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What's New

Eggs, Bacon, and Composer Wisdom from Rick Sowash

In this episode of Composer Quest, Rick shares his entire strategy for making it as an independent composer, which he’s been perfecting for many years. We also get to hear how Rick converted orange juice, French toast, eggs, and bacon into music for a treble clef quartet.

mpFree

Friends and fans --
I've found a new, free way
to bring my music into your world ...

... by emailing a weekly message in which I share the story behind a single piece of my music, along with a link to a webpage where the piece can be heard and a free PDF of the score.

My brilliant daughter Shenandoah coined a term for this new medium. She says to call such a message an "mpFree."

It is the most effective way I’ve found to share my music with the people I care about, namely, friends and fans who have told me they're interested in discovering more of my work and want to be included on the list of recipients.

more...

THREE NEW CDs OF RICK'S MUSIC!

A Christmas Gift

  • Sir Gawain & the Green Knight: A Christmas Legend
  • Guitar Suite: For an Old Friend at Christmas
  • Four Carols,
  • A Christmas Ceremony
  • A Christmas Rondo

Serenade

  • Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
  • Trio con Brio for violin, clarinet and cello
  • Serenade for Mary for flute, clarinet and string quartet


Vistas

  • Four Places on the Appalachian Trail for violin, French horn, cello and piano
  • "Images of Mt. Emily" Trio #4 for violin, clarinet and piano
  • World Enough and Time for cello and piano

New Book: The Boy Who Would Be Famous!

Famous!When young Rick Sowash discovers that none of his
family is mentioned in the World Book Encyclopedia, not even his grandfather for inventing the oven door window, found in every American kitchen to this day, he decides to do something about it and becomes The Boy Who Would Be Famous

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New Orchestral Work: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra

Portals CD coverRick Sowash's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, recorded by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg, Russia, now available from Marguis Classics or direct from this site. Also included on the disc will be works by Paul Ben-Haim and John Williams.

"If Aaron Copland wrote the definitive American clarinet concerto, Sowash may have [written] a close second. Even with a common heritage, each work is strikingly original. ..."

-- Patrick Hanudel, March/April '12 issue of
American Record Guide

Review in The Clarinet June, 2011
by Gregory Barrett

A self-styled Ohio Charles Ives, Sowash embraces vernacular music and has the skill and sensitivity to fashion approachable yet intellectually satisfying art music.

Such is the case with his six-and-a-half minute clarinet and piano jewel Sanctuary at 3 AM. Anthony Costa, clarinet and Phil Amalong, piano, have made a lovely recording of this intimate piece that evokes the sanctuary of a church in the middle of the night. The musical materials are simple but Sowash includes just enough harmonically altered notes to keep the music sounding fresh and the listener wondering when and how the next surprise will be realized.

 If you love melody, check out Rick Sowash's music. you will be glad you did.

read the complete review...

RAVE REVIEW OF CD "PASTORALE" IN DEC. ISSUE OF "THE CLARINET" MAGAZINE

From Audio Notes, by William Nichols

"...These are two very attractive and appealing works by Rick Sowash, played most effectively by a seasoned ensemble which is well known to most of our readers. Another important factor to the success of these pieces is the recorded sound, which is stunning. The instrument timbres captured here are as vivid and natural as recording gets, including the terrific sounding piano, an instrument which is so often poorly reproduced in modern recordings. The Verdehr Tio seems present in the room, with each instrument detailed, and the ensemble balance perfect. Kudos to producer / engineer Sergei Kvitko and the Blue Griffin Studio in Lansing, Michigan for these recordings, which would make any audiophile smile."

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Harvard Motets

The Memorial Church at Harvard University has held a daily service of Morning Prayers since nearly the universityís founding. A few services each week feature music for just eight menís voices or eight womenís voices (rather than the larger mixed choir). This necessitates a search for unaccompanied repertoire for these small ensembles.

Though there is obviously much two-part Renaissance choral music for non-mixed voices, there has been almost no such unaccompanied repertoire composed in recent centuries. In the past few years I have invited a number of distinguished contemporary composers to write new motets for this genre.

No composer has responded to my request more enthusiastically and abundantly than Rick Sowash, who has brought to the genre both tremendous skill and great imagination.

Carson Cooman
Composer in Residence
The Memorial Church at Harvard University
August 2010

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Storytelling Know-How: for Teachers, Preachers and Speech-ifiers

Storytelling Know-How coverStorytelling Know-how for Teachers, Preachers and Speech-ifiers shows how anyone can use their eyes, voice, face, hands and props to tell stories that will make listeners’ imaginations soar.

