Wisconsin Composer Series: Paul Basler

As we lead up to our April 18th concert featuring music by Wisconsin composers, we are profiling some of the composers and their pieces that we are featuring. We hope that you come out and join us at Alverno College Chapel on April 18th at 7 p.m.!

Paul Basler

Paul Basler

Paul Basler: “Alleluia”

Paul Basler was born in 1963 in Milwaukee, and today is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Florida. He received his B.M. degree from Florida State University and his M.M., M.A., and D.M.A. degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has also served as a senior lecturer at a university in Kenya, and occasionally you can hear a Kenyan influence in his music.

Basler’s music has been met with some very impressive and notable acclaim. The New York Times describes his music as “virtuosic and highly athletic.” The recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer’s Fellowship and several National Endowment for the Arts Composer grants, Basler’s compositions have been performed throughout the world, including at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Spoleto Festival, the Symphony Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center, the National Theatres of the Dominican Republic and Kenya, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera House, the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and in Shanghai by the Shanghai Philharmonic.

On our concert this weekend, we are performing his piece “Alleluia.” The lyrics are quite simple–it’s “Alleluia” over and over again. But the rhythms and layers in the piece certainly provide some challenges to the singer. Though there is only one word in the lyrics, the melodies and rhythms constantly reinvent themselves throughout the piece, making it quite an exciting listen for audience members.

The piece has some added excitement and “punch” thanks to the French horn, drums and piano also used to accompany the singers. It is a thrilling and bombastic piece that makes the perfect closer to our concert.

We hope you enjoy Basler’s “Alleluia” this weekend!

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