Music Notes

Allen Shawn

Allen Shawn and Orchestra

Rutgers University premiered faculty member Allen Shawn’s “Concerto for clarinet, cello and orchestra (1983)” in September 2019.

The 25-minute piece was the last commission from Benny Goodman. Shawn described the piece as “a big, brash, tuneful piece, very remote from the music I am writing now. It is the work of an ambitious (and somewhat reckless) 35-year-old composer, and I am now 71.” Shawn and his wife, Bennington piano instructor Yoshiko Sato, premiered his new 55-minute “Etudes for piano” at the College in early September 2019. In November, Shawn’s “Cello concerto No. 2” was performed at Williams College by Nathaniel Parke and the Berkshire Symphony. Shortly after that performance, Sage Sage City Symphony played Shawn’s “Five Orchestral Scenes,” written for them in 2002, in Greenwall Auditorium.