Commissioned Works & Composers
Of particular value and significance to the world of music is the artistic commissioning activity of the Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation. For each of the biennial Dranoff International Two Piano Competitions, the Foundation commissions a new work for two pianos from a leading contemporary composer. This is a required work, performed live by each of the semi-finalist teams. These commissions have been made possible by the generosity of Alvin Perlman and his family and heirs from 1987 until 2003. The 2008 competition showcased a newly commissioned work by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, one of Britain’s most respected and versatile composers and performers.
Gould attained national prominence through his work in radio. During the 1940’s Could appeared on the Creat Blanca Carnival program and The Chrysler Hour, reaching an audience of millions. He was commissioned to be the first composer to write a new work for two pianos for the first International Two Piano Competition in 1987; it is called, simply: “Two Pianos”.
Year Commissioned: 1987
Michel Legrand cannot be pigeonholed: composer, conductor, pianist, singer, writer and producer, tearing down the barriers between jazz, classical music and easy listening, he is at home in any musical situation. In 1989, Loretta Dranoff commissioned him to compose a new work for the 2nd International Two Piano Competition. It is entitled “Variations Concertantes.”
Year Commissioned: 1989
National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award-winner William Bolcom is an American composer of chamber, operatic, vocal, choral, cabaret, ragtime, and symphonic music. His music spans the arc from string sonaas and quartets, symphonies, operas, stage and film scores and an extensive catalog of chamber and vocal works. His work “Recuerdos” was commissioned for the 3rd International Two Piano Competition.
Year Commissioned: 1991
Paul Schoenfield is among those all-too-rare composers whose work combines exuberance and seriousness, originality and lightness and depth. His work is inspired by the entire range of musical experience; populare styles both American and foreign, vernacular and and folk as ell as the usual historical traditions. He was commissioned to write “Taschyag” for the 4th International Two Piano Competition.
Year Commissioned: 1993
Ned Rorem has been the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for his books and articles. His suite Air Music won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize in music. Ned Rorem composed “Six Variations for Two Pianos”, the commissioned work for the 5th Dranoff International Two Piano Competition.
"Six Variations for Two Pianos"
Year Commissioned: 1995
One of the few living composers to have a string quartet named after him, John Corigliano’s work has been performed by some of the most visible orchestras, soloists and chamber musicians in the world. His music reveals a deep connection with the past whilst exploring the past-war avant garde and the contemporary. John wrote the new composition for the 6th Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in 1997. The work is entitled “Chiaroscuro”.
Year Commissioned: 1997
ROBERT XAVIER RODRIGUEZ
Rodriguez has served as Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, among others. He currently holds the endowed chair of University Professor of Music at The University of Texas at Dallas. His composition for two pianos, “Bachanale”, was commissioned by the Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation for the 7th International Two Piano Competition.
Year Commissioned: 1999
Liebermann is an acclaimed pianist and a busy composer, with works in many genres. In 2001, The Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation approached Mr. Liebermann to compose the commissioned work for its 8th International Two Piano Competition - “Three Lullabies”, op. 76.
Year Commissioned: 2001
Kaufman is a former Fulbright Scholar, and author of “The African Roots of Jazz”, a groundbreaking study that drew heavily on his early musical life as a jazz trumpet player. His work “Yin & Yang: A Dialogue for Two Grand Pianos”, was commissioned for the 9th Dranoff International Two Piano Competition.
"Yin & Yang: A Dialogue for Two Grand Pianos"
Year Commissioned: 2003
For the two decades, Marcel has enjoyed an active musical career as a performer, composer, and teacher. He has been involved as composer and musical director in a number of theatre, cabaret and multimedia projects in Germany. In 2005, Marcel Bergmann was commissioned with the new work for the 10th Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. It is entitled “Urban Pulse”.
Year Commissioned: 2005
Among present-day musicians, there can be few more versatile than Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and none better at everything he does: composing for concerts and films, playing the piano in contemporary music and in jazz idioms, singing and playing classic show tunes in cabaret. As a composer, Bennett adopted what Stephen Walsh has called "a neo-Romantic serialism closer to Berg than Webern".
Year Commissioned: 2008
SIR RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT
The composer selected to create a new work for the semi-final rounds of the 2013 competition is Gabriela Lena Frank. Frank was born and raised in Berkeley, and still calls the city home. She is composer-in-residence with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and since 2009, the Creative Advisor to the Berkely Symphony Orchestra.
"Seis cantos de los campos for two pianos"
Year Commissioned: 2013
GABRIELA LENA FRANK
Martin Bejerano, a native of Miami, Florida, has been active as a professional musician since the age of fifteen, when he began his performance career playing George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" concerto with the Mexican-American Bi-National Symphony.
"Fantasia de Tres Mundos"
Year Commissioned: 2014
Based in New York City, Grammy nominated artist, pianist and composer Manuel Valera was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Since arriving in NYC, he has become well known in the NYC modern jazz scene, garnering national reviews and lending his talents as a pianist and composer to such notable artist as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Dafnis Prieto, Jeff “Tain” Watts, John Benitez, Samuel Torres, Joel Frahm, Yosvany Terry among many others.
Mr. Valdés is the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz. In a career spanning more than 60 years, both as a solo artist and bandleader, Mr. Valdés has distilled elements of the Afro-Cuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock, and more, into a deeply personal style. Winner of seven GRAMMY® and six Latin GRAMMY® Awards, Mr. Valdés, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science last year and was also inducted in the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. His most recent project on record, Jazz Batá 2, revisits a revolutionary idea Mr. Valdés first recorded in 1972: a piano jazz trio featuring batá drums, the sacred, hourglass-shaped drums used in the ritual music of the Yoruba religion in Cuba, in place of the conventional trap set. Jazz Batá 2 won a Latin Grammy as Best Latin Jazz album and was selected as one of Billboard magazine's list of The 50 Best Latin Albums of the Decade.
"Suite for Lico Jimenez"