David Felder has long been recognized as a leader in his generation of American composers. His works have been featured at many of the leading international festivals for contemporary music, and earn continuing recognition through performance and commissioning programs. Felder's work has been broadly characterized by its highly energetic profile, through its frequent employment of technological extension and elaboration of musical materials (including his Crossfire video series, and the video/music collaboration Shamayim), and its lyrical qualities.
Felder has received numerous grants and commissions including many composer's awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Council commissions, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim, two Koussevitzky commissions, two Fromm Foundation Fellowships, two awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer "New Residencies" (1993-1996), composer residency with the Buffalo Philharmonic, two commissions from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, and many more. In May 2010, he received the Music Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a career recognition award. Shamayim was awarded a Silver Medal in Music from the Park City Film Festival in Spring, 2011.
Felder serves as Birge-Cary Chair in Composition at SUNY Buffalo, and has been Artistic Director of the "June in Buffalo" Festival since 1985, when he revived it upon his arrival in Buffalo. Since 2006, he has been Director of the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music at the University. From 1992 to 1996 he was Meet the Composer "New Residencies," Composer-in-Residence to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WBFO-FM. In 1996, he formed the professional chamber orchestra, the Slee Sinfonietta, and has been Artistic Director since that time. In 2008, he was named SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest rank in the entirety of the SUNY system. In 2015 he was named Co-Director of the University at Buffalo's Creative Arts Initiative, a plan to bring major international creative artists to the region as guest artists.
Felder recently released a CD on Coviello Contemporary featuring Jeu de Tarot (2016-2017), a chamber concerto recorded by Irvine Arditti and Ensemble Signal, and conducted by Brad Lubman. The disc also features his string quartet Netivot (2016), recorded by the Arditti Quartet, and Another Face (1987), recorded by Irvine Arditti. His recent orchestra piece, Die Dämmerungen, commissioned by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will receive its complete world premiere at Kleinhans Music Hall on October 5thand 6th, 2019, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta.
A dedicated teacher and mentor, he has served as Ph.D. dissertation advisor and major professor for over eighty composers at Buffalo, many of whom are actively teaching, composing and performing internationally at leading institutions. Nearly 900 'emerging' composers have participated in June in Buffalo, the festival Felder pioneered and dedicated to younger composers upon his arrival in Buffalo in 1985. Felder served as Master Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February-March, 2010. His works are published by Theodore Presser, and Project Schott New York, and portrait recordingsare available on Albany, Bridge, Mode, and EMF. On June 1, 2013, a new Blu-ray surround portrait recording (90 minutes) with numerous works was released on Albany/Troy 1418. Three new recording projects are in preparation: one featuring BMOP's recording of Les Quatres Temps Cardinaux in surround sound, another of Les Quatres Temps Cardinaux with Ensemble Signal featuring members of the Slee Sinfonietta also in surround sound, to be released on Coviello Classics, and another of the entire Crossfire series. These will become available over the next year.
(2013; revised 2014)
For large chamber orchestra with electronics, and soprano Laura Aikin, bass Ethan Hirschenfeld for the Slee Sinfonietta, Signal, and BMOP with texts by Neruda, Creeley, Daumal, Gioia
Commissioned for the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky. The work is dedicated to Brad Lubman and Ensemble Signal, and Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
Performed by SIGNAL ensemble with members of the Slee Sinfonietta
Laura Aikin, soprano
Ethan Herschenfeld, bass
Brad Lubman, conductor
Performed at Lippes Concert Hall
April 23, 2013
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Inner Sky (1994, rev 1998)
Slee Sinfonietta, Mario Caroli, flutes, Brad Lubman, conductor
Rare Air (2008)
Jean Kopperud, clarinets, Stephen Gosling, piano
Slee Sinfonietta, Tom Kolor, percussion, James Baker, conductor
Canzone XXXI (1993)
Jon Nelson, Sycil Mathai, trumpets, Adam Unsworth, horn, Ben Herrington, trombone, Jim Daniels, bass trombone
Slee Sinfonietta, Magnus Andersson, guitar, James Baker, conductor
Rocket Summer (1979, rev 1983)
Ian Pace, piano
June in Buffalo Festival Brass, Magnus Märtensson, conductor
Kathleen Chastain/Cheryl Gobbetti-Hoffman/Sabatino Scirri/Derek Charke/Alice Teyssier/Anne Thompson, flutes, Gli Altri, Slee Sinfonietta/, James Avery, conductor
Memento Mori (2004)
New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, conductor
partial [dis]res[s]toration (2002)
New York New Music ensemble, James Baker, conductor
Miles Anderson, trombone, electronics
Jeu de Tarot
Chamber violin concerto for Irvine Arditti and Ensemble LINEA
Premiere November 2017
For the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Spring 2018 premiere