"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..
Michael Kurek's new "Monument" for symphonic wind ensemble received a preview performance on January 24, 2015 at Vanderbilt University, prior to its official unveiling in March at the 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.
Michael Kurek's new "Serenade for Violoncello and Harp" is making its mark, worldwide! It is set for performances June 22-25, 2014 at the 41st National Conference of the American Harp Society in New Orleans and at the 12th World Harp Congress on July 21, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The Serenade had its premiere at Vanderbilt University on Oct. 28, 2013 by two world-class performers, Romanian cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and Portuguese harpist Mario Falcao and was then featured Nov. 17, 2013 at the Soka City International Harp Festival near Tokyo, Japan. The piece was then played by cellist Elia Moffa and harpist Mario Falco 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 ("Passionate music with a fresh sound" -- NashArts Review 10/30/2013).
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.)
On March 2, 2014, his "Concertino for Celesta and Orchestra" was performed by the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra, near Philadelphia with celesta soloist Hyeju Park and conductor Immo Kang.
Oct. 28, 2013 saw the world premiere of Kurek's "Goodnight Moon" (after the children's book) for soprano and chamber ensemble, conducted by the composer, reviewed as "the piece everyone will write home about...which will surely have a life around the English speaking world." It was performed by soprano Crystal Kurek with a Blair School of Music faculty ensemble and guest artists Ovidiu Marinescu and Mario Falcao.
Kurek's full-evening ballet treatment of Shakespeare's Macbeth is now available to choreographers for review! Please contact the composer for details (see "Contact" page on this site).
An Encore performance of Michael's Pas de deux (choreographed by Portland, Oregon choreographer Sarah Slipper, under the title "Ploughing the Dark," see below) was given by the Nashville Ballet on February 15-17, 2013, performed at TPAC's Polk Theater by the distinguished Trio Casals based in Philadelphia and New Orleans, whose members have soloed with major orchestras worldwide and garnered a Grammy nomination.
Michael Kurek's Matisse Impressions for a sextet of winds and piano received a revival performance by the Blair Woodwind Quintet with pianist Melvin Chen at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013,
Michael is also at work on a new CD called "Chant for Strings," details coming soon.
Ballet fans, Download the music! Please click on Kurek CD's in the left-hand column of this page to find the full 40-minute Trio from which the ballet "Ploughing the Dark" was excerpted, which was called "a dazzler" by The Nashville Scene and a "hauntingly romantic, critically aclaimed, passionate piece" by The Tennessean.
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).