In Memoriam Raoul Pleskow (1930-2022)

We are very sad to report that we have lost another of our composer members. Honorary member Raoul Pleskow passed away early yesterday, May 18, after being rushed to North Shore University Hospital with heart and breathing complications. He had long been looking forward to attending our May 18 concert at Little Church Around the Corner to hear the world premiere of his “Contrasts” for violin and piano. The concert — Masters of Modernism, A Celebration of Contemporary Music Masters — was indeed a celebration of great masters, and Raoul was certainly included in that guild. Born in Austria in 1930, he was a survivor of the Holocaust. A man possessed of great genius, humbleness, and generosity, Raoul lived a long life of making and teaching music.

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  • Our Salon season has come to a close for the summer. We will resume our salon schedule again in September. Please check back for dates later in the summer. Tentative dates are listed HERE.

  • Our concert season has come to a close after a record-breaking NINE performances. During the summer months we will be putting together our 2022-2023 Season and our 20th Anniversary Gala concert to be held on May 3, 2023. Please check back in August when we will reveal the concert line up and other events.

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We would like to welcome the following composers as new members of the New York Composers Circle. Each brings a diverse background of experiences to our ever-evolving roster of composers.

Sam Bishoff, Davide Capobianco, Barrett Kalellis, Dawoud Kringle, Rushaniya Nizamutdinova, and Anton Rovner . . . Welcome to the Circle!

Sam Bishoff

Davide Capobianco

Barrett Kalellis

Dawoud Kringle

Rushaniya Nizamutdinova

Anton Rovner


Tania León, the 78-year-old Cuban-born composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in Music on Friday for her orchestral work Stride. The Pulitzer jury described the 15-minute piece as a "musical journey full of surprise, with powerful brass and rhythmic motifs that incorporate Black music traditions from the U.S. and the Caribbean into a Western orchestral fabric." The two other finalists were Place, by Ted Hearne and Data Lordsby Maria Schneider, both recordings. 

Stride received its world premiere by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center Feb. 13, 2020. The music was born out of Project 19, an ambitious commissioning program where 19 women composers were chosen to write music to mark the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. León's inspiration was Susan B. Anthony, the women's rights activist and a prominent leader in the suffrage movement.

Reached by telephone Friday afternoon at her home in Nyack, N.Y., León said she was the first musician in her poor Havana family. Her success was a dream of her mother and, especially, her grandmother, who suspected that she was interested in music. "They created a dream and I grabbed the dream and went into the world, and here I am," León said.

Continue reading at NPR . . .  


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