“Maestro Kluge brings an epic sense of drama to all of his music– from the music he composes in his studio with his wife Kathryn, to the podium where he electrifies audiences.”
Their music is so breathtakingly beautiful and powerful, it deeply moves you to your core.
Movement II – “Night”
is a pianist, composer and songwriter. Though classically trained, Kathryn is influenced by jazz, pop and folk styles. Kathryn has an educational background in Music, English Literature and Film Studies. Coming from a family of musicians and artists, she brings a multi-arts perspective to her work. In her capacity as former Executive Director for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., she developed inter-arts programs in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection.
is a composer, pianist and conductor. His compositional approach creates a fresh synthesis of Western and Global influences, classical and popular styles and instrumental and vocal colors. Currently Music Director/Conductor of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., Kim also co-founded Capital City Opera. He was valedictorian of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received training at Tanglewood Music Center and in Siena, Italy. Throughout his career, Kim has had many successful collaborations with a wide range of artists such as stage directors, choreographers, artistic directors, and many of the world’s finest musicians.
Composer/Conductor/Concert Design/Producer – for more information go to KimAllenKluge.com.
You two are most definitely on to something big. Wow! It’s deep, and big and it’s so like both of you. There’s a sweep to this first movement…
This excerpt is genuinely beautiful — it made me think of Aaron Copland recalling, as an old man, the childhood memory of the start of a big snowstorm.
This is a patriotic anthem. It expands out to capture the serenity of the land, the rivers flowing. The monumental grandeur of the landscape.
I listened to the concerto seven times. It’s very beautiful! I can’t wait to hear it with live orchestra. I could also imagine the piece on a soundtrack for a movie about a great pianist. It’s very evocative of the American landscape and ethos, capturing a positive ambition and energy. Audiences will certainly immediately grasp the wide sonic vistas and bold emotional scope.
I love it—but of course, I’m a sucker for tonality!
It is FANTASTIC and has been such a treat to listen to! Soaring, romantic, cinematic work. The melodic themes are beautiful, and memorable, and I love the way the vocals are used in such a painterly way. It is a spectacular piece, and ok here’s the thing — I’m still listening to it at my desk…
You both are fantastic! It was beautiful, I was transported by the music. I did feel I was going through the valleys, rivers and mountaintops.
So gorgeous! The delicacy of the piano sections really gives a sense of tendrils and branching. . .Connection to nature and almost mind expanding qualities abound…The tradition of landscape music is strong throughout. Vaughn William’s Antarctica, Beethoven’s second movement to the Ninth, Brian Eno’s Plateau of Mirrors are in a similar feeling. You’ve really captured a place where it’s nice to spend some time. . .
Wow, amazing…absolutely beautiful and cinematic. I feel like there is a stirring hope that emerges, bringing to mind seeing a winter landscape covered in snow with a young plant just breaking through the snow. The song certainly seems to lend itself to telling a story as it evolves and progresses. I see this tree growing from young to mature and in the background, life moves on around it. Perhaps it started growing on a civil war battlefield when it was young and over the next hundred years it was witness to quite a bit of change and evolution of a young country. The third part absolutely has the feel of expanse… the little sapling that witnessed the civil war is now the centerpiece of an amazing park providing shade for gatherings of families while sleek airplanes fly high overhead. The music certainly inspires images and stories which is absolutely fantastic and powerful. Great work!
Whenever we have played excerpts of it (American Concerto for Piano & Orchestra), listeners have responded with intensely personal and sometimes quite elaborate reflections—Kathryn and I have been amazed by the variety of images and emotions. We were especially touched by our friend, Director Alexander Payne’s poetic and powerfully visual response to the music. I guess “American” means something different for each of us.
The American Concerto for Piano & Orchestra paints on a large canvas. Its three movements (kind of like three acts of a play) are all very different in character with highly varied moods. Yet the three movements project a very clear dramatic trajectory.
The Concerto celebrates the melting pot of musical influences and ideals in America. You will hear folk-like melodies which follow in a long American musical tradition ranging from Stephen Foster to Aaron Copland. Jazz-tinged echoes of Gershwin and Cole Porter resound throughout the first movement in a nod to the American Songbook. The concerto is infused with the aesthetic of the grand piano concerto, enlivened and refreshed by a pervasive cinematic sound.
The second movement is concerned with freedom– America’s profound association with the ideals of freedom and its need to be constantly rebirthed anew. This movement is inspired by the poetry of an imprisoned writer observing the beauty and freedom of the natural world from within his prison cell.
Tall eucalyptus with a broad moon.
A star trembles on the water.
The sky white, silver.
Stones, flayed stones all the way up.
Near the shallow water you could hear
a fish jump twice, three times.
Ecstatic, grand orphanhood—freedom.
The third movement travels through the expansive American landscape, taking us from the valleys, through the rivers and to the mountain tops. The concerto’s culminating mood is joyful and celebratory with fanfare, bell peals and most of all– melody.
When we began composing this piece it was pointed out to us that it has been more than 100 years since a piano concerto has been written that has survived in the core canon of concerto repertoire. Kathryn and I really wanted to write a piece that would be loved by pianists, orchestras and audiences all around the world. We have been extremely gratified that so many orchestras, here and abroad, have expressed such strong interest in performing it. We wrote the American Concerto for Piano & Orchestra from the heart.
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