The next edition of Almond Restaurant’s Artists & Writers Night is Tuesday, February 24, and this month’s host is composer and pianist Bruce Wolosoff.
Wolosoff, of Shelter Island, is an acclaimed classical composer who has consistently gone his own way, resisting easy categorization in any genre or niche. His early love and study of diverse forms of music has worked its way into his classical compositions creating an authentic language that is a distinctive American voice. His catalogue, including works for ballet, opera, chamber and solo instruments, are frequently programmed internationally. In addition, Wolosoff has written for several films, performs his own work as a pianist and is a well respected teacher.
He has collaborated twice with the choreographer Ann Reinking resulting in two ballets for Thodos Dance Chicago, The White City, which was named “Best Dance of 2011” by the Chicago Sun-Times and A Light in the Dark, based on the story of Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan. A Light in the Dark premiered to rave reviews in March 2013 and a film version of this ballet received an Emmy nomination in 2014 in the category of Outstanding Achievement for Arts Programming.
His new opera, The Great Good Thing, written with librettist Debbie Danielpour and based on the young adult novel by Roderick Townley, was recently workshopped with operamission in New York. The documentary film Finding the Gold Within, directed by Karina Epperlein, is playing the 2014–2015 film festival circuit featuring Wolosoff’s score.
Wolosoff has written twice for the acclaimed Eroica Trio. His recent composition for the trio, “The Loom,” was inspired by the watercolors of artist Eric Fischl and premiered at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 2014. “For April” a work for cello and piano, inspired by the charcoal drawings of April Gornik, was recorded in 2013 by Wolosoff with the trio’s cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio and released as part of a book of Gornik’s drawings.
In the realm of chamber music, Wolosoff has also written for the Carpe Diem String Quartet, the Lark Quartet, oboist Rudy Vrbsky, Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri, and the 21st Century Consort, who commissioned several works from the composer under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution.
Born in New York City in 1955, Wolosoff’s earliest childhood memory is of sitting at the piano, experimenting with the sounds he could make. He began formal lessons at the age of 3 and by the time he was 13 was zooming around his neighborhood on his bike giving piano lessons to other kids. Throughout his teens, Wolosoff played in local rock, jazz, and fusion bands, while simultaneously pursuing his more formal studies as a classical pianist. He holds degrees from Bard College and the New England Conservatory of Music.
The event begins at 7 p.m. The evening will feature a family style three-course menu created by executive chef Jason Weiner. The cost is $45, which includes a glass of local wine or craft beer, tax and gratuity. Reservations are required. Call 631-537-5665 or visit almondrestaurant.com.