After receiving a degree in drama at Antioch College my musical apprenticeship was with composers Fu Yuan Soong and Walter Hilse who taught me to make music that is entertaining as well as artful. Between 1986 and the present I have composed seven full length operas of which all but one have been performed. These works have gained critical praise: “gorgeous and rewarding”- New York Daily News,”his music mirrors the profundity of Joyce’s words” – Portsmouth Herald, “a developing talent” – New York Times.
I have a large repertoire of chamber works which reflect my reaction to war, corporate greed, destruction of the biosphere, social injustice and poverty . This large opus is dubbed “The Nightmare of Reason” and is currently comprised of over 70 works including sonatas for piano, two pianos, cello, viola, clarinet, piano trios, string quartets, concertos for piano and orchestra, and symphonies. My recording "State of the Union" (2005) was praised by Fanfare ("Masterful") and JR Reviews ("About the only demonstrable good to come out of George W. Bush’s war on terror” ) and my satrical opera, "The Devil and George Bush", which debuted on the Internet in 2008, was deemed "hilarious" by Red Dog Radio and has been downloaded over 15,000 times. Several of these works have been nominated for Grammy awards.
I have won the Masterworks of the New Era award twice and during 2009-10 was composer in residence at South Church, a Unitarian church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. My recordings include: “Blues for New Orleans”, a double concerto for clarinet and piano on the MMC label featuring renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, Paul Dykstra, piano and the Slovakia Radio Orchestra, Kirk Trevor conductor, "State of the Union" on MMC which includes serveral pieces featuring Stolzman, Masterworks for the New Era 12 and 13 on ERM, and various chamber pieces on the NOR label.
My committment to music and social justice continues. I am increasingly utilizing the Internet as a way to reach out to people who have no prior exposure to modern opera and classical music in general. In addition to composing new works I am working on recordings of my opera Ulysses, based on James Joyce’s novel and my three opera cycle "Faustus", an updating of the legend to our own times. These recordings will debut on the web and, I hope, make a case for opera as an expressive and artistic medium that can connect with contemporary concerns and lives.
To sample my work and for further info go to my website http://www.rogerrudenstein.com
Articles by Roger Rudenstein:
I doubt that rejection of modernism is what drove Baby Boomers away from classical music; they weren't there in the first place. Part of their act of rebellion was to...