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|Composer-pianist Richard Cameron-Wolfe was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA and received his music training at Oberlin College and Indiana University. His principal piano teachers were Joseph Battista and Menahem Pressler; his composition teachers included Bernard Heiden, Iannis Xenakis, Juan Orrego-Salas, and John Eaton.
After brief teaching engagements at Indiana University, Radford College (Virginia), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cameron-Wolfe moved to New York City, where he performed and composed for several major ballet and modern dance companies, including the Joffrey Ballet and the Jose Limon Company. In 1978 he began a 23-year Professorship at Purchase College, State University of New York, teaching music theory and history, composition, and music resources for choreographers. He resigned in 2002 – while he could still walk and think – in order to dedicate his life to the piano and to composing.
As a composer, one of his particular interests is micro-opera, a very short theatrical work of 5 to 15 minutes duration, developed through the collaboration of composer, writer (preferably a poet), a scenic/costume designer (preferably a visual artist), and a videographer. The work is intended to be staged in small spaces and could be broadcast on television or the web.
As a pianist, Cameron-Wolfe has in recent years focused on the “missing links”, composers of the early 20th century who provided the transition from late Romanticism into post-World War II “sound art” but whose music is now seldom heard. Examples in his current repertoire include works by Leo Ornstein, Dane Rudhyar (with whom he studied and whose music he has recorded on the Furious Artisans label), and Charles Ives.
Devoted to the promotion of modern classical music (which he prefers to call “sound art”), Cameron-Wolfe has served as an administrator for several musical organizations: Friends of American Music (1974 to the present), the New Mexico Music Festival (1978-82), Music from Angel Fire (1984), The Charles Ives Center for American Music (1990-92), and as Executive Director of the American branch of CESAME: the Center for Soviet/American Musical Exchange (1989-93).
He now lives in the mountains of northern New Mexico, where he teaches piano and composition, writes music articles for Horse Fly, a monthly journal of politics and culture, and hosts a monthly three-hour “Sunday Morning [Un]Classics” radio show (dominated by 20th-century music).
His current projects include the recording and editing of two CDs – one of his own compositions, the other showcasing his unique piano repertoire of music by lesser-known 20th-century composers. Additionally, he is serving as a consultant for the summer 2008 Summit Music Festival [Tarrytown, New York] and he is on the Advisory Board of Choreo Theatro, brainstorming on the design and development of a performing arts/art gallery in a 25,000-square-foot one-time factory building on the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. If that were not already a full plate, he has recently been engaged as Co-Editor of FULCRUM: an annual of poetry and aesthetics, which will devote approximately one-third of its 500-600-page 2008 issue to new (and old) directions in contemporary classical music. The book will be linked to a world-map website at which music by composers from throughout the world can be heard.
Cameron-Wolfe’s 2006 composition A Measure of Love and Silence, a cantata based on the poetry of Tatyana Apraksina (set in both Russian and English translation) will be premiered in June of 2008 at the American Composers Alliance [ACA] Festival, with the possibility of it also being performed in St. Petersburg, Russia soon thereafter. He is currently composing an orchestral work with prominent piano part, to be titled ARQ (a Noah’s Ark of the near future), inspired by the biblical Book of Revelation. Also, a violin work, commissioned from him for a March 31, 2008 premiere performance at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, has recently been completed, its title: ARQ: Region III – Refuge.
In 2004 Cameron-Wolfe performed in Taos, Berlin (at “Simile”), and in the “Moscow Autumn” Festival. In 2006 he played in the Astrakhan “International Music Days” Festival (in southern Russia), and gave a “salon” concert in London. He is preparing for an autumn 2008 piano tour, with dates already set in Oldenburg, Germany and Tampere, Finland. Negotiations are in progress for additional performances in the UK, Sweden, Russia, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands. Half of the concert will be previewed in Taos, New Mexico on February 29 (his dear departed father’s birthday).