Eyerly's latest World Premiere took place on August 25, 2018 at The Megeve Festival in France: Creatures Great and Small, written for American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore and the Paris-based ensemble OpusFive. Commissioned by Judy Francis Zankel, the song cycle for mezzo and string quintet consists of poetry by one dozen authors about animals, ranging in tone from ethereal verse about a distant hawk to an amusing sketch of a cat listening to jazz. The Festival premiere was warmly received by humans and animals alike. Please visit www.savoytruffle.fr/en/
Eyerly's Arlington Sons is now available as both digital download from iTunes and CD Baby, and as physical CD from CD Baby. This chamber version of Arlington Sons, recorded in Yale's superb Sprague Hall, features star Broadway/Met Opera baritone David Pittsinger, who commissioned the work, and his son Richard - at the time, an outstanding boy soprano, now an outstanding young tenor - with pianist Fred Lassen and cellist Eric Bartlett.
This fall, Arlington Sons has received two performances: on a Veterans Day program at Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT (Nov. 12) and on a benefit concert for Trinity on the Green in New Haven, CT (Sep. 29). Both performances featured the matchless duo of David & Richard.
PERFORMANCE THIS MONTH OF "GARDEN QUARTET"
On Nov. 29 and 30, Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio will present staged excerpts from Act Two of The House of the Seven Gables (the "Garden Quartet") on a program of opera scenes. Also on the program are scenes by R. Strauss, Puccini and Blitzstein. The fun begins at 7:30 (both nights) at Riverside Theater, 91 Riverside Drive, on New York's Upper West Side.
POOCH: WORKSHOP AT SEAGLE AND OFF-BROADWAY FESTIVAL
Eyerly's musical comedy POOCH received its first fully staged workshop at Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York during the first week of September 2018. The superb cast and production team (conductor Joshua Horsch, director Richard Kagey, pianist Gordon Schermer and Artistic Director Darren Woods) magnificently brought the show off leash. Er, "to life." (No dogs were harmed in the making of this musical.) Also in September, excerpts from POOCH were performed Off-Broadway at Acorn Theatre on West 42nd Street, as part of the 2018 New York New Works Festival. The terrific cast was brilliantly led by director Samantha Saltzman and music director David Wolfson.
SLATKIN CONDUCTS EYERLY PREMIERE WITH PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY
Leonard Slatkin conducted the world premiere of Eyerly's Arlington Sons with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh on three subscription performances (October 5, 6 and 7, 2012). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called the work "a marvelous mixture of the solemnity of the moment and the vivaciousness of youth. Flowing melody and believable dialogue abounded. Here is a piece destined for many official performances." The Tribune-Review found the piece "remarkable, deftly drawn. A natural humor is only one of Eyerly's smart choices that lighten what easily could have been cloying sentimentality." Commissioned by Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star David Pittsinger, Arlington Sons is a unique 12-minute piece for baritone, boy soprano and orchestra. By turns moving and humorous, the work depicts a father and son visiting Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Arlington Sons was conceived specifically for the real-life father-son duo of David and Richard Pittsinger, and is believed to be the first vocal piece written for a father and son. Adding resonance to the themes of fatherhood, "sonhood" and patriotism, David's own father was a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The Pittsburgh performances of Arlington Sons followed the work's premiere in piano arrangement at a February 2012 gala for the Glimmerglass Festival in New York City, honoring director Francesca Zambello, where Mssrs. Pittsinger were accompanied by Fred Lassen at the keyboard.
ARLINGTON SONS D.C. AREA PREMIERE
During September/October 2014, Eyerly’s Arlington Sons received four performances in the DC area, including its first at Arlington National Cemetery itself. All performances featured Broadway/Met Opera star David Pittsinger and his son Richard – who first sang the piece as a gifted boy soprano, and now sings it as a gifted tenor!
Arlington Sons tells the story of a Father who brings his young Son to Arlington National Cemetery for the first time, to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It’s believed to be the first piece written for a real-life father and son.
On September 21 @ 2PM, Arlington Sons received its Arlington Premiere in a public concert produced by the US Air Force Band at Arlington National Cemetery's Women in Military Service Memorial. (At this concert, the chamber version with piano and cello was performed.) The 9/21 appearance is followed by two additional USAF performances, targeted to children and seniors, on September 25 (10:30AM & 7:30PM) at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts in Maryland. (At these concerts, the orchestral version was performed.)
On October 11, Arlington Sons was also performed at the distinguished Society of the Honor Guard | Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) 2014 Reunion in Arlington.
Previous performances have included those at St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity Church Wall Street, New York, during a West Point Band 9/11/12 remembrance concert, featuring New York Philharmonic Principal Cellist Carter Brey; and the world premiere performances of the orchestral version, by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin (please see below).
NEW YORK TIMES APPLAUDS "ALGONQUIN SONGS"
On February 4, 2012, a group of Eyerly's Algonquin Songs were performed on the "Music of Now" marathon at Symphony Space in New York City. These settings of poetry by Algonquin "Round Table" members (including Dorothy Parker and Ring Lardner) were among the works singled out in the New York Times' review of the marathon, which deemed them "admirable songs." They were winningly performed by baritone Robert Osborne and pianist Peggy Kampmeier.
In February 2010, Eyerly's choral composition Spires was performed in Philadelphia on a featured concert of the American Choral Directors Association conference. John Scott conducted the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys at this event attended by choirmasters from across the country. Spires, a 20-minute work for full choir and organ, was commissioned by Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue for John Scott and the Choir, who also presented the world premiere in New York.
A musical celebration of churches - the first work of its kind - Spires gathers Biblical, American and British poetry from the Psalms to the present, including such poets as Longfellow, Herbert, R.S. Thomas and C. Rossetti. The composition is broken up into nine sections, each a setting of a different poet who views the church from a unique angle.
Excerpts from Spires may be heard on this website, under "Works" and "Choral."
CHAMBER MUSIC MAGAZINE
The March/April 2010 issue of Chamber Music magazine featured Eyerly's wind and piano sextet "The Palm at the End." Several pages of the score were printed alongside an interview with the composer. Chamber Music magazine is published by Chamber Music America, which commissioned the sextet, a work Eyerly calls "one of my four best pieces, measure for measure."
"The Palm at the End" may be heard on this website, under "Works" and "Chamber."
* Psalm 71, a 7-minute a cappella motet for choir SATB, was performed on Palm Sunday 2010 at Christ Church, Cincinnati, by its choir under the direction of Charles Hogan. Christ Church commissioned Psalm 71 and presented the world premiere in February 2008. The Psalm text is not well known. Eyerly chose it when, during a period of duress, he resorted to the old "folk" habit of opening a Bible to a random spot and reading what it said for guidance. He landed on Psalm 71 and was heartened by its first words: "In thee, O Lord, will I put my trust." * Eyerly's Met Opera "Live in HD" lectures for the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington, MA continues to see its audience grow; in May 2017 Eyerly delivered his 100th lecture in the series. For more information please go to the LECTURES page, or visit the Mahaiwe Theater website at www.mahaiwe.org. * In March 2009, the Mahaiwe Theater invited Eyerly to join its Artistic Council.