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Bernard Rands Celebrates 90 with a Series of Performances and Premieres

Mar. 06, 2024

We are delighted to congratulate Schott Music composer, Bernard Rands on the occasion of his 90th birthday which he celebrated on March 2. Through more than a hundred published works and countless recordings, Bernard Rands is recognized worldwide as one of the most distinguished and celebrated composers of our time. His work Canti del Sole, premiered by tenor Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta, and the New York Philharmonic, won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Bernard Rands/Canti del sole: I. Mattina/Stephen Chaundy, tenor/William Boughton, conductor

Rands’s numerous compositions, including works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, instrumental and vocal ensembles, and soloists, as well as two operas, have been commissioned and championed by esteemed conductors and ensembles around the world. He has been honored by the American Academy and Institute of the Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Koussevitsky Foundations, among many others. 

This season, performances of Rands's music have taken place across the country and abroad. On February 16, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Hannu Lintu, performed the UK premiere of the Symphonic Fantasy at the Barbican in London. The performance can be heard in its entirety on BBC Sounds here.

On February 20, saxophonist Phil Pierick performed Rands's Memo 6 at the Butler Arts and Events Center in Indianapolis and on February 26, ~NOIS Saxophone Quartet's live performance of Rands's PRISM (Memo 6b) was broadcast on the "Live from WFMT" series hosted by Kerry Frumkin on WFMT Chicago. 

John Sampen performs Bernard Rands's Memo 6

On February 29, the De Paul University Orchestra, conducted by Michael Lewanski, performed Rands's AURA and Tre Canzoni Senza Parole, and the De Paul University Wind Symphony, conducted by Erica Neidlinger, performed Ceremonial for wind band at the Holtschneider Performance Center, Gannon Concert Hall.

Bernard Rands/Tre Canzoni Senza Parole: No. 2. quarter note = 72/Oregon Symphony/James DePriest, conductor

Xiaofeng Dong performed Rands's Impromptu No. 3for solo piano at the Logan Center, University of Chicago on March 3 while David Dzubay leads the Jacobs School of Music's Contemporary Music Ensemble in a performance of the receding mist... on March 7

Joel Fan Plays Bernard Rands's Impromptu No. 3

At Chicago's Guarneri Hall, an exciting two-day concert series and residency featuring performances of chamber works by Bernard Rands will take place on March 8-9. In addition to the music, Rands will talk about his life and his earliest influences, illuminate elements in his work, and talk about the music of the composers that have followed him. The two-day event will conclude with a party in honor of Mr. Rands. Artists include the Terra String QuartetNOIS Saxophone Quartet; soprano Kristina Bachrach; and cellist Alexander Hersh who will perform the world premiere of Bernard Rands's Memo No. 9  for solo cello on March 9.

Additional performances follow next month. On April 4, Timothy Weiss leads the Oberlin Sinfonietta in a performance of Rands's Canti dell'Eclisse, featuring Timothy LeFebvre as the bass soloist. Weiss and LeFebvre reprise their performace of this work the following day with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In addition, Gerard Schwarz leads the Frost Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Rands's Adieu for brass quintet and string orchestra on April 27 at the University of Miami's Gusman Concert Hall.

Finally, on March 1, Oberlin Music released the album "String Theory" featuring Rands's Music for Shoko Aubade (2017) for English horn and string quartet. Stream the album on Spotify here.

To learn more about Bernard Rands, visit