The Newsletter of Steven R. Gerber

Volume II Number IFALL 2007


This just in – Steven R. Gerber has been commissioned by Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy for a new work to be premiered in March 2009 by the San Francisco Symphony. Working title is Music in Dark Times. More about this in future Online Updates.

Steve has also been selected as the winner of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic’s Composer Competition. Consequently, an important orchestral work of his will be presented by Music Director/Conductor Ulysses S. James on three of the Philharmonic’s 20072008 concert programs. Each piece will be presented in Washington DC and Alexandria, Virginia. The schedule, which has changed recently, is:

October 14 and 21- Gerber's Serenade for String Orchestra, with Elgar's Cello Concerto and Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1.

February 10 and 17 – Gerber's Symphony No. 1, along with Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and a Puccini aria.

June 1 and 8 – Gerber's Symphony No. 2 (Elegies and Fanfares), along with Ives's Symphony No. 1 and Nino Rota's Bassoon Concerto.

So, as you can see, Ulysses James and the orchestra have planned a very adventurous season and the composer is very pleased to have his music highlighted and performed by such a fine organization. Much more about the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic at

On November 3 at 7:30 PM, Gerber's Spirituals for String Orchestra will be performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland, Vladimir Lande, conductor, at Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland. The piece will also be repeated on November 4 at 3 PM at the same location. More about the orchestra at


Fall 2007 has brought a superb new CD of Steven R. Gerber's orchestral and concerto music. Spirituals, (Arabesque CD Z6803) contains his Spirituals for String Orchestra, Clarinet Concerto and Serenade Concertante, performed by the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony, Vladimir Lande, conductor, with clarinet soloist Jon Manasse and violinists Jose Miguel Cueto and Natalia Malkova.

The Spirituals for Strings has an especially interesting lineage. Each movement is based on a classic African-American spiritual. The title of each movement and the spiritual on which it's based is as follows:

1. Homage to Dvorak ("Goin' Home")

2. Minimalist Tendencies ("Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child")

3. Melody Over a Drone I ("O Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn")

4. Amazing Grace Notes: Homage to John Harbison ("Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen")

5. Two Pentatonic Fragments ("Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Study War No More")

6. Call and Response ("Go Down, Moses")

7. Minor and Major ("This Ol' Time Religion")

8. Melody Over a Drone II ("Deep River")

9. Canons and Chorus ("Glory to That Newborn King")

10. Homage to Ravel (An Arrangement of "Balm in Gilead")

This joins the critically acclaimed recording that KOCH International Classics released in 2000 of three major Gerber orchestral works - his Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, and Serenade for String Orchestra, with soloists Kurt Nikkanen and Carter Brey and the National Chamber Orchestra under conductor Piotr Gajewski. The NCO received a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music for this recording, and the recording sessions took place after two performances of each work by the orchestra during its 1999-2000 season.

Four other major orchestral works of Gerber's were released on Chandos in June, 2000 - Symphony #1, Dirge and Awakening, Viola Concerto, and Triple Overture, performed by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Sanderling, conductor, with Lars Anders Tomter, viola, and the Bekova Sisters Trio. This CD has received excellent reviews throughout the United States and Great Britain. Read excerpts from those reviews at Gerber's website.


There are several wonderful articles about and interviews with Steven R. Gerber on the Internet. Among the best are the Sequenza 21 interview at, the Robert Reilly essay on Steven's music in Crisis Magazine and the new essay that the composer wrote for NewMusicBox about his methods of orchestration. Read it at NewMusicBox.


For more information about Steven R. Gerber, including a bio, works, discography and much more, visit You can also contact Jeffrey James Arts Consulting at 516-586-3433 or

Jeffrey James Arts Consulting
Jeffrey James,   President
45 Grant Ave.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Tel & Fax: 516-586-3433   E-mail:

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