Paul A. Epstein (b. 1938) — Drawing The Great Valley (2019) for organ
The composer writes: “Drawing The Great Valley” (2019) is a tribute to two dramatically different bodies of work: the early drawings of the minimalist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) and the ‘Grande Vallée’ paintings by the abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell (1925–1992). Both have had a profound influence on my music, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to bring them together in a single title. A full explanation of that would run longer than the piece, so I will only say that the rationale involves “system” and “landscape.”
American composer Paul A. Epstein (b. 1938) was educated at Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. His teachers included Harold Shapero, Seymour Shifrin, and Luciano Berio. Epstein’s music is generally classified as postminimalist, and his catalog includes two operas and much vocal music, as well as instrumental works for large and small ensembles. Epstein was Professor of Music Theory at Temple University where he taught from 1969 to 2001. He has also been active in collaborative work with theater and dance. From 1969–72, he was associated with the New York environmentalist theater group The Performance Group and from 1974–87 was composer and music director for ZeroMoving Dance Company of Philadelphia.