Ramey, Phillip

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Ramey, Phillip

Ramey, Phillip , American writer on music and composer; b. Elmhurst, Ill, Sept. 12, 1939. He began playing the piano at 7 and composing at 17. After training in composition with A. Tcherepnin at the International Academy of Music in Nice (summer, 1959) and at DePaul Univ. in Chicago (B.A., 1962), he pursued graduate studies with Beeson at Columbia Univ. (M.A., 1965). He contributed numerous articles to magazines and wrote hundreds of notes for recordings. From 1977 to 1993 he was the annotator and program ed. of the N.Y. Phil. As a composer, he explored atonal and serial writing in several of his works. He later pursued a chromatic but generally tonal course marked by complexity of style and form. His music for piano is thoroughly idiomatic.

Works

ORCH .: Concert Suite for Piano and Small Orch. (1962; rev. for Piano and Orch., 1983–84; N.Y., March 9, 1984); Orchestral Discourse (1967); 3 piano concertos (1969–71; 1976; 1991–94); Concerto for Horn and Strings (1987; rev. 1989; for the 150th anniversary of the N.Y. Phil.; N.Y., April 22, 1993); Color Etudes for Piano and Orch. (arr. 1999–2000 from Color Etudes for Piano, 1994). CHAMBER : 3 Preludes for Horn (1960); Sonata for 3 Timpani (1961); Capriccio for Percussion (1966); Toccata Breva for Percussion (1966); Night Music for Percussion (1967); Commentaries for Flute and Piano (1968); Suite for Violin and Piano (1971; Vilnius, Lithuania, March 3, 1992); La Citadelle, rhapsody for Oboe and Piano (1975; rev. 1980; N.Y., May 14, 1981; arr. for Horn and Piano, 1994); Arabesque for Flute (1977; N.Y., March 6, 1983); Fanfare-Sonata for Trumpet (1981); Phantasm for Flute and Violin or 2 Violins (1984); Café of the Ghosts: Fantasy-Trio on a Moroccan Beggar’s Song for Violin, Cello, and Piano (Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 6, 1992); Rhapsody for Cello (1992); Trio Concertant for Violin, forViolin, Cello, and Piano ( Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 6, 1994); Praeludium for 5 Horns (1994); Elegy for Horn and Piano (N.Y., Nov. 6, 1995); Gargoyles for Horn (1995); Nightfall, aria for Flute and Piano (1996); Concertino for 4 Horns, Timpani, and Percussion (1996); Sonata-Ballade for 2 Horns and Piano (1997; Arlington, Mass., March 1, 1998); Dialogue for 2 Horns (1997; Arlington, Mass., March 1, 1998); Effigies for Viola and Piano (1998; London, May 19, 1999); Lyric Fragment for Flute and Harpsichord or Piano (1998). KEYBOARD : Piano : Meditation (Nice, July 30, 1959; rev. 2000); Three Early Preludes (1959; Chicago, Nov. 28, 1961; rev. 1996); Incantations (1960; rev. 1982); Suite (1960–63; rev. and expanded 1988); 5 sonatas: No. 1 (Chicago, 1961), No. 2 (1966), No. 3 (1968), No. 4 (1987–88, formerly No. 6; Tangier, Morocco, June 22, 1993), and No. 5 for the Left Hand (1989, formerly Canticle; N.Y., March 10, 1991); Diversions (1966); Toccata Giocosa (1966); 2 Short Pieces (1967); Epigrams, I (1967; N.Y., Feb. 19, 1969) and II (1986; N.Y., March 22, 1987); Harvard Bells (1968, formerly Piano Sonata No. 4); Piano Fantasy (1969–72; N.Y., Feb. 28, 1983); Leningrad Rag: Mutations on Scott Joplin (1972); Night Song (1973); Memorial (N.Y., Oct. 30, 1977); Autumn Pastorale (N.Y., Nov. 22, 1980);

Echoes (1981–82; N.Y., April 21, 1982); Cossack Variations (1981–85); Canzona (1982; N.Y., Sept. 8, 1983); Capriccio: Improvisation on a Theme from Youth (1985; N.Y., April 29, 1986); 2 toccatas: No. 1 (1986; Fullerton, Calif., March 5, 1987) and No. 2 (1990; N.Y., Feb. 27, 1991); Tangier Nocturne (Chicago, April 25, 1989); Burlesque-Paraphrase on a Theme of Stephen Foster (1990; N.Y., March 10, 1991); Mirage (Chicago, April 25, 1990); Cantus Arcanus (1990; N.Y., Feb. 27, 1991); Tangier Portraits: 20 Pieces (1991–2000); Chromatic Waltz (1993; Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland, Nov. 11, 1995); Color Etudes (1994; N.Y., Oct. 28, 1995); Akashic Prelude on a Theme of Paul Bowles (Santa Cruz, Calif., June 11, 1995); Solemn Prelude (1996); Phantoms: Ostinato Etude (1997). Harpsichord : Sonata (Yorkshire, England, July 13, 1998). VOCAL : Cat Songs for Soprano, Flute, and Piano (1962; rev. 1965); 7, They Are 7, incantation for Bass-baritone and Orch. (1965); Merlin’s Prophecy for High Voice and Piano (1966); A William Blake Trilogy for Soprano and Piano (1980); Moroccan Songs to Words of Paul Bowles for High Voice and Piano (1982–86). OTHER : Orchestration of Aaron Copland’s Proclamation for Piano (N.Y., Nov. 14, 1985).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Ramey, Phillip

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