Mikel Kuehn - Works

Elegy for Aaron (for flute, B-flat clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion) (2010):

Program Note

Elegy for Aaron was commissioned by the Copland House and the Hoff-Barthelson Music School in support of intermediate-level chamber music for young people. The piece is in seven sections, cast in a simple arch form, and was composed in the early months of 2010 prior to a residency at the Copland House (aka “Rock Hill”) near Peakskill, New York – Aaron Copland's home for the last 30 years of his life. Realizing that 2010 was the 110th anniversary of his birth, 20th of his death, and the 50th of his moving into the house, I was compelled to write a piece that had something to do with Copland and his music. The resulting piece, Elegy for Aaron, is based on thematic material from his orchestral work, Connotations (quoted abstractly in the opening flute line), which was commissioned for the opening of Lincoln Center and was the first work he composed at the house. After studying many of Copland's works, I also decided to employ some of the compositional techniques found in his music. A few months after composing the piece, and during my residency at his home, I found myself working on a new piece at the very desk where Copland composed the basic thematic material that I used! Elegy for Aaron was premiered in May of 2010 by high school students at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, New York.

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