This season’s featured composer is Paul Schoenfeld.

Schoenfeld photo

Even if his works have rarely been popular with the press [“Bad Culture” (The Hague), “Really Annoying Music” (Danceview Times),  “An Undeserved Standing Ovation” (The New York Times), “One is not sure whether to laugh or gape in awe at a mind so warped” (San Francisco Examiner)], Paul Schoenfeld’s music is widely performed and continues to draw an ever-expanding group of fans.  According to Juilliard’s Joel Sachs, “He is among those all-too-rare composers whose work combines exuberance and seriousness, familiarity and originality, lightness and depth. His work is inspired by the whole range of musical experience, popular styles both American and foreign, vernacular and folk traditions, and the ‘normal’ historical traditions of cultivated music making, often treated with sly twists. Above all, he has achieved the rare fusion of an extremely complex and rigorous compositional mind with an instinct for accessibility and a reveling in sound that sometimes borders on the manic.”

Although he now rarely performs publicly, Schoenfeld was formerly an active pianist, touring the United States, Europe and South America as a soloist and with groups including “Music from Marlboro.” Among his recordings as a pianist are the complete violin and piano works of Bartók with Sergio Luca. His compositions can be heard on the Angel, Decca, Innova, Vanguard, EMI, Koch, BMG and New World labels.

Reclusive and a wanderer by nature (having rarely lived in any one place for more than five years), Schoenfeld is presently on the composition faculty at the University of Michigan. Additionally, he is an avid student of mathematics and the Talmud.


Hear the Alaska premiere of Paul Schoenfeld’s composition, Carolina Reveille performed  at the Chamber Music Soirée in the Mountains on August 2, 2017.


About New Music Premieres

Many say that music reflects the attitude of its time. As the most popular classical (or serious) musical works were composed centuries ago, we believe it is also important to keep up-to-date with what is being written today.

New Music Premieres is a project where we expose contemporary serious music written by living composers. Every year ACMF Performing Artists premieres a modern piece. Last year, the faculty premiered a solo cello piece entitled “Funk” by composer Nathan Prillaman at the AFAS Chamber Music Soirée. Nathan Prillaman was present at the concert via Skype.


Compositions premiered:

Vladimir Scolnic: Tensions…Wonder
R. Michael Daugherty: “Quem Genuit Maria”
Nathan Prillaman: Funk
Phillip Sink: Selections from Leave a Comment
Douglas HofstadterGood People All and Little Prelude in e minor