NEXTET New Music presents: Music of Michael Torke


Mar. 27, 2019, 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Office/Remote Location

Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall
NEXTET poster with images of Michael Torke and other performers.


Nextet new music presents contemporary chamber instrumental and vocal music selections by internationally acclaimed composer Michael Torke, who is based in Las Vegas. Joining him on the concert are distinguished UNLV faculty, students and guest artists including: alumni Jeremy Russo (cellist) and Bryan Wente (saxophonist); John Seaton (saxophonist and Associate Director of bands at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts); Greg Schmidt (tenor on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera); Naomi Mauro (acclaimed jazz singer in Las Vegas); and Krista Martynes (internationally acclaimed guest clarinetist).

The music of Michael Torke has been called "some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" (Gramophone). Hailed as a "vitally inventive composer" (Financial Times) and "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel of his generation" (New York Times), Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre.


Telephone Book (1985/1995)

  1. The Yellow Pages
  2. The Blue Pages
  3. The White Pages

Jennifer Grim, flute
Krista Martynes, clarinet/bass clarinet
Ambroise Aubrun, violin
Jeremy Russo, cello
Michael Torke, piano

Two Drinks (2000)

Michael Torke, piano

Senna (2 arias) (2011)

Libretto by Michael Korie

  1. Speed
  2. Fastest Man

Greg Schmidt, tenor
Michael Torke, piano

July (1995)

John Seaton, soprano saxophone
Matthew Fox, alto saxophone
Bryan Wente, tenor saxophone
Shawna Pennock, baritone saxophone

Kellisongs (2003)
Lyrics by Mark Campbell

  1. When I Smiled
  2. How Do I Move On
  3. Cool and Collected

Naomi Mauro, vocals
Michael Torke, piano

More about Torke:

Career highlights include: Color Music (1985–89), a series of orchestral pieces that each explore a single, specific color; Javelin, recorded both for Argo and for John William’s Summon the Heroes, the official 1996 Olympics album; Four Seasons, an oratorio commissioned by the Walt Disney Company to celebrate the millennium; Strawberry Fields, whose “Great Performances” broadcast was nominated for an Emmy Award; and two evening-length story ballets, The Contract, and An Italian Straw Hat, for James Kudelka and the National Ballet of Canada.

In 1998 Torke was Composer in Residence for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, for which he wrote and recorded Rapture, his percussion concerto, and An American Abroad, a tone poem. In 2003 Torke founded Ecstatic Records and re-issued the Decca/Argo catalog of his works. Recent recordings include Blue Pacific, Tahiti, Miami Grands, Concerto for Orchestra, and the upcoming Unconquered, featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra. Three Manhattan Bridges, along with Winter's Tale—new concertos for piano and cello respectively—was released by Albany Records featuring Joyce Yang and Julie Albers as soloists, led by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.

Upcoming projects include a recording of wind concertos alongside a bluegrass concerto for violinist Tessa Lark, and the continuing development of SENNA, an opera about the Formula-1 racing legend.

Admission Information

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Information

Director, UNLV New Music Series NEXTET
Jennifer Bellor

External Sponsor

UNLV School of Music