Category Archives: Stuff About Me

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!

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Time to put the game face on. It’s about to get real. I’m goin’ big or goin’ home. (Continue with the conspicuously out of place sports phrases at will.)

Very proud to announce that the string quartet I composed in Paris this past summer as part of the EAMA program “Do A Little Dance” was selected as one of sixteen pieces to compete in the String Quartet Smackdown presented by Golden Hornet Productions on November 3 in Austin, TX.

And what’s a String Quartet Smackdown, you ask? It’s kinda brilliant. Sixteen pieces, each four minutes long, are paired off. The first minute of each piece is performed (by the Tosca Quartet) and the audience votes with their mobile devices to determine which pieces they want to advance. The remaining eight pieces go to the next round, when TWO minutes of the piece are played. Then four pieces get THREE minutes played, and finally two pieces are played in their entirety. The winner gets a valuable cash prize and bragging rights (and hopefully some big ornate trophy thing or maybe even a giant belt).

Looking at the lineup of other pieces, I’m in some pretty formidable company. Ruben Naeff‘s piece was written for the JACK quartet, Simon Fink has done work with eighth blackbirdSteven Snowden will have the home advantage, hailing from Austin himself, but there’s a chance he’ll actually be in Portugal on his Fulbright to work on interactive motion capture systems for large installations, which would even the playing field a bit. But there’s no denying, this is the big leagues. And no matter the outcome, it’s an honor just to share the stage.

If you happen to be in Austin on November 3, please go and support our team. And by ‘our team’ I mean ‘independent new music’.


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June 24 – Sneak Peak of Failing That (my solo opera)

I’ve been doing a lot of composing so far this year. In addition to an encore for the Hilary Hahn competition (which didn’t result in an honorable mention, but did result in a pretty cool piece for violin and piano), I’ve been chugging away on the solo opera that’s been a good four years inContinue Reading

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Hey look! I’m a muse!

I first saw the name Ken Malucelli when I purchased the CASA christmas songbook in 1993 (all arranged by Ken and Deke Sharon). Years later Ken was one of the judges at the Harmony Sweepstakes competition when a subset of The Richter Scales performed a set of original songs I had written. (We closed withContinue Reading

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TONIGHT: The latest from my opera

If you’re in San Francisco tonight and interested in hearing some brand new music, swing by Counterpulse at 7:30 to hear a brief excerpt of the latest from my solo opera Failing That. The section I’ll be performing was composed in the past few months and shows the early scenes involving a middle school studentContinue Reading

One Response to TONIGHT: The latest from my opera

  1. gerald rosen says:

    So art does imitate life.

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A new unit of time: The Wagner

After a full evening of writing music, I am proposing a new unit of time. The Wagner (abbreviation Wg). One Wagner is equal to one thousand minutes, approximately the length of the entire Ring Cycle. Here are some useful conversions: 1 day = 1.4 Wagners 1 year = 511.35 Wagners 1 minute = 1 milliWagnerContinue Reading

One Response to A new unit of time: The Wagner

  1. Delightful!

    So by logical extension, 255.675 Wagners (Wg) = 1 Friedman unit (fU)

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OK. Just ONE Steve Jobs anecdote.

Having worked at Pixar since 1993, I have quite a number of Steve Jobs stories. Most of those I keep well within the confines of the building or my close friends, but this is one that I think really exemplifies Steve. (Names and email addresses have been changed.) In the early days of Pixar, SteveContinue Reading

3 Responses to OK. Just ONE Steve Jobs anecdote.

  1. noah says:

    And I read yetichat

    Uh, as soon as I have yetichat – good idea, Steve. I’ll just go ahead and make it online . . . using my Mac Powerbook.

  2. 😀 thanks for sharing. that’s a good story at this difficult time. rip steve

  3. Jim Williams says:

    Great story! But now I’m trying to figure out who “Richard” really is…

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The real reason I’m in theater…

It’s not the applause. It’s not the artistic satisfaction. And it’s certainly not the payday. It’s the facial hair. More importantly, it’s the “get out of shaving that ridiculous beard off despite your wife’s desperate protestations free” card that I get with each show. Honestly, the directors don’t even ask me to grow facial hair.Continue Reading

3 Responses to The real reason I’m in theater…

  1. Todd Schurk says:

    I couldn’t agree more!

  2. That last picture is actually Koloth from “The Trouble with Tribbles”, 1967.

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SF Girls Chorus, Bach, and Me

Next Thursday and Saturday (June 9th and 11th) the superb San Francisco Girls Chorus will be performing a remarkable concert of new works including an arrangement of JS Bach’s famous Wachet Auf Cantata 140 for chorus and string quartet by… me. Cecily Ward from the Cypress String Quartet approached me a couple of months agoContinue Reading

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String Quartet video is up

The last bit of video from the concert has been posted. Liana, Stephanie, Evan, and Lucas did a great job with the quartet and I’ll be forever grateful to Mark Casey for finding them last year. The quartet got a great response at the concert and is consistently the piece that people have singled outContinue Reading

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Composer, emerge thyself!

Now that the smoke has cleared after last weekend’s ginormous recital/premiere extravaganza, it’s time to pop out of the foxhole and see what the past five months of preparation has wrought. It was a big project. Self produce an evening long concert of new music, all written by myself. It seemed like the entrepreneurial thingContinue ReadingContinue Reading

2 Responses to Composer, emerge thyself!

  1. Becky says:

    Wish I could have been there to see and hear your work Brian. I would have loved to hear what you have been working on. It sounds to me like it was a spectacular success! Your out of pocket was tiny and as for the hours…that’s what it takes to do what you want to do…it is all part of the package.

    Do you have any of the recordings and or video you could post online? Certainly not as good as being in the room and filling all of the senses but a good second.

    Glad you are playing out your dream. It takes guts. But of course you live with a woman who is smart and has a lot of guts.


    • Brian Rosen says:

      Thanks Becky. If you go to the “Listen” section of the blog, there are a series of videos from the concert. You can also find them on YouTube.

      Hmm… if you’re interested in hearing the music and didn’t know where to look, I clearly need to do some redesigning of this website…

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