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The Moderately Lazy Biker’s Guide to Litchfield County
(and Just Beyond)

by Rick Sowash
with quotations from Odell Shepard
and illustrations by Beatrice Stevens

BikeA moderately lazy biker loves a long downhill glide, has no complaint with more or less level terrain, but abhors a steep climb. Though decidedly hilly, even mildly
mountainous, Litchfield County offers many a glorious ride for the moderately lazy.

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Classical Magazine Review - June, 2009
Sowash - Three trios for violin, clarinet and piano
by Michèle Gingras

Rick Sowash. Three trios for violin, clarinet and piano. No. 1: Sunny Days (Suite) (1996); No. 2: American Variations on a Belorussian Folksong: “The Sun Already Shines” (2005); No. 3: Memories of Corsica (2007). www. sowash.com

Here are three delightful trios for violinclarinet and piano by a prolific Cincinnati composer who, luckily for us has had a long and ongoing love affair with the clarinet. A few decades ago, musicians were hard pressed to find works for this trio combination. The internationally acclaimed Verdehr Trio has championed the cause of expanding this repertoire by commissioning both audience friendly music and experimental pieces to our repertoire, including the third of these trios by Rick Sowash.

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Order the sheet music...

Rick Sowash's New Film on Johnny Appleseed!

Appleseed DVD CoverOne of the most beloved folk heroes in history, Johnny Appleseed transformed the American frontier. He planted the apple trees that fed and sheltered the early settlers of our nation’s heartland.

Learn more...

Review of "Memories of Corsica"
Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post

"Rick Sowash composed his "Memories of Corsica" for the Verdehr Trio in 2007, and it's an engaging, colorful tone poem in the time-honored genre of musical travelogue. "
more..

"Audubon" a Wind Octet
Listen to the premiere performance which took place on June 11, 2006 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, at "WindFest III." The concert was sponsored by the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.
Learn more...

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
Listen to the premiere performance of Rick's newest major work, the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.
Learn more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

mpFree
Join the weekly free Sowash MP3 email list at rick@sowash.com

Review of The Boy Who Would be Famous
by Jane Durrell
Erickson Tribune

Author Rick Sowash’s memories of his years from five to ten (1955-1960), when he set out to be famous, incorporate important interactions with both sets of grandparents and inadvertently let us know how we might be remembered by those small people who are so important in our lives.  Our memories might even merge with some of young Rick’s dreams and confusions.  Is he the first child to have gone to school expecting to learn to read the first day?

read more...

American Record Guide Review of the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra

"If Aaron Copland wrote the definitive American clarinet concerto, Sowash may have [written] a close second. Even with a common heritage, each work is strikingly original. ...

Sowash writes for a full orchestra with winds, brass, and percussion ... immerses the soloist in orchestral color, almost like a tone poem with solo clarinet ...[and] navigates his expansive soundscape very well, driving the Concerto forward with expressive motivic digures and highly colorful scoring."

-- Patrick Hanudel, March/April '12 issue of American Record Guide

"Rick Sowash:
Sanctuary at 3 am
"
by Ray Silvertrust, The Chamber Music Journal

"Mr. Sowash's music cannot be pigeon-holed. At times neo-classical, romantic, neo-romantic, or impressionist, the music is always original and never hackneyed or low-brow." 
more..

Review of the CD
“Sanctuary at 3am”
by Charles Parsons
from The American Record Guide, September/October, 2004

"It’s all totally tonal, tender, melancholy, quietly old-fashioned and exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely played. The music rests gracefully and gratefully in the ear. It’s music to “get away from it all.” What a treasure! What a pleasure!"
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Classical Net Review,
Slected Works

by Steve Schwartz

"However, the melodies so consistently seduce me, that my analytical listening goes to hell. Like the American composer Jerome Moross, Sowash's music gives the impression of "just song." It's not, of course, since the textures often spring from imitative counterpoint, yet without calling attention to themselves as such."
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"Rick Sowash: An Important Contemporary American Composer"
by Ray Silvertrust
The Chamber Music Journal Vol. XIV No. 4 Winter 2003

Most importantly, this is music which upon hearing immediately convinces as to its value. It is a pleasure to review two recent CDs of his music.
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ACMPACMP - The Chamber Music Network

 

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