Perera, Ronald (Christopher)

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Perera, Ronald (Christopher)

Perera, Ronald (Christopher), American composer and teacher; b. Boston, Dec. 25, 1941. He studied with Leon Kirchner (composition) at Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1963; M.A., 1967), and while on a John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship, with Gottfried Koenig (electronic music and computer composition) at the Univ. of Utrecht (1967–68). He also studied privately with Randall Thompson (choral music) and Mario Davidovsky (electronic music). After teaching at Syracuse Univ. (1968–70), he was acting director of the Dartmouth Coll. Electronic Music Studio (1970–71). In 1971 he became a teacher of theory, composition, and electronic music at Smith Coll. in Northampton, Mass., where he was the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Prof. of Music from 1983. In 1975–76 he also was a visiting scholar at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. With J. Appleton, he ed. The Development and Practice of Electronic Music (1975). He received annual ASCAP awards from 1972, and NEA grants in 1978 and 1988. In 1997 he became a permanent fellow of the Bogliasco Foundation for the Arts and Letters.


(all 1st perf. in Northampton, Mass., unless otherwise given): dramatic: Opera: The Yellow Wallpaper, chamber opera (May 17, 1989); S. (Sept. 21, 1995). orch.:Chanteys (1976; Concord, Mass., Feb. 4, 1977; rev. 1979); Chamber Concerto for Brass Quintet, 9 Winds, Piano, and Percussion (1983; Cambridge, Mass., April 19, 1984); The Saints (N.Y., Dec. 4, 1990); Music for Flute and Orchestra (1990; Cleveland, April 14, 1997). chamber:Reverberations for Organ and Tape (Troy, N.Y., April 12, 1970); Reflex for Viola and Tape (N.Y., Oct. 13, 1973); Fantasy Variations for Piano and Live Electronics (1975; March 30, 1976); Bright Angels for Organ, Percussion, and Tape (Hartford, Conn., June 6, 1977); Sonatina for Viola and Piano (1986; N.Y., April 17, 1994); Fanfare for Viola and Piano (1987; Durham, N.C, Sept. 8, 1990). keyboard:Piano: Suite (1966; South Hadley, Mass., April 23,1967); Tolling for 2 Pianos and Tape (1979; Feb. 3, 1980); Augmented Forces for Piano and Synthesizer (1987; May 19, 1988); Out of Shadow (1987; Upper Montclair, N.J., March 11, 1988). Organ: 5 Meditations on “Wondrous Love” (Oct. 26,1986); Sun’s Rising (1986; N.Y., Feb. 9, 1987); Triptych (Pittsfield, Mass., June 23, 1997). vocal:Mass for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1967; Washington, D.C., May 9, 1973); Did You Hear the Angels Sing? for Soprano, Chorus, and Organ (Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 16, 1968); Dove Sta Amore for Soprano and Tape (Syracuse, N.Y., April 17, 1969); 5 Summer Songs for Medium Voice and Piano (1969–72; May 3, 1974; also for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Orch., 1991; Cleveland, May 4, 1992); Apollo Circling for High Voice and Piano (Oct. 22, 1972); 3 Night Pieces for Soprano, Alto, Women’s Chorus, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (April 7, 1974); 3 Poems of Günter Grass for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, and Tape (Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 19, 1974); Children of the Sun for Soprano, Horn, and Piano (Feb. 19, 1978); The White Whale for Baritone and Orch. (1981; Feb. 14, 1982); Crossing the Meridian for Tenor, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 8, 1982); Earthsongs for Women’s Chorus and Orch. (1983; May 19, 1984); As Freedom is a Breakfastfood for Women’s Chorus and Piano (Rye, N.Y., May 10, 1984); The Canticle of the Sun for Narrator, Chorus, and Digitally synthesized Instruments (1984; Groton, Mass., April 21, 1985); Sleep Now for High Voice and Piano (1985; Oct. 19, 1986); Shakespeare Songs for High Voice and Piano (1985; March 1, 1987); The Light Here Kindled for Baritone, Chorus, Brass Quintet, Timpani, and Organ (Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 7, 1986); The Outermost House for Soprano, Narrator, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (West Yarmouth, Mass., Nov. 16, 1991); Psalm 126 for Chorus, Brass Quintet, Timpani, and Organ (May 30, 1992); A Fondness for Music for Women’s Chorus and Piano (1993; April 17, 1994); Visions for 2 Sopranos and Chamber Ensemble (1993; Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 3, 1997); The Golden Door for Chorus and Chamber Ensemble (N.Y., June 8, 1999). electronic:Improvisation for Loudspeakers (1969); Time Machine (1970); Alternate Routes (1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kaun/Dennis McIntire