Glenna Burmer launches new project, The Composer’s Workshop

Glenna Burmer has just launched The Composer’s Workshop, which gives local composers the opportunity to hear their works played live in an intimate setting.

The first workshop, held Feb. 4, featured original pieces by composers Nan Avant, Barry Dowsett and Glenna Burmer. Musicians were Madeline Woodward, Glenna Burmer, Nan Avant, Barry Dowsett, Sarah Ison, Sandra Layman, Dawn Corl, Annmarie Sewell and Bruce Kulander.

The Composer’s Workshop offers a unique opportunity for young symphonic composers. “My goal was to create a friendly environment that allowed composers to hear their music live during an early phase of the composition process,” explained Burmer. “This gives them the chance to stretch their skills and explore different instrument combinations and new musical genres before they go into a recording studio or concert hall.”

Nan Avant contributed two works: “Sonore” (French for “resonant with rich tone”) and “Musica Bella,” a Latin work for guitar, strings, percussion and piano. Dowsett wrote a piece for string ensemble and clarinet, “Bluest Ice.”

Burmer wrote three pieces that were performed during the workshop: “Winter Dance” for bowed psaltery and chamber ensemble; “The Puppy Dance” for piano and strings; and “The Reindeer Riders,” a chamber piece with solo clarinet inspired by the hunter-gatherers of the Kamchatka peninsula and Sakhalin Islands.

Burmer, managing director of Burmer Music, plans to host a Composer’s Workshop every few months, exploring different instrument combinations and genres. The sessions are in preparation for a new public concert, to be scheduled later this fall. The Composer’s Workshop is sponsored by Burmer Music and powered by Shunpike.