The following information was taken from the author's previous website for music and music activities
W E L C O M E
David Irving - Composer
Adeline Thomas Irving
December 2, 1899 - October 18, 1998
Laurence Gerow Irving
June 16, 1900 - July 2, 2002
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st
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Reviews & Citations
Performances of Compositions
List of Compositions
David Gerow Irving was born in Kankakee, Illinois to Laurence and Adeline Irving. The family moved shortly thereafter to Streater, Illinois, a year later moving to Connersville, Indiana, and then to Bluffton, Indiana when he was eight years of age. This is where he grew up.
David comes from a very musical family, about which he gives the following description.
"My entire family was musical. My mother and father sang in the local church choir and were often invited to sing solos or duets either at the local church, or at a community church in some other town. My father learned the violin, mostly on his own, when he was a boy in Minnesota and Vermont. Later in life he became the Sunday School services conductor at his church. My mother played the piano, which she learned to play without instruction, and almost entirely by ear when she was a girl growing up in Streater, Illinois. She played until the age of 96, continuing to play even then for Sunday school church services. She composed the song "Let Not Your Heart be Troubled." My brother, Bill, played the clarinet when he was a boy, but did not pursue it. Ann, my sister, decided at an early age that she was going to become an opera singer. Every Saturday afternoon, during the concert season, she would declare her room inviolate, tune in the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and settle in for an afternoon of Aida, La Traviata or La Boheme. When she finished high school, she moved to Chicago, studying voice there, and then turned to professional singing. Ann was one of the leading sopranos in the Kansas City Lyric Opera, where she sang roles like Madam Butterfly, and Gilda, in Rigoletto. She also sang in the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Opera Theatre, and appeared throughout the Midwest in various opera companies. She sang one of the leading roles in the national TV production of Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke. Her son, my nephew Mike Johnstone, also showed outstanding talent on the guitar and formed his own professional band in Chicago as lead guitarist and vocalist. His father, Sydney Johnstone, was a professional club pianist.
"My twin brother Darrel and I both studied the French horn starting at age 14 with our high school band director and principal horn of the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, J. Robert Schlatter. I have had many blessings in life, but by far the greatest bestowed upon me was coming into this world with a twin. Like me, he became a professional horn player touring with the Goldovsky Opera (with which I also played). He was also a member of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and other orchestras in Germany and America. He then turned to the classical guitar, for which he has written many fine compositions and two method books. The first of these is The Fingerboard Foundation for the Guitar (Pub. Calliope Music). The second is Keystone of the Guitar, with an introduction by Carlos Barbosa-Lima (Pub. The Manhattan Institute for the Guitar) The Fingerboard Foundation is particularly unique and beautifully illustrated. Darrel also wrote an outstanding book on the Kundalini experience, Serpent of Fire. (Pub. Samuel Weiser, Inc.)"
"J.R. Schlatter's inspired teaching combined with his encouragement and support provided an invaluable foundation for pursuing a musical career. In high school I won many awards and performed movements of the Mozart 3rd horn concerto (3rd movement) and the Richard Strauss Concerto No. 1 (1st and last movements) as well as other solos in different cities in the State of Indiana. At the age of 16 Schlatter invited me to play a concert with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic under the direction of Igor Buketoff. It was my first experience playing with a symphony orchestra and I was thrilled. In my sophomore and junior years of high school I attended summer music camp at Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana where I played in the band and orchestra.
"At the age of 18 I entered the Army for two years. After tank training with the 3rd Armored Division at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, I was shipped to Germany where I became a member of the 28th Division Band (soon changed to 9th Division) just outside the town of Goeppingen. Then, at the age of 19, I had the good fortune to became a member of the Seventh Army Symphony in Stuttgart, an orchestra that through its all too short existence became temporary home for many fine musicians who would go on to occupy positions in torchestras all across the country. It was a grand time in which the orchestra, besides giving frequent concerts in Germany, toured France, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This experience provided invaluable music training and was my introduction to the classic and contemporary literature.
"After my stint in the army, I studied horn with Willem Valkenier at the New England Conservatory, who had been principal horn with the Boston Symphony for many years. I was his very last student at NEC, and upon his retirement two years later, I traveled to Austria to study with Gottfried von Freiberg, principal horn of the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera. While in Austria, at the age of 23, I became a member of the Graz Opera and Philharmonic.
"Upon my return to the United States, my brother and I toured with the Goldovsky Opera Theater in 46 performances of Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni. The soloists included Sherrill Milnes, Ron Holgate, Spiro Malas, and Jeanette Scovotti. I next moved to San Francisco where I became a member of the Oakland Symphony under the direction of Gerhard Samuel and here began a growing desire to write music.
"In the course of my playing carrer I was privileged to play with many different organizations and ensembles including, besides those mentioned above, the Marlboro Festival orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival orchestra, the Caramoor Festival orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony, the Hartford (Conn.) Symphony, and many others. I was also privileged to play with or alongside notable musicians such as Claudio Arrau, Eubie Blake, Arthur Fiedler, Larry Foster, George London, Fritz Mahler, Henry Mancini, Shelly Mann, Zubin Mehta, Gary Olds, Julius Rudel, and Kenneth Schermerhorn.
