Elizabeth Bell

ELIZABETH BELL was born in 1928; graduated from Wellesley College (Music) in 1950, and from Juilliard (Composition) in 1953. She was music critic of the Ithaca Journal, 1971-1975; one of the founders, a former officer, and currently a director of New York Women Composers; and a member of Board of Governors of American Composers Alliance, 2000-2004. She has had commissions from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Bradshaw/Buono duo, the Inoue Chamber Ensemble, North/South Consonance, the Putnam Valley Orchestra, and Vienna Modern Masters. Awards have been: the Delius Prize (Keyboard), 1994; first prize (1986), and grand prize (1996) in the Utah Composers Competition; many Meet-the-Composer grants. There are three all-Bell CD’s: “The Music of Elizabeth Bell”, MMC 2082; “Snows of Yesteryear”, N/S R 1029; and “A Collection of Reflections”, N/S R 1042. Other recordings are on CRS, Classic Masters, VMM, and North/South Records. There have been six all-Bell concerts, including two to celebrate her 75th birthday: NYC 10/12/03, and Yerevan, Armenia, 4/28/04. Performed world-wide, she is a member of BMI, ACA, SCI, AMC, NACUSA, and other professional organizations.


“The natural inheritance of everyone who is capable of spiritual life is an unsubdued forest where the wolf howls and the obscene bird of night chatters.” (Henry James Sr.) . . . “Night Music” does not contain literal wolf howls or bird chatterings; but it attempts to describe the emotional landscape James refers to-- the dark inner feelings of guilt and terror, sorrow and fury which we all try to hide in our day-to-day lives, but which music can bring to the surface and, at times, help to resolve. . . . The 15-minute piece is in two movements played without pause. The longer slow first movement is marked “molto doloroso”. The fast movement, which also contains a few reminiscent slow passages, is labeled “angrily”. . . . The piece is preoccupied with major and minor 2nds, 7ths, and 9ths, and with the dichotomy of triple against duple rhythms. It is dedicated to Max Lifchitz.

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