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Composer Adrienne Joy Elisha Passes After Courageous Battle with Cancer

Composer Adrienne Joy Elisha Passes After Courageous Battle with Cancer

"It is with great sadness that the family of Adrienne Joy Elisha (“Adie”) announces her passing on Monday, June 12, 2017, at the age of 58 years, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Adie was born in Glen Cove, and lived in Bayville, L.I. during her first 10 years. The daughter of distinguished professional musicians, the late Dorothy Kesner and Paul Elisha, she was an extraordinary artist whose creative genius included the Performing Arts, Composition, Poetry and Painting. She was a champion of new music – equally talented as both a skilled violist as well as a composer. Her voice was distinctly contemporary but her inspiration was drawn directly from her heart. Mario Davidovsky had described her sextet (Anthelion) as “A new kind of polyphony.” Leonard Bernstein described her work as “Excitingly unpredictable, yet inevitable in retrospect.”
Adrienne was a 2007 winner of the Thayer Award in music composition and received her Ph D in composition from the University of Buffalo, working with David Felder as a Presidential Doctoral Fellow. Also a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ms. Elisha’s grants and commissions included those from Meet the Composer and The National Music Teachers’ Association, by whom she was named the 1997 Ohio Composer of the Year. Her credits went on to include Fortnightly Music of Cleveland, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, New Ear Ensemble of Kansas City and the American Music Center.
Her works have been featured both nationally and internationally at June in Buffalo, The Colorado Springs New Music Symposium, The Chintimini Chamber Music Festival and at the International Bartok Festival in Szombathely, Hungary, where she performed her own solo and chamber works and premiered those of other composers. “Cry of the Dove,” her cello concerto, was commissioned and premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony for Solo Cellist, Steven Elisha, who performed it subsequently with The Grand Rapids Symphony, under the direction of conductor, David Lockington.
In addition to solo and chamber appearances at new music festivals, Dr. Elisha was principal violist with The Center for 21st Century Music Ensemble and the June in Buffalo Chamber Ensemble. She also performed frequently with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. During the Warsaw Autumn Festival, she was featured as soloist and composer on Polish Radio broadcasts, performing new works for solo viola, including her own. Both of her talents were on display in Bern, Switzerland, where her composition, inspired by Paul Klee’s painting, “Once Emerged from the Grey of Night,” was featured. As guest violist, Dr. Elisha also performed with the Ensemble Paul Klee in the premiere of Liber Fulguralis by Tristan Murail. Other performances and commissions included those by solo bassist James VanDemark, the Rochester City Ballet, Musaica Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Interface, Netzwerk Neue Musik, eighth blackbird, The Chamber Orchestra of Boston, The American Chamber Ensemble, The Denali Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble and The Arditti String Quartet.
In 2009, nominated by Peter Eötvös, Ms. Elisha was the recipient of the Herrenhaus Composer residency in Edenkoben, Germany, where she spent five months as resident composer. She was also named a Composer Fellow of the 2011 Wellesley Composers Conference, led by Mario Davidovsky, director, and was awarded a 2011 Outer Cape Cod Artist’s Residency. She was a recipient of fellowships from the Mac- Dowell Colony and The Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center. Recent World Premieres included “Lithuanian Dances” with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra under the baton of David Feltner, and “New Overture” with the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, Trond Saeverud, Conductor.
She is survived and lovingly remembered by her husband of 23 years, Peter Laki, stepson, Ben Niran, brother and sister inlaw, Paul Hunkins and Ann Gore, sister and brother-in-law, Jill Hunkins and Carlos Castillo, sister and brother-in-law, Nella Hunkins and Richard Slessor, brother and sister-in-law, Steven and Larisa Elisha. She will be forever remembered by her nieces: Michelle Jezierski, Joanna May Hunkins, nephews: Serge Hunkins, Alain Hunkins, Ron Castillo, Douglas Castillo, Michael Castillo, Nicholas de Leval Jezierski, Patrick Elisha as well as extended family and dear friends. Interment will be Monday, July 10, 2017, 2:30 PM, at Beth Moses Cemetery, 1500 Wellwood Ave., West Babylon. 11704 (Farmingdale - Suffolk County). Additional memorial services are planned in Cleveland, Ohio on July 29 and at Bard College, Annandale on-Hudson. (date and time TBA)."



Music Secrets: How to Write an Opera, Part 1

Feel like writing an opera is only for big name composers with big budgets? Or are you willing to take the plunge and create a work in one of the most compelling and cutting edge musical opera?

Almost two years ago I embarked on the largest musical production I have created to date -  Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. After writing the award-winning Creation Oratorio and dozens of multimedia works, I wanted to combine my love of the audio and the visual into a single large scale work. 

