After receiving a degree in drama at Antioch College and serving as artistic director and playwright for several theaters, I decided to compose music. My musical apprenticeship was served with composers Fu Yuan Soong and Walter Hilse both of whom taught me to make music that is entertaining as well as artful. Between 1986 and the present I have composed seven full length operas all but one of which have been performed. These works have gained critical praise: “gorgeous and rewarding”- New York Daily News,”his music mirrors the profundity of Joyce’s words” - Portsmouth Herald, "...music that, in the words of Beethoven, 'goes from heart to heart.' - Fanfare, "“a developing talent” - New York Times.
I have composed a large repertoire of chamber and symphonic works which reflect my reaction to war, corporate greed, destruction of the biosphere, social injustice and poverty, an opus I call “The Nightmare of Reason” and is currently comprised of over 70 works. My recording "State of the Union" (2005) was praised by Fanfare ("Masterful") and JR Reviews ("About the only demonstrable good to come out of George W. Bush’s war on terror” ) and my comic opera, "The Devil and George Bush", debuted on the Internet in 2008 and was deemed "hilarious" by Red Dog Radio; it has been downloaded over 15,000 times. Several of these works were nominated for Grammy awards.
I won the Masterworks of the New Era award twice and during 2009-10 was composer-in-residence at South Church, a Unitarian church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. My recordings include: “Blues for New Orleans”, a double concerto for clarinet and piano on the MMC label featuring renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, "State of the Union" on MMC, in "Masterworks for the New Era" numbers 12 and 13 on ERM, and "Symphony No.2" and "We Do Not Torture" on the NOR label.
I am increasingly utilizing the Internet as a way to reach out to people who have had no prior exposure to modern opera and classical music. In addition to composing new works I have just completed a recording of my opera Ulysses, that I adapated from James Joyce's famous novel and am working on a recording of my three opera cycle "Faustus", an updating of the legend to our own times. Through these recordings I hope to make a case for opera as an expressive and artistic medium that can connect with contemporary concerns and lives as well as communicate fully at the musical level to young audiences as well as old.