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Roger Tréfousse

New York, NY         

Roger Tréfousse has written a wide variety of music: film scores, operas and musicals, symphonic works, songs and chamber music.

He has composed three operas, The Monkey Opera, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Found Objects, commissioned by the Mannes College of Music; and Blue Margaritas, premiered in New York at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. Départ Malgache, the first section of a new group of short operas with libretto by Kenneth Koch, was featured on WNYC radio.

Two musicals have been produced in New York City, Snobs Cabaret at Encompass Music Theater and Hoosick Falls at The Theater for the New City. Selections from Raft of the Medusa, a work-in-progress, were featured in concert by Downtown Music Productions. He has written incidental music for many plays, among them On the Verge (The Mark Taper Forum), A Husband’s Notes About Her (The Actors Studio) and 1000 Avant Garde Plays (The Robert Wilson Center).

Film scores include the HBO thriller Ladykiller and the PBS documentary Jackson Pollock:Portrait. Television credits include music for The Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

He has written a broad range of instrumental music, including Column for English horn and string orchestra, premiered at The Juilliard School; Balanced Boulders for narrator, flute, tuba and percussion, commissioned by legendary downtown New York writer Spencer Holst in honor of the publication of his collected stories; Fantasy for flute, celesta and cello,  for the Ben Weber retrospective concert at Miller Theater (Columbia University); and Music for Grete, originally written as a piano work for Grete Sultan and later scored for string quartet at the request of Lucas Foss for the Hamptons Music Festival. He has taught in the Metropolitan Opera Educational Program in New York and in London at Covent Garden and teaches piano, vocal coaching and opera stagecraft in New York and internationally via Skype.

Publications include Listening to Pollock, an essay about composing the music for Jackson Pollock: Portrait, included in Such Desperate Joy (Thunders Mouth Press, with an introduction by Ed Harris) and The Strange Life of Ben Weber, commissioned by the American Composers Alliance Magazine. My Search for Ben Weber was recently published in NewMusicBox.

Selections from his opera Found Objects were showcased at the 2017 National Opera Association conference.  In 2018, Tréfousse premiered Don Bachardy Paints a Portrait for solo piano on the Art and Sound Festival; presented Synesthsia/Fusion: 3 Painters Portrayed  in Berlin as a guest artist of the SMX Ensemble and in New York as a guest artist of Concept Lab; Chet Ayin Mem for eight part chorus had its premiere on the Composers Concordance 72 Chorus Project concert; and  Balanced Boulders for flute and piano was showcased at the Cornelia Street Café.

Upcoming New York performances include  a collaboration with choreographer Christopher Nuñez at The Kitchen; the New York premiere of Song of the Wolf for violin and piano at St Marks Church; a new work for the APNM Pierrot Plus Percussion concert at St Peters in Chelsea; and a remix of Carnival of the Animals for the Composers Concordance Remix of The Animals concert.

In Berlin, pianist Jan Gerdes will give the European premiere of Music for Grete.

He is currently at work on a new opera, and a biography of Ben Weber.


NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox May 12 2022 | By Roger Tréfousse
My Search for Ben Weber

I met Ben Weber in 1974, when John Cage suggested that I approach him about taking me on as a composition student.  I worked with him until his death in...

NewMusicBox October 17 2018 | By Roger Tréfousse
My Search for Ben Weber

Ben Weber was an enigma. He was a twelve tone composer whose lushly harmonic music is often described as tonal. He was a deeply serious, intellectual artist in the metaphysical...