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Based in Louisville, Kentucky, composer JEREMY BECK was awarded Second Prize in the Boston Chamber Orchestra’s 2011-2012 Commission Competition. In addition, Beck’s "Songs of Love and Remembrance" for soprano, violin and harpsichord earned Third Prize in the 2012 Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition.
Beck's first two Innova CD’s were included by Gramophone in its June 2006 "Reviews: The best new recordings from North America."
pause and feel and hark (innova-650), released in May 2006, features some of his chamber music, including "Black Water" for soprano and piano. A monodrama based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, reviewers have found "Black Water" “enthralling … stunning in its intensity” while Oates herself has written of her “admiration for [this] beautiful and haunting composition.” Co-Opera presented the Australian premiere of "Black Water" at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival before taking it on tour to Sydney, Melbourne, and elsewhere in Australia.
In 2004, Wave -- a Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra CD devoted to his music -- was released as innova-612. Reviews of this CD describe Beck's "Sinfonietta" for string orchestra as "harmonically inventive, thoroughly engaging ... sinewy and gorgeous" and "Death of a Little Girl with Doves" for soprano and orchestra as displaying "imperious melodic confidence [and] fluent emotional command." At its world premiere, this operatic soliloquy based on the life of sculptor Camille Claudel was appraised as flowing “seamlessly through the use of a dazzling variety of instrumental and vocal color … a fresh, exciting piece by a major talent.”
Jeremy Beck’s most recent opera, "Review," with a libretto by Patricia Marx, was one of three finalists in the 2010 National Opera Association’s New Chamber Opera Competition. Peabody Opera included it in its 2011-2012 season and it was also included in a program of scenes at the College Music Society's 2011 annual convention in Richmond, VA.
"Review" was previously included in the 2009 OPERA America and Houston Grand Opera New Works Sampler. Following that successful showcase, "Review" was then produced by the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston and later was given its New York premiere by the Center for Contemporary Opera. "Review" also has been produced at Bucknell College, James Madison University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Oklahoma State University-Stillwater (with orchestra).
Beck's previous opera, "The Biddle Boys and Mrs. Soffel," was named by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of the top ten "Best Classical" events in Pittsburgh for the year 2001, while the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hailed the work at its premiere as "superb ... more successful compositionally ... than many new works seen at major opera houses." Excerpts from another of his operas, "The Highway," were presented by New York City Opera as a part of that company's VOX series in May of 2000; at a presentation of this opera at Yale, the New Haven Register declared that Beck's "handling of dramatic relationships and superimposed time was masterful."
Beck’s music has been performed internationally and has earned awards, grants and honors from the arts councils of Iowa, California and Kentucky, American Composers Orchestra, Millay Colony for the Arts, Wellesley Composers Conference, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Composers Forum. Beck holds degrees in composition from the Yale School of Music (DMA, MMA), Duke University (MA) and the Mannes College of Music (BS), as well as a law degree from the University of Louisville.