Get to Know...Christopher Dietz
The flute and accompaniment category in 2015 was particularly strong and competitive. All three works were full of fascinating colors and, by interesting coincidence, were all highly programmatic. This week, we feature Christopher Dietz, whose work Kinderspiel for flute and piano was one of those works. I think it’s super sweet that Kinderspiel was influenced by watching his son play with the twin girls across the street! See if you can pick out the children’s song he used as a basis for the melodies in Kinderspiel in this video of a performance by his colleague at Bowling Green State University, Conor Nelson. At BGSU, Christopher is an Assistant Professor of Composition and conducts the New Music Ensemble.
Q&A with Christopher…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
I am attracted to the flute's ability to take on many different colors and moods. It can be intimate, almost private, yet is also capable of unmatched brilliance and daring. In addition, more than any other wind instrument, the flute sounds like an extension of the breath. It's very human, vital.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
I was an average trumpet player and good singer as a kid, but did not really fall in love with music until I got a guitar in my hands early in high-school. It seemed to unlock some latent creativity and inquisitiveness that was not in any way part of my musical experience before that time. I remember trying to play along with any music I heard. Genre meant nothing to me, only notes. This obsession led to more formal study of structure and, eventually, composing my own music. I wrote my first piece, a short string quartet, when I was 18. After that experience, I never stopped composing.
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
I have some upcoming events that reflect where my music has lead me lately: "Winter Sunset", a recent piece for soprano and a mixed ensemble of 10 players, will be performed at the 37th annual BGSU New Music Festival on October 20.
On October 28, the saxophone duo, Ogni Suono, will premiere "My Manifesto and Me". It's a very theatrical piece that requires both players to speak as well as play. They even have to swear an oath in the piece, a first for me. http://www.ognisuono.com/
More About Christopher….
In recent years, compositions by Christopher Dietz have been premiered in London, Auvillar (France), Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Houston and Phoenix, among others. His works have been performed by numerous contemporary ensembles including Decoda, Alarm Will Sound and The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, as well as traditional ensembles such as L’Orchestre de la Francophonie and The Orange County Symphony. Recognition has come from participation in residencies at Copland House, Canada’s Banff Centre and The Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France) along with additional awards and honors. He is currently an assistant professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. www.christopher-dietz.com
If you liked Kinderspiel….
Instrumentation: fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, tpt, tbn, vib, pf, 2vn, va, vc, db
Year of Composition: 2016
Le Chemin de Salut
Instrumentation: Soprano, fl, cl, bn, hn, perc, 2vn, va, vc, db
Year of Composition: 2008
The Phases of the Moon
Instrumentation: fl, va, hp
Year of Composition: 2012
Instrumentation: fl, ob, cl, bcl, hn, tpt, tbn, 2perc, pf, 2vn, va, vc, db
Year of Composition: 2010
Instrumentation: fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, perc, 2vn, va, vc, db
Year of Composition: 2009
Instrumentation: Soprano, fl, cl, bcl, bsax, tba, perc, 2pf, va, vc
Year of Composition: 2016
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.