Find a Great Dramatic Story
You need a strong story to write a compelling opera. Fortunately you can easily borrow from thousands of public domain works and modernize them. Think of West Side Story (just a contemporary version of Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet).
Many great operas use Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm, and Biblical stories, all of which include interesting characters, strong themes, and action.
Libertaria borrows heavily from messianic stories, but is set in the future and changed…

Free Classical Sheet Music and Free Opera Downloads @ Scribd

Sheet Music (Photo credit: jayneandd)Awhile ago I decided that I would upload the bulk of my music scores and sheet music to sites like Scribd, the Petrucci Music Library, and for free sheet music downloads. Some musicians told me that it was ridiculous to give away my music. The truth is that I don't depend on music publishing sales of my scores, and I would rather inspire a young piano student, percussion ensemble, opera singer, grandma, bored music student, or music teacher to play and study my music than hold on tight to my copyrights and let my music scores collect virtual dust on my hard drive. 

The Petrucci Library, Scribd, and all have dozens of free music scores available for choir, vocal solos, piano, percussion, orchestra, opera, multimedia works, and more. You can see a short list of available free sheet music by checking out the Scores page.

You might want to check out scores to my modern opera Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, an exciting sci-fi o…

What is Blue? and other Post Postmodernist Thoughts

1000 Pennies for Your Thoughts - NARA - 534149 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)One of my many hats is online university instructor. I teach courses in Media and Music History. In my Media in American Society class, we discuss many aspects of media, including truth in media, media conglomeration, marketing, advertising, and the like. 

Today my students had an intriguing discussion/debate online about news and partisan politics. The debate was a healthy one, with some students claiming that they see all sides, others describing their favorite political pundits, and others lamenting the lack of authenticity in the media today. In the end, the fact that there would be no answer to today's questions, largely due to the lack of authenticity and the inability to trust anything in print, online, on a TV, spoken by a political leader, etc. etc., I brought up a short discussion on postmodernism, postpostmodernism, and its effects on American culture. 

Here is a small snippet that I thought would be …

Got the Election Blues? Animated Sci Fi Musical Showing TODAY in Buffalo New York 3:15pm EST at the Screening Room Cafe 3131 Sheridan Drive, Northtown Plaza Amherst, NY

Got the Election Blues? Animated Sci Fi Musical Showing TODAY in Buffalo New York3:15pm EST at the Screening Room Cafe 3131 Sheridan Drive, Northtown Plaza Amherst, NY Libertaria The Virtual Opera At the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival

What the critics are saying about Libertaria: The Virtual Opera: “One of my favorite things about this story is its odd apocalyptic tone and strong sci-fi/fantasy foundation. The dark quality that comes with it is the cherry on top.” –
“...As a story, it is very much in line with the good-vs.-evil sci-fi tradition, with the added bonus of a plucky female heroine…There are a good many percussion effects in the #opera, and its tone is primarily quite dark and sinister, very much along the lines of a contemporary video game score.” Palm Beach Arts Paper Music Critic Greg Stepanich
Based on the "groundbreaking" and "epic" animation sci-fi film

How to Make Epic Film Music: Getting Started

SONG FOR THE FORGOTTEN ROSE - Beautiful Piano Solo Classical Music

In this beautiful romantic classical music work  a forgotten flower finds redemption when she is rescued by a traveler. Composed by award-winning composerSabrina Pena Young for her wedding day. Dedicated to Nathan Young.  Scores are available through the composer's website ( and the Petrucci Library. ASCAP. Pena Young Publishing.


In the Garden of Life

Midnight hid the scarlet Rose

Wilted and torn, she cried to the Heavens

Petals upturned, imploring of God,

The Grace shine down from the Mountain

In this land journey a stalwart traveler

Alone, he had conquered roads forgotten

This path had led him through hills and valleys

His search for beauty

And God, looking down upon his creation

saw what they could not see

Hope in the hands of the Great Orchestrator

in the form of a rose and a man

Buried in the shadows

The wanderer stumbled and fell on roots he could not see

Lying among weeds

His eyes alighted on Beauty

For there, near h…

Haiti Disaster Relief Efforts Hurricane Matthew Needs Blankets, Sheets, Pillows, Donations as Death Toll Rises

New Missions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are collecting NEW blankets, pillows, sheets for Haiti. Send to: New Missions
2500 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, Fl 32809 Financial Donations Additional Information: HELP HAITI: In the wake of #hurricaneMatthew please continue to pray. We have these ways you can help #Haiti now:
1. Donate
2. Pack shoebox gifts
3. Collect pairs of new sneakers
4. Send new pillows, blankets, and sheets  New Missions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, serving in Haiti since 1983 and the Dominican Republic since 2000. Your financial gift is tax deductible.
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