Andrew Rudin, Composer


 "I love what I have heard by Andrew Rudin, a true blue contemporary born in 1939.  The Sonata for Violin and Piano 
will be, I am convinced, one day, sooner rather than later, included in the top repertoires in the genre, along with the Cesar Franck and the Brahms 'third'."

       Kenneth Zammit Tabona
       The Sunday Times, Malta 12/12/10


CIRCADIA (Piano Trio)

The long-term creative destination of any given composer is more difficult to predict than weather, from Wagner's lofty refinement achieved in Parsifal to Leonard Bernstein's angry repudiation of suburbia in A Quiet Place. Having pioneered electronic music and collaborated with the stylish and abstract choreographer Alwin Nikolais, the 76-year-old Andrew Rudin has progressed to a distinctive place of mystery in his fine piano trio Circadia that premiered Monday at the chamber music series 1807 & Friends.

Rudin's harmonic allegiances sometimes lie in a kind of expressionism that's somewhat out of fashion in the U.S. But Circadia is a piece that is so much itself, and so personal, that fashion isn't a consideration. Like the slow movements of Rudin's Piano Concerto and Viola Concerto, the music doesn't have the unmoored quality of atonality. But it also doesn't go in any of the predictable directions of tonal harmony, either. In Circadia, the opening chords on the piano were both rich and imposing, with a faint whiff of Olivier Messiaen, and repeated with a frequency that suggests a chaconne, but not so slavishly that Rudin would seem to use received forms without being beholden to them.

The four movements are named after times of the day, though the music had so many engaging events with purely musical value that any superficial road map was not needed. Wherever the music careered, it did so with a sure sense of expressive purpose, and with so much overall thrust that you couldn't always tell when one movement ended and another began. As the piece went on, it seemed like a concerto of sorts, the pianist had moments of solo virtuosity amid a regular rhythmic framework provided by the strings, and then turned the tables with the strings having their concerto moments supported by piano. Voice-in-the-wilderness moments - lonely, soliloquy-like melodies against a backdrop implying remoteness - aren't unusual with Rudin, but they emerged here with enigmatic richness. The performance by violinist Nancy Bean, cellist Lloyd Smith, and pianist Marcantonio Barone at the Academy of Vocal Arts had confidence not always encountered in premieres.

             Daniel Patrick Stearns
             Philadelphia Inquirer 12/16/15

   CONCERTO FOR VIOLA, Strings,Harp, Piano, and Percussion

       “Andrew Rudin’s Concerto for Viola, Strings, Harp and Percussion fulfills all the expectations most of us bring to a viola concerto. The viola draws a flowing line that sings movingly above a variety of instrumental backgrounds.  His concerto is essentially a perfectly realized contribution to a classic genre. Brett Deubner played his role with a full appreciation of the composer’s aims."
        Tom Purdom
        Broad Street Review 5/27/09

Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra

"But the high point of the evening was the world premiere of Andrew Rudin's Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra. Rudin has a gift for the kind of gesture that grabs you by the ears and won't let go, the music building in power as its inherent possibilities unfold. Extroverted, engaging and driven by an almost heroic sense of drama, it received a bravura performance from pianist Marcantonio Barone."

            Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post 5/20/08


"Rudin's mature writing was immediately evident in the length of his musical "chunks," presenting material for about 2-3 minutes before contrasting or drastically developing his thoughts. Not afraid to please the listener, Rudin used rich tertian harmonies and frequent major sevenths that would mingle well with jazz and early twentieth-century sound worlds, as would the flashes of irregular meter and non-functional harmonies. The self-described "jovial" and "tongue-in-cheek" third movement brought virtuosic pianist Marcantonio Barone to the forefront again. A driving pulse was passed among various sections, leading to an impressive, muscular final cadenza and a brief, powerful whack of an ending. I would certainly pay to hear this work again."

Kyle Gullings



“The best large-scale electronic work I have ever heard. In Andrew Rudin's hands the electronic idiom finally comes of age. His handling of it all--the colors, the textures, the rhythms, the sonorous space which is so powerful an electronic resource--is masterly, and his piece actually does equal the grandeur of his theme, which is nothing less than the essence of Greek tragedy.

Alfred Frankenstein, High Fidelity Magazine

“This is electronic music with an individual difference. Major to the piece is that with all the electronic scintillations there is a strong structural fidelity. The possibilities of electronic music have held much promise. With Rudin's meaningful and dramatic composition, however, one of the goals has been reached.

Arthur Cohn
Recorded Classical Music: A Critical Guide To Compositions and Performances

Three Sisters

“Three Sisters is immensely satisfying music. Rudin has a masterly command of orchestral colors, and knows how to use voice to its greatest emotional potential.”

Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 1993

“The composer's instrumental gifts were most apparent, and the vocal lines had a conversational appeal and dramatic intensity, as well, with especially appealing writing, appropriately enough, for intertwined female voices.

John Rockwell, The New York Times, March 5, 1981

“Andrew Rudin made a shrewd choice when he picked the sisters' story. The music races and clangs, but it stays inside the boundaries that define Chekhov's emotional range. When Suzanne DuPlantis's evocative, expressive mezzo floated over the audience, she was presenting one of the best arguments for contemporary music I've heard.

Tom Purdom, WELCOMAT, June 2, 1993

“Extremely well crafted and a brooding air of hostility permeates what I intriguing element."

