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OPUS ONE plays Dvorák, Hadyn, Hartke


Stephen Hartke

Stephen Hartke, born July 6, 1952, in Orange, New Jersey, was raised in Manhattan, where he began his musical career as a professional boy soprano. As a member of the boys' choir of the Church of the Transfiguration, he sang with the New York Pro Musica, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and other organizations. Hartke began his compositional studies in New York with Leonardo Balada at the United Nations International School. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and earned advanced degrees in composition at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

After working in music publishing on the East Coast and spending a year in Brazil as visiting professor at the University of Sao Paulo on a Fulbright Senior Scholars Fellowship, Hartke joined the music faculty of the University of Southern California in 1987. He served four seasons as composer-in-residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and in 1991 was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Hartke has also received an ASCAP Foundation grant, a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, a Louisville Orchestra Prize, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and many other honors.

Hartke's The King of the Sun was inspired by the titles of paintings by the Spanish Surrealist Joan Miró, several of which can be viewed on the Web:

-I. "Personages in the night guided by the phosphorescent tracks of snails"
-II. "Dutch interior"
-III. "Dancer listening to the organ in a Gothic cathedral"
-IV. "The Flames of the sun make the desert flower hysterical"
-V. "Personages and birds rejoicing at the arrival of night"

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