Resources

Writing and Performing Contemporary Music

by N. Lincoln Hanks & Paul Barnes

N. Lincoln Hanks and Paul Barnes sit down to discuss their experiences with writing and performing music.


A professional singer and composer, N. Lincoln Hanks studied composition at Indiana University with Don Freund, Frederick Fox, and Claude Baker. Lincoln has won the Contemporary Choral Composition Competition from The Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies, an ASCAP award, and he was recently honored as a finalist in the Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize for his dramatic cantata, Tegel Passion. Many distinguished performing artists and groups, including pianist Paul Barnes, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Dale Warland Singers, have performed his music internationally. His music as been featured on North/South Concerts, the Cutting Edge New Music Festival, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Lincoln directs the composition program at Pepperdine University in Malibu where he holds the Blanch E. Seaver Professor of Fine Arts. He has recently completed his second year teaching music composition at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan.


Praised by the New York Times for his “Lisztian thunder and deft fluidity,” and the San Francisco Chronicle as “ferociously virtuosic,” pianist Paul Barnes has electrified audiences with his intensely expressive playing and cutting-edge programming. He has been featured four times on APM’s Performance Today and on the cover of Clavier Magazine. His recent performance at Lincoln Center was featured in the New Yorker Magazine. He has performed in England, China, Korea, Austria, Russia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Hungary, and in all major cities throughout the US.

Deeply inspired by the aesthetic challenge of minimalism, Barnes commissioned and gave the world premier performance of Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark). The Omaha World Herald praised Barnes playing for his “driving intensity and exhilaration.” Nebraska Educational Telecommunications' production "The Lewis and Clark Concerto," a documentary/performance of the concerto featuring Barnes, won an Emmy for Best Performance Production. Additional performances included collaborations with conductor Marin Alsop at the prestigious Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and also the Northwest Chamber Orchestra where the Seattle Times called Barnes' performance "an impressive feat." The world-premier recording with the NWCO was released by Orange Mountain Music. Gramophone Magazine remarked that this recording is "certainly one of the most enjoyable recent releases of Glass's music...Paul Barnes is a shining soloist."

Barnes also serves as head chanter at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln where his fascination with Byzantine chant led to a commissioned piano concerto "Ancient Keys" written by Victoria Bond based on a Greek chant. The world-premier recording of this concerto as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was released on Albany Records.With performances throughout Europe, the Near East, the Far East, and the U.S., Barnes' unique lecture/recitals have received international acclaim. Liszt and the Cross: Music as Sacrament in the B Minor Sonata explores the fascinating relationship between music, theology, and the Orthodox icon. Barnes' live recording of this lecture recital was recently released on the Liszt Digital label. The British Society Newsletter reviewed the recording and wrote that Barnes was “a fine pianist and gives us a performance of resounding conviction.” Clavier Magazine wrote "It is a majestic, reverential performance that elevates listeners to the sacred experience Barnes so eloquently desribes in the lecture."

Barnes is the Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music and Co-Chair of Piano at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. He teaches during the summer at the Vienna International Piano Academy and the famed Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy, as well as the Piano Plus Festival in Corfu, Greece. He also coaches the students of Menahem Pressler, Barnes' own teacher, at Indiana University where Barnes received his doctorate in Piano Performance. In great demand as a pedagogue and clinician, Barnes has served as convention artist at several state MTNA conventions and was recently named ‘Teacher of the Year” by the Nebraska Music Teachers Association.

 

 

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