"After living in San Francisco, I relocated to New York City where I attended Columbia University and completed the B.A. I had begun in Boston at NEC, graduating Magna Cum Laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors. I then earned an M.A. in music composition at Columbia, studying with Mark Zuckerman, Max Lifchitz, Fred Lerdahl and Jack Beeson. After Columbia, I founded and directed the new music organization, Phoenix. Phoenix specialized in programming original new music played by some of the top musicians in New York City. The organization was reviewed and lauded by the New York Times. Since that time, my music activities have been centered mostly around music composition, the credits for which, along with other information, such as reviews and a list of compositions, follow directly below."
David Irving's compositions have been enthusiastically praised in the press. Upon hearing his violin quartet Stars at Carnegie Recital Hall, the internationally renowned Belgian French horn virtuoso and recording artist, Francis Orval, asked him to write a work for horn and piano, Spectra 2, for his New York debut. Mr. Orval subsequently performed the composition on his concert tours and at the International Bartok Festival in Szonbathely, Hungary. Baritone Thomas Buckner, heralded for his interpretations and performances of new music, commissioned him to write a cycle of 5 songs for his Merkin Hall Recital. Cited for imaginative, clever direction, Amie Brockway and her highly touted theater company, The Open Eye, invited him to write the music for Once in the Time of Trolls by Joseph Campbell Award-winning playwright, Sandra Fenichel Asher. He worked closely with the acclaimed British opera singer and art song recitalist, Sally Munro, for whom he wrote several songs. He composed A Summer Afternoon for flutist Camilla Hoitenga for performance in Cologne, Germany. Ms. Hoitenga has been called a very polished and brilliant flutist by the German media, and praised in the American Press for her technical facility and warm tone. Kurt Weill specialist Barbara Hess asked him to participate as one of the composers for her New York Emily Dickinson recital. He wrote Madrigal of Roses for Kirsten Sorteberg's Mt. Kisco recital, a performer praised by the press for her original approach as a composer, pianist and soprano. Barry Salwen, Director and Founder of the Roger Sessions Society, and a concert pianist lauded on the international concert stage, performed his piano composition Clouds in Vienna and New York. Conductor Richard Serbagi, music director of the Concert Society of Putnam and Northern Westchester, commissioned him to write the one act opera, The Witch. He based the story on his own research into folklore of the lower Hudson Valley. The world premiere of the Opera was presented in Somers and Carmel, New York, with the composer conducting. New York Philharmoic Hornists Philip Myers, Eri Ralske and Howard Wall performed his Trio for Horns in Boston and at the 1999 International Horn Society Convention in Athens, Georgia. East/West for Viola and Orchestra was performed by Midhat Serbagi and the 7th Army Symphony at its 2001 Reunion Concert in Lancaster, New Hampshire. His Quintet for Hecklephone and Double Reed quartet was comissioned by double reed soloist Mark Perchanok and was premiered with the New York Kammermusiker.
David has taught for the United Federation of Teacher's Retiree Program, the Continuing Education Department of Marymount Manhattan College, and was the French horn and trumpet instructor for the Spence School.
Reviews & Citations
The New York Times The most inventive of the vocal works were David Irving's...[These were] evocatively dramatized Emily Dickinson settings.
The New York Times ...[David Irving's composition] gives resonant yet pointillistic effect to the combination of marimba, bass clarinet, violin and cello.
The New York City Tribune [David Irving's lecture] concert with a format like this one is therefore refreshing in its attempt to bridge the gap between listener and contemporary composer. This is beautiful music that has a strong ethereal quality.
The Woodstock Times David Irving's The Music Makers celebrated music in service of poetry in service of music. The warmth was palpable, even in the chilly church.
Catskill Mountain News David Irving has created an imaginative electronic score which evokes the magic of the characters.
The New York Times [The Phoenix Concert] was a serious worthwhile concert.
David Amram David Irving is a composer who writes from the heart, with a clarity of style and a lyric sense that communicates to all listeners. Long a musician's musician, his compositions reflect his lifetime of experience as a performer whose overview as a composer gives his music a rare touch of beauty, which is good news for contemporary American symphonic, operatic and chamber music lovers.
Otto Luening David Irving's recent works, which employ electroacoustic materials, and his earlier works, as well, indicate that his is an original voice.
Francis Orval, International Concert French honrist and Recording Artist David Irving's compositions are a marriage of sensitivity and harmonic color. He has a gift for successfully personalizing his pieces for the performers.
Amie Brockway, Director, The Open Eye: David Irving is a great collaborator and his remarkable talent make him a fine addition to any theater project team.
