I graduated from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in May this year. After six years of study, I am excited to be finished with the student phase of life and to put all my energy into teaching and composing!
I am also grateful to learn that I have been selected to be one of eight composition fellows at the UC Davis Revision/s Festival during January of 2018. I will be writing a new chamber piece for the Empyrean Ensemble. More details to come!
A lot has happened since my last post. Strains in the Signal was performed at the New Music Gathering in the winter, just a few weeks before our snowstorm of doom. In May, Kimberly Kong premiered Shifting Landscapes as part of her concert series as a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence. This fall I wrote two large ensemble pieces. The first was a twelve minute score to support several scenes from the creepy 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera for the Occasional Symphony's halloween shows. The second was Timelapse Variations, a twenty-minute work exploring process and the passage of time. Timelapse Variations was premiered by Symphony Number One and will be on one of their upcoming recordings. In the meantime, two very important recording projects have come out of this year. The Omnibus Ensemble, after several months of giving awesome feedback via online "workshops," recorded Chorale Variations. The second recording project is a collaboration with soprano Danielle Buonaiuto and pianist John Wilson, called O sea-starved, hungry sea. I am very excited for this project--more information can be found here. It has been a busy year--hopefully the last of my doctorate. Stay tuned for more recordings and updates!
DMA conducting student Nell Flanders will feature Decadent Music Box (2013) on her conducting recital on December 10, 2015 in Friedberg Hall at the Peabody Institute.
The LUNAR Ensemble will perform Strains in the Signal (2014) at the New Music Gathering on Saturday, January 9th. More details can be found here.
Deflected Harmlessly into the Ceiling will be given its UK premiere by Kate Walter of The Riot Ensemble on October 1, 2015 in London.
Today, Tanglewood's Fromm Players will perform brand new miniatures written by the composition fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center. The composers were assigned the task of writing three pieces in three days for three different duo ensembles: violin & viola (day one), clarinet & cello (day two), and violin & piano (day three). Natalie's new pieces make up a set: Three Mountain Miniatures, I. "The Ravens of Unresting Thought", II. Lament for Clarinet & Cello, III. Reeling.
BMI published a lovely write-up on the 2015 Tanglewood Composition Fellowship. You can read it here.
Strains in the Signal (2014) for clarinets, violin, cello, and piano will be premiered at the Tanglewood Music Center on July 12, 2015.
At the moment Natalie is working on a few projects, including a new solo piano work. This piece will be premiered by pianist and current Strathmore Artist-in-Residence Kimberly Kong at Strathmore on May 25, 2016. More details to come.
Natalie will give a lecture recital, entitled "Composing a 21st Century Piano Trio," which will feature her Piano Trio: Centered, Symmetric & Dissonant, at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The original version of this piece was premiered by the Kandinsky Trio at Roanoke College in December of 2013. Natalie revised the piece in 2014 and the new version will be heard for the first time during this recital. Performers include Kenneth Kwan on violin, Peter Kibbe on cello, and Bethany Pietroniro on piano.
Natalie has been selected to be a composer fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center during the summer of 2015.
"Deflected Harmlessly into the Ceiling" received a positive mention in a review by Christopher Hyde in the Portland Press Herald of the first concert of the 2014 Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music: "The avant garde was represented by 'Deflected Harmlessly into the Ceiling,' by Natalie Draper, a solo virtuoso display carried off brilliantly by Ju Hee Kang on flute. The variations of a jagged rhythmical motif gave the impression of a ricochet, or a hard ball bouncing off the walls of a squash court until it comes harmlessly to rest."
Deflected Harmlessly into the Ceiling (2013; solo flute) will be performed by Ju Hee Kang at the Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music in Brunswick, Maine on Thursday, July 31st, at 7:30 p.m. The Charles E. Gamper Festival is part of the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Deflected Harmlessly into the Ceiling was originally composed as part of a collaboration between the composition department and the flute department at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.