From composer Peter Lieuwen: I compose music that is challenging and spiritually uplifting for the performers and the audience; a musical journey in which timbre, drama and dialog among the musicians, elicits different emotions from the audience. My sound world is one in which performers and audiences hear a broad palette of instrumental color and allusions to natural sounds. This, and my desire to evoke visual images through aural stimuli are of great interest to me. By stretching the musicality of the musicians, a single performer s part may be technically demanding while the synergistic effect of the ensemble is dramatic and emotional.
The music of PETER LIEUWEN has been commissioned, performed and recorded by orchestras, small ensembles and artists throughout North America and Europe. Many of Lieuwen's compositions are impressions of nature and legend, infused with the kinetic rhythms of jazz and world music. His orchestral works have been introduced by such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Slovak National Symphony, Orchestra of the Americas and the National Orchestral Association.
The composer's chamber and vocal works have been presented by numerous ensembles, including the Cassatt String Quartet, American Piano Trio, Core Ensemble, Enhake, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Trio Bel Canto, and by an array of artists, including clarinetist David Campbell, pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, percussionist Steven Schick, guitarist Isaac Bustos, violinist Andrzej Grabiec, and trumpeters Vince DiMartino, Allen Vizzutti and Doc Severinsen. Recent commissions include works for the Royal Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, The Arts Council of Wales, Cassatt String Quartet, Iridium Saxophone Quartet, Isaac Bustos and Andrzej Grabiec. In addition to winning First Prize in the Doc Severinsen International Composition Competition in 2013, the composer has garnered awards and honors from Musicians Accord, The Contemporary Record Society, The League of Composers ISCM and the National Orchestral Association.
Lieuwen was born in 1953 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and grew up in New Mexico. He studied at the University of New Mexico and the University of California at Santa Barbara with composers Scott Wilkinson, William Wood, Edward Applebaum, Emma Lou Diemer and Peter Racine Fricker. From 1984 to 1987, he taught composition at UC Santa Barbara. Since 1988, he has been on the faculty of Texas A&M University, where from 2000 to 2005 he served as the inaugural head of the Department of Performance Studies. He is currently Professor of Music and Composer-in- Residence there. Lieuwen's music can be heard in recordings on the Albany, CRS, Crystal, Pro Arte/Fanfare, Naxos, New World and VMM labels.