Performances of Compositions
New York Kammer Musiker (NYC), International Horn Society National Conference (New York Philharmonic Horn Trio, Athens, GA), 7th Army Symphony Reunion Concert, East/West for Viola and Orchestra (Lancaster, New Hampshire), Composers Concordance (NYC), the New York Brass Conference (NYC), Bruno Walter Auditorium (NYC), Cami Hall (NYC), Merkin Hall (NYC), Weill Hall (NYC), Christ and St. Stephens (NYC), Fifth Avenue Presbyterian (NYC) St. Michael's (NYC), St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, World Music Institute (NYC), Eclectix (NYC), The Museum of the American Piano (NYC), Synchronicity Space (NYC), Proteus Ensemble (NYC), the Caecilian Society (NYC), Linda Diamond Dance Company (NYC), National Association of Composers (NYC), The Open Eye Theatre (Margaretville, NY), Erpf Cultural Institute, Arkville, NY), Delaware Historical Society, (Delhi, NY), Streitweiser Trumpet Museum (PA), The Honest Brook Music Festival, (Meridith, N.Y.), The Young Footliters (Iowa City, Iowa), Bechstein Hall (Vienna, Austria), Alte Feuerwache (Cologne, Germany), The Bartok Music Festival (Szonbathely, Hungary), ISAB 2000 (Canada), Columbia University (NYC), Mannes College of Music (NYC), Mt. Kisco School of Music (NY), the Del Arte Quintet (University of Delaware, Newark, DE), Appalachian State University (NC), Indiana University, (Bloomington, IN), Philadelphia University of the Arts (PA), Potsdam College (SUNY, Stony Brook, NY), Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI)
Featured guest: The Museum of the American Piano, Current Trends in Piano Music
Featured guest: Tim Page Show, New, Old and Unexpected, WNYC Radio
Featured guest: David Soldier Show, Afternoon Music, WKCR Radio
Lecture Demonstration: Robury Arts & Community Center, Margaretville, New York
Lecture Demonstration: Delaware Historical Society, Delhi, New York
Lecture Demonstration: Erpf Cultural Institute, Arkville, New York
Guest Panelist: Poetry and Music Conference, Melodious Accord New York City
Panelist: Ohio Council for the Arts
Music Director The Open Eye Theatre, The Crutaceous Cabaret, Margaretville, New York
Concert Society of Northern Westchester, The Witch, Somers and Carmel, New York
Phoenix Concerts, New York City
East/West for Viola and Orchestra
Concerto for Horn and Orchestra
Hymnposium (Theme and Variations)
The Starry Nights of Copernicus (Chamber Orchestra)
The Nights of Big Sur
5 Dances for Orchestra
Dance Suite for Orchestra
The Witch - Opera in 7 scenes
Once in the Time of Trolls (Sandy Asher) (incidental music - electronic score)
Trio for Viola, Clarinet and Piano
Quintet for Heckelphone, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone and Tuba
Quintet for Heckelphone arranged for Double Reed Quartet
Trio for Horns
The Road-Winter (Currier & Ives ) Trio for Horns
Quartet for Horns No. 1
Quartet for Horns No. 2
Mixed Ensemble Piece for Percussion, Violin, Clarinet, Bass Trombone and Tuba
Piece for Violin and Piano (2 movements)
Duet for Horn and Bass Flute
I Have Thee, for two violins (for Kirsten and Jack)
Street Song, Pasacalle for Guitar
3 Dances, for Violin, Cello, Bass Clarinet & Marimba
In Memoriam Willem Valkenier for 6 horns
A Warm Summer Afternoon, Variations for 2 Flutes & String Bass (or Bass Clarinet)
Spectra 2, for Horn and Piano
Stars, Violin Quartet
Music for String Quartet
Piece for Percussion
Kleine Stücke I (Arnold Schoenberg) arrangement for woodwind quintet
Elegy for Shelly Sheps
5 Dances for Piano
Piece for Piano
Vocal with Piano
Endless Song, versions for soprano, mezzo-soprano and baritone
Four Songs from Shakespeare, for baritone and mezzo-soprano
The Music Makers, 5 songs for baritone
Shall I compare Thee To A Summers' Dream (Shakespeare) for soprano or mezzo-soprano (early version) Shall I compare Thee To A Summers' Dream (Shakespeare) for soprano or mezzo-soprano (later version)
Madrigal of Roses (Irving) for soprano
Where'er You Walk (Congreve) for soprano
Ave Maria, for soprano or mezzo-soprano
Three Emily Dickinson Songs, for soprano or mezzo-soprano
The Throstle (Tennyson), for soprano
Song (Sitwell), versions for soprano and baritone
Homeless People, for mezzo-soprano
Vocal with Instruments
purple finch, (e.e. cummings) for soprano, clarinet & piano
The Ostrich is a Silly Bird (Mary E. Wilkins Freeman), for soprano, violin & piano
Nuptial Song (Lord de Tabley) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, cello and harpsichord (or piano)
Four Songs for Soprano, Horn and Piano (Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickinson, Edith Sitwell & Walt Whitman)
i carry your heart with me (e.e. cummings), for soprano and string quartet
Prayer (Alexander Solzhenitsyn), for vocal quartet (or chorus) and piano
The Lord is my Shepherd, for a capella chorus
Voices in the Mist (Tennyson), for a capella chorus - a Christmas Carol
Voices in the Mist (Tennyson), arranged for women's chorus
Ecce Quoodus Moritur Justus, for a capella chorus
Kyrie, for chorus, piccolo, bells, contra basson and basses
Spring Song for children's chorus, soprano recorder, recorder and snare drum
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