Kenneth Fuchs, Composer Residency

Grammy Award-winning composer Kenneth Fuchs is the recipient of the 3rd annual Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Composer Award. He will be in Bangor and Rockland for a community residency the week prior to the world premiere of his new work for orchestra, “Star Gazing: After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler.”

Public Events

String Quartet No. 3: Whispers of Heavenly Death
Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m. | Rockland
Free | Details TBA

Star Gazing: Artist Helen Frankenthaler in the Works of Kenneth Fuchs
Thursday, March 9, 3 p.m. | Room 102, UMaine School of Performing Arts
Free | Details TBA

String Quartet No. 3: Whispers of Heavenly Death

Friday, March 10, 12 p.m.| Bangor Arts Exchange
Free | Details TBA

Sounds: Strauss & Rachmaninoff  [In Person & Online]
Sunday, March 6, 3 p.m. | Available online starting Tuesday, March 8
Tickets starting at $15 | Details and Tickets

Educational Events

As part of his residency, Kenneth Fuchs will be visiting with students studying Orchestration at the University of Maine, as well as visiting with members of the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras.

About Kenneth Fuchs

Kenneth Fuchs has recorded for Naxos five albums with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta; the latest won the 2018 GRAMMY® Award for “Best Classical Compendium.” He has composed music for orchestra, band, voice, chorus, soloists, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Fuchs created three chamber musicals. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum presented Fuchs’s operatic monodrama Falling Man (text by Don DeLillo, adapted by J. D. McClatchy) in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11. His music has achieved significant global recognition through performances, media exposure, and digital streaming and downloading.

In August 2020, Naxos released Point of Tranquility (Seven Works for Symphonic Winds), recorded by the United States Coast Guard Band. Naxos also published an album of chamber music including Falling Canons, Falling Trio and String Quartet No. 5 “American.” Albany Records published String Quartets 2, 3, 4 in definitive performances by the American String Quartet.

Fuchs serves as Professor of Music Composition at the University of Connecticut. He is a graduate of the University of Miami and received master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from The Juilliard School. His composition teachers include Milton Babbitt, David Diamond, and Vincent Persichetti. His music is published by Bill Holab Music, Hal Leonard LLC, Edward B. Marks Music Company, and Theodore Presser Company, and it has been recorded by Albany and Naxos Records

Learn more

Program Note by Kenneth Fuchs

Helen Frankenthaler’s work has made a significant impact on my creative life. I was first introduced to it in the fall of 1983 through the television documentary “Helen Frankenthaler — Toward a New Climate.” I was an impressionable graduate student at Juilliard at the time and was bowled over by the beauty of Helen’s painting and her free-wheeling creative attitude. This encounter helped me eventually to find my own creative path and surmount the doctrinaire rhetoric of avant-garde musical composition that prevailed in the 1980s. The aesthetic move toward the “new Romanticism” in musical composition was in its nascent stages, and it would be another decade before it was embraced in a significant way by a large group of composers.

I wrote Helen a letter shortly after I saw the documentary, telling her why I liked her work, and she wrote back immediately. She lived on East 94th Street, and I on West 71st Street. I was amazed that someone so famous would actually take an interest in what I had to say. I took her work very seriously, and I think she sensed that I wasn’t a celebrity hound or a toady — I understood what she was trying to do and it resonated with me. Helen invited me to a forthcoming show that December at the Emmerich Gallery, and we met there. As you might imagine, I was awestruck and thrilled to meet an artist whose work I admired so deeply. The first painting I saw as I walked into the gallery was Out of the Dark. I looked at the patch of raw canvas on the upper right corner with all the paint rushing toward that spot and instantly my creative instincts harmonized with the image. It was as if my own creative aesthetic was shown to me. I will never forget that moment…

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Thank You

This project is made possible by the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, with additional concert and event support from the City of Bangor Commission on Cultural Development.