Kenneth Fuchs has composed music for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, he created three chamber musicals, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Betrothal, and Brontosaurus, originally presented by Circle Repertory Company in New York City. Fuchs’s operatic monodrama Falling Man (text by Don DeLillo, adapted by J. D. McClatchy) was presented at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, as well as by the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York City. His music has been performed in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan.
In 2018 the Phoenix Symphony premiered a major orchestral commission, Quiet In the Land, and his Bass Trombone Concerto, commissioned by a large consortium, will begin receiving premieres in December. In August Naxos Records will release a major new CD of four recent concertos (see video below). In 2017 Fuchs saw three world premieres: Pacific Visions by the California-based string orchestra, Music Sur la Mer; Poems of Life by the Virginia Symphony; and Duo for Violin and Piano by Julie Rosenfeld. In 2016 he saw the premiere of Brass Quintet No. 2 by the American Brass Quintet at the Aspen Music Festival, and of his Piano Concerto (“Spiritualist”) by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA) for a Piano Concerto for Jeffrey Biegel.
In 2013 the Wheeling Symphony commissioned Forever Free in orchestral and band versions to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the State of West Virginia. The Bozeman Symphony Orchestra commissioned him for an Electric Guitar Concerto (Glacier). In 2009-10 the Adrian Symphony Orchestra (MI) appointed Fuchs as composer in residence. Under music director John Thomas Dodson, the orchestra performed world premieres of five works. The works included Divinum Mysterium, a concerto composed for Paul Silverthorne, principal violist of the London Symphony Orchestra.
In 2008, the United States Air Force Academy Band (Colorado Springs) commissioned the band version of Fuchs’s United Artists. Following performances throughout the United States, the band recorded the work for its disc “Windscapes,” released in December 2009. Marin Alsop conducted the world premiere of the original orchestral version of United Artists, following which critic Jason Victor Serinus wrote in the American Record Guide, “The work’s dramatic, resounding chords and gloriously ringing flourishes constitute a modern fanfare of sorts.”
The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, has recorded four discs of Fuchs’s orchestral music. The first, released by Naxos Records in August 2005, was nominated for two Grammy Awards. The second disc, which features music for horn, was released by Naxos in January 2008. Musicweb International stated in February 2008, “Fuchs’s distinctive voice is evident from the outset, and his flair for orchestral colours and sheer lyricism shine through.” The fourth was released in August, 2014 and recording is scheduled to begin on a recording of his concerti in August, 2017.
The highly successful disc Kenneth Fuchs: String Quartets 2, 3, 4 performed by the American String Quartet was released by Albany Records in 2001. American Record Guide stated quite simply, “String quartet recordings don’t get much better than this.”
Fuchs’s music is published by Edward B. Marks Music Company, Hal Leonard Corporation, Theodore Presser Company, and Yelton Rhodes Music and has been recorded by Albany, Cala, and Naxos Records.
Kenneth Fuchs serves as Professor of Composition at the University of Connecticut. He received his bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Miami (cum laude) and his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City. His teachers include Milton Babbitt, David Del Tredici, David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, Alfred Reed, and Stanley Wolfe. The University of Miami Frost School of Music named Fuchs Distinguished Alumnus for the Year 2000. Phi Mu Alpha, the national music fraternity, named Fuchs a Signature Sinfonian in 2009. The designation “recognizes alumni members who have achieved a high standard of accomplishment in their field or profession, thereby bringing honor to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.”
Photo, top right: Dario Acosta