Workshops and concert in Baltimore-April 2012

Posted on April 4th, 2012 by


The Baltimore workshop and concert was just a beginning. Since then, I have been in touch with a number of the young composers and players from Peabody. Composers Alican Camci, Zhangyi Chen, and Faye Chiao have sent me fascinating solo pieces, and I am enjoying a fascinating dialogue with graduate Jack Lin about Joseph Joachim (he visited me in London last week).

In December, I will return to Peabody for a 2-3 day residency to continue the dialogue and developments!

Workshop at Peabody Institute 3rd April.

It is wonderful to be back in Baltimore again, and to spend time with Michael Hersch. Our conversations have been going on since we were introduced by our dear friend and inspiration, George Rochberg. Michael has written three works for me. His music, if you don’t know it, is astonishingly direct-marrying meaning, emotion, technique and the physiology of both composer and performer-who are startlingly as one in his exquisitely distilled works.

Morning Coffee on Cathedral Street, Baltimore 4th April 2012

After the concert-Baltimore 4th April 2012. Michael Hersch and Peter Sheppard Skaerved

Michael Hersch-Five Fragments (Live Performance-Peter Sheppard Skaerved Mexico City 2004)Hersch

Michael Hersch told me today that it had been fascinating to ask young composers to draw this spiral staircase at Peabody-to see what it was that they saw.

Extract 1: Working on creative intonation in Michael Hersch‘s music:

Extract 2: Changing physiological setups, fingerfall, Sculthorpe ‘Alone’:

Michael Hersch

I was delighted to run in from an old friend from the Blair School  at Vanderbilt, Scott Lee, now studying here. LINK TO NASHVILLE 2012 Workshops

Extract from a work in progress by Scott Lee

Note from a Peabody Institute composer-Andrew Posner: ‘I’m a Peabody composer, and I would just like to thank you for talking to us today (I would have stayed around afterwards to thank you in person but I had to

bolt to another obligation). I can’t think of any words other than fascinating and enlightening to describe your presentation and performance bits, and I

greatly appreciate your coming in to share with us all that you did. Especially as the youngest and newest composer in that room, it’s really spectacular that

visiting artists such as yourself are willing to spend time teaching us and broadening our musical perspectives. I look forward to your concert tomorrow.’

Playing Michael Hersch's the snowy margins...(dedicated to me in 2010) in Old St Paul's Church, Baltimore, 4th April 2012

Works for concert 4th April  8 pm Old Episcopal Church, Charles Street

(All works by living composers written for Peter)

Paul Osterfield-24 Caprices (Caprices 2 & 3)

Poul Ruders-Summer’s Prelude and Winter’s Fugue 

Giovanni Battista Viotti-Ranz des Vaches

Biber-Mystery Sonata 16

David Matthews-Fugues 7 & 15

Henry Purcell-G Minor Prelude

Michael Hersch-…in the snowy margins

Sadie Harrison-…ballare una passacaglia di ombre…

Michael Alec Rose-Air

Haflidi Hallgrimsson-Frau Klee is Sleeping, Klee the artist picks up the violin, Klee entertains Kandinsky

David Gorton-Caprices

Pietro Locatelli-Il Laberinto armonico, facilius adius, difficilius exius

Nigel Clarke-Permambuco

Waiting to play, Old Episcopal Church, Baltimore 4th April 2012


Another reaction to the workshop, from David Smooke:’Your lecture yesterday was absolutely amazing. I adored following your intellectual through line as you took us on a tour of the similar obsessions of composers who I had thought were completely different. And then the opportunity to hear you play Joachm’s violin and to be so close to such a storied instrument just blew me away. Someday, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how playing microtonal music has helped to shape your approach to all other repertoire (I was telling Michael afterwards that I didn’t recognize his piece at first because I thought that it was by one of the finest microtonal composers since the harmonies had so clearly been shaded based on very carefully devised tuning systems–I adore original and convincing interpretations, which all of yours were).’


A reaction from a student, BJ: “I am a composition student at Peabody, studying with Michael. I don’t know if I can describe my experiences hearing you play and speak about music -they were two of the most unexpected, exhilarating and pleasant musical experiences I have had.As a composer (and lover of music), I’m really glad that you’ve posted the audio online. For me, musical experiences can be earth shattering, but if they’re not followed up by more listening of the same pieces, something might be lost. So, thank you again for being so kind to post these recordings!


Another reaction to the concert: ‘I am a composer – Rahilia Hasanova from Baku, Azerbaijan. Recently I moved and relocated in Baltimore where your solo concert took place at St. Paul church. I was impressed by your great performance and wonderful interpretation of music compositions. And I was impressed by your fantastic performing technique. I never saw such unique combination of love and deep understanding of music plus high quality of technique and perfect interpretation all together.


Sleep. Train to BWI Airport 6th April 2012