"Deeply Felt, Romantic Music --
By the end, I saw more than a few people wiping away a tear, because they were so moved."
That's how one audience member recently described the scene at a performance of Michael Kurek's music. Here is a classical composer who has self-assuredly emerged from his 20th-century roots to forge a vibrantly emotional, personal musical voice for the 21st century. While fresh and original in style, this is richly melodic music, grounded in narrative formal design and essentially traditional tonality – at once fresh and new and strikingly traditional, compared to the ironically old-fashioned 20th-century academic-Modernist and avant-garde standards. Click on "Biography" in the left-hand column to read more.
Click HERE to hear Michael's 11-minute orchestral composition "That Which Remains Unspoken," as it recently aired on KMZT-FM Classical Radio, Los Angeles. Click HERE to hear Michael's "Concertino for Celesta and Orchestra: Fairy Dreams," (7 min.), the first concerto for Celesta with orchestra in the history of the Celesta, from a recording issued by the Scheidmayer Celesta Company (Stuttgart, Germany) of historic celesta music.
Michael Kurek's new harp solo, "Moon Canticle" was composed for premiere at the 2016 National Conference of the American Harp Society (performance there by harpist Mario Falcao on July 2). You can listen to the piece by clicking HERE. (You can order the score beginning that time frame from the "Moon Canticle" Facebook page.)
Michael Kurek's new "Monument" for symphonic wind ensemble at the 2015 national convention of the College Band Directors National Association. The score and parts are now available for purchase. Please click HERE to go to a page where you can hear the piece and learn how to order it. "Conquest" (2016) for large brass ensemble (triple brass quintet) has been premiered by the Tri Star Brass Ensemble and may be heard HERE.
Michael Kurek's new "Serenade for Violoncello and Harp" is making its mark, worldwide! Featured at the 41st National Conference of the American Harp Society in New Orleans and at the 12th World Harp Congress on (July 2014) in Sydney, Australia. The Serenade was composed for two world-class performers, Romanian cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and Portuguese harpist Mario Falcao and has been featured at the Soka City International Harp Festival near Tokyo, Japan.and at the Fondazion Musicale Santa Cecilia in Portogruao, Italy on March 2, 2014. Click HERE to go to Michael Kurek's special "Serenade" web page to hear a (free) streaming audio recording and order the score. The Serenade will be performed by distinguished harpist Rita Costanzi (master classes at Julliard, Eastman, etc., major recordings) and distinguished Argentinian cellist (living in England) Edouard Vassallo at the biggest music festival in Brazil, the Festival de Musica de Santa Catarina, in January, 2016
In February 2014, the Vanderbilt University Concert Choir professionally recorded his "Ave Maria" with guest harpist Paula Bressman and string orchestra. The recording is now a free streaming audio that you can hear HERE. The music will begin playing automatically after a few seconds. (Simply close that window to return to this page.)
"Concertino for Celesta and Orchestra: Fairy Dreams" (link to audio in first paragraph, above) has most recently been performed by the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra, near Philadelphia with celesta soloist Hyeju Park and conductor Immo Kang and is to be performed in December 2015 by the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Michael's two viola sonatas, one with harp and one with piano have both now been published by Gems Music Publications. The sonata with harp has now become a staple of the harp repertoire worldwide and was most recently performed by the Duo Portinari (of Brazil) at the 12th World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia. Watch here for exciting news about an upcoming performance and recording of the more recent sonata with piano.
Other recent works by Michael Kurek include his charming setting of "Goodnight Moon" (after the children's book) for soprano and chamber ensemble and a full-evening ballet treatment of Shakespeare's Macbeth, now available to choreographers for review! Please contact the composer for details (see "Contact" page on this site). Michael Kurek's Matisse Impressions for a sextet of winds and piano can be heard on New World Records and has been a popular programming choice for woodwind quintets around the country.
Michael's Pas de deux (choreographed by Portland, Oregon choreographer Sarah Slipper, under the title "Ploughing the Dark," see below) was produced for the third time by the Nashville Ballet on February 15-17, 2013, and has been premiered by the Blakemore Trio (both this movement and the full piano trio) and performed by the Trio Casals based in Philadelphia and New Orleans, whose members have soloed with major orchestras worldwide and garnered a Grammy nomination. Click HERE to see the 18-minute ballet video. The performance was called "a dazzler" by The Nashville Scene and a "hauntingly romantic, critically aclaimed, passionate piece" by The Tennessean. The plot in the video concerns the tortured long-distance relationship of the playwright Anton Chekov and actress Olga Knipper, with a giant roll of paper representing their correspondence. Sometimes they use their bodies as pens, though most is more abstract than that.
Most photos on this site are provided compliments of master photographer Denise Truscello of Las Vegas, Nevada, currently principal photographer of Celine Dione. Denise has also recently photographed Elton John, Queen, Al Pacino, and many others. Thanks, Denise! These images are available in high resolution for use in print media (contact Michael Kurek via the Contact Page -- see column at left).
Michael has now completed a commission for a work for solo harp to be performed by the great Portuguese harpist Mario Falcao at the 2016 National Conference of the American Harp Society (to be in Atlanta). Keep track of it at THIS PAGE. He has also completed a work for triple brass quintet to be performed at several venues during spring 2016 by the TriStar Brass (made up of faculty brass quintets from three universities who play together in a group of 15).