NICKITAS DEMOS: AEGEAN COUNTERPOINTNew Chamber Music
Yvonne Powers Peterson Oboe
William Rappaport Clarinet
Jessica Graham Off-Stage Clarinet
Ted Gurch Bass Clarinet
Tania Maxwell-Clements Viola
David Hancock Cello
Craig Hultgren Cello
Monica Hargrave Harp
Cary Lewis Piano
Jeffrey Kershner Percussion
World Premiere Recordings
"On the evidence of the chamber pieces heard here, [Demos'] music is emotionally direct and powerful in an essentially tonal language which most should find easily accessible. Indeed there is an openness to the music which is thoroughly welcoming, without ever being merely populist...The earliest piece here, Mnimosinon is moving and richly expressive...The demands of all three movements are well met by cellist David Hancock who puts a persuasive case for [Three Gestures for Solo Cello]...Tonoi I, played with technical assurance and conviction by Tania Maxwell-Clements, contains some striking passages and suggests, once more, that writing for strings seems to be particularly stimulating to this composer’s musical imagination...The Suite for Oboe, Viola and Piano is an exciting, musically sophisticated piece, full of tonal complexity and structural sophistication without ever running the risk of being merely clever. [It] makes a fine trio which deserves to be more widely played and heard...Postscript, fittingly enough, rounds off a rewarding programme of chamber music... Demos is certainly a composer whose ears are open to many different musical idioms, but who is able to synthesise them into coherent music of a distinctive kind. There is much here that I will return to frequently, I suspect."
MusicWeb International - September 2008
"[Demos influences] lend color and atmosphere to his writing...There is an attractive variety of moods here, and Demos works with breadth, working out one mood before contrasting it with another...Demos clearly has something to say...."
American Record Guide - March / April 2007
I was born into a musical family, my father being a clarinetist, conductor and a music professor. Although I took up both the piano and the clarinet in elementary school, I was always more fascinated with composers. As a child, I can remember reading the biographies of the famous European masters and rarely practicing my piano pieces without adding extensive variations and developments to the written music. While formally studying composition, I continued to actively perform in traditional jazz ensembles, rock bands and most importantly, ethnic groups specializing in Greek folk music. The influences of these disparate types of music have all found their way into my work and are reflected in much of the music on this recording.
- - Nickitas J. Demos, June 2007
* * *
Nickitas J. Demos (b.1962) holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Music degree in composition from the Indiana University School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His principal teachers were Donald Erb and Roger Hannay
Commissions include works for the Cleveland Orchestra, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Chamber Players and the Georgia Music Teachers Association. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including Grand Prize in the 2004 Millennium Arts International Competition for Composers, Grand Prize in the 2005 Holyoke Civic Symphony Composition Competition, Birmingham & Atlanta Prizes in the Hultgren 2005 Solo Cello Works Biennial Composition Competition and nine ASCAP Awards among others. Demos’ works have been programmed at festivals, symposia and conferences including the International Festival – Institute at Round Top; the Ernest Bloch Music Festival (Newport, OR): the Annual New Music & Art Festival (Bowling Green State University); the Biennial Festival of New Music (Florida State University) and at National and Regional Meetings of the College Music Society (CMS) and the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) His music is published by MMB Music, Inc.
Demos currently holds the positions of Associate Professor and Coordinator of Composition Studies at the Georgia State University School of Music. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the neoPhonía New Music Ensemble, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of SCI and is Co-Founder, Composer-In-Residence and Artistic Board member for Bent Frequency, a professional contemporary music ensemble based in Atlanta. He also serves as the Musical Director for the Greek Islanders, an ethnic ensemble he founded in 1982 specializing in Greek folk music.
Tonoi I (1999)
Tonoi II (2000)
Three Gestures for Solo Cello (1990)
Suite for Oboe, Viola & Piano (2000)