chamber Ensemble

March 8, 1987, Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, Prospect Park Picnic House, Brooklyn, NY. Performed by Thulani Davis, Reciter, Oliver Lake, Alto Saxophone, Jeff Hoyer, Trombone, Myra Melford, Piano, Jeffrey Schanzer, Guitar, Lindsey Horner, Bass, Bernadette Speach, Piano and Conductor

Recording: Mode Records

Improvisations for Piano and Guitar
Conceived and Performed by the Schanzer/Speach Duo

Debabelized Brook (2004)

April 4, 2004, Flea Theater, New York, NY, with video by Anney Bonney

Hell's Gate (2004)

April 4, 2004, Flea Theater, New York, NY, with video by Anney Bonney

Toy Rings (2002)

in collaboration with John J.A. Jannone

February 8, 2002. Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn, NY. John J.A. Jannone, Electronics

Glove Quartet (2002)

in collaboration with Holland Hopson and John J.A. Jannone

February 8, 2002 Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn, NY. Holland Hopson, Saxophone & Electronics, John J.A. Jannone, Electronics

Lago (1999)

December 9, 1999, Greenwich House Music School, New York, NY.

Outside In (1996)

June 1, 1996, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, NY.

at the same time (1993)

February 14, 1993, Music Designs, New York, NY.

Sound Crowds (1990)

It's Your Turn (1990)

November 24, 1990, Cirque Divers, Liège, Belgium.

Recording: Mode/Avant

3-1/2 (1990)

September 15, 1990, MusicVistas, Inc., Roulette, New York, NY.

Recording: Mode/Avant

Blue (1989)

February 9, 1990, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT.

Recording: Mode/Avant

Phill's Phault (1988)

July 31, 1988, Logos Foundation, Ghent, Belgium.

Two in the Morning (1986)

October 17, 1986, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New York, NY.

Recording: Mode/Avant

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Recordings

Reflections (Mode 105, 2002)

Bernadette Speach

Chamber Works

 

Dualities (Mode/Avant 02, 1992)

Schanzer/Speach Duo

Improvised Duets, Solos

 

Without Borders (Mode 16, 1989)

Bernadette Speach

Chamber Works

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