Frank Corsaro, stage director

Museum Pieces

“A fascinating world premiere: ‘Museum Pieces’ by Andrew Rudin, a charming tour de force which captures the feeling and style of 19th-century miniatures (a berceuse, nocturne, novelette, etc.) while using atonal technique.”

Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post, OCTOBER 13, 1975

“The jewel of the evening was Andrew Rudin's ‘Museum Pieces’. Rudin's pieces are descendants of the 19th century suite, taking something from the manner and developing it in the manner of 1975. Sonorous pieces with great aspiration and grasp, for fearless pianists with power and prowess beyond doubt.”

Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 7, 1976

Memories of Texas Towns & Cities

“The high point of a fine program, ‘Memories of Texas Towns and Cities’ contains echoes of Berg and Varese as well as allusions to jazz, country-western, and gospel. It is also a work well able to stand on its own as authentic Americana in the line descending from Charles Ives through Aaron Copland. A very effective evocation of the spirit of Texas places, interpreted perhaps for the first time by a modernist sensibility.”

Clifford Endres, Duende, June 1988

The Innocent (opera in One Act)

“Rudin's work holds fascinating possibilities for a new kind of opera and art form.”

James Felton, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, May 1972

“Mr. Rudin is a composer of very considerable talent, and in this new work he has indicated the direction in which he sees opera moving. The Innocent is fascinating, haunting, at times moving work.”

The Music Journal, September 1972

“The Rudin work is one of a new breed of opera. The children's intervals were disarming and innocent. The score probed a vast range of sonority, from tones on pitchpipes, to great orchestral chords. It is highly diverting musical theater which creates a clear dramatic picture of the way the world engineers the death of the heart.”

Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 22, 1972


“Andrew Rudin writes music of grace and substance, boldness and lyricism. Truly a listener's feast. I eagerly await each new piece.”

Jay Reise
Composer, University of Pennsylvania

"I've conducted Rudin’s Memories of Texas Towns and Cities twice now, and on both occasions I found his music to be evocative, searchingly ‘different’, and appealing. It also has a peculiar ‘sticks-in-the-mind’ quality that tends to hang on for a long time, as all good music does."

Dan Welcher, composer and conductor
University of Texas

“Rudin's Canto di Ritorno, recently premiered and recorded by Orchestra 200l, is one of the most engaging and downright beautiful pieces we've performed in the last few years. This violin concerto with chamber orchestra is a masterful work, accessible but thoroughly contemporary, and like all of Rudin's other music with which I'm familiar, demonstrates a profound compositional craftsmanship and a highly sensitive ear for color. It deserves to be played and heard all over this country.”

James Freeman,
Conductor, Orchestra 200l

"Listening to your [piano] concerto...vibrant and exciting music! I'm especially struck by a big 'tolling-bells' passage in the first movement. Very dramatic! What a fine, big-boned piece! The slow movement put me in mind of Ravel's G major, which I hope you'll take as the praise I mean it to be."

Gerald Levinson,


“Andrew Rudin’s ‘Museum Pieces’ were the highlight of my 1975 Kennedy Center recital. These stunning miniatures encompass all aspects of piano writing, from lyrical and expressive movements to highly virtuosic and tremendously challenging ones. They deserve a significant place in the piano repertoire and show Rudin’s amazing versatility.”

Lydia Artymiw

"Mr. Rudin completely understands the viola as a singing virtuoso instrument and I am thrilled and honored to premiere his Concerto for Viola, which I believe will become one of the major viola works of the 21st century."

Brett Deubner
Viola Soloist
Founding member of the Halcyon Trio

" Composed over twenty five years ago, Rudin’s Portentum for Solo Percussion remains a wonderful and ‘new’ sounding work. Performing this, and his Quintetto Energico, remains a highlight in my years as a chamber music performer. I look forward to future collaboration on these and other projects. "

Anthony Orlando
Associate Principal Percussion
The Philadelphia Orchestra

“I am honored to know Andrew Rudin for 25 years as teacher, colleague and friend. I have performed and recorded his exciting Quintetto Energico and presented his music on my Salon concert series where it was enthusiastically received. His music is rhythmically compelling and dynamic, yet also lyrical and expressive. He has successfully written for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal forces and was a pioneer in the early years of electronic music. His vast knowledge of music and other arts, and his strong advocacy for the performance of contemporary music make him a valuable and vital member of the Philadelphia music community.”

Andrea Clearfield

“Andrew Rudin's music continues forward, relentlessly asking the tough and beautiful questions, unafraid, unrepentant, and is, simply put, vital and essential as all hell. What else is there?”

Bobby Previte
Composer, Drummer

“Rudin’s contributions to the modern canon have been eagerly awaited and happily appreciated. That was certainly the case with Canto di Ritorno…. Many of the moods established reveal a soulful poignance that touches the heart while others thrill the senses through pointilistic splashes of color.”

Michael Caruso
Critic, Main Line Times

“Andrew Rudin is a consummate artist, and a significant teacher. His stunning compositions challenge me to play beyond myself. Even more, I admire that in all aspects of his music and in his life, he insists upon truth and honesty.”

Diane Monroe
"I remember how delightful it was to discover and rehearse your Quintetto Energico. Playing it with a variety of other players, we always had lots of fun rehearsing and performing it. I remember vividly your initial description of the piece as being inspired by the Puerto Rican Day parade. It has that air of energy and excitement, yet with a tender, lyrical, all-too-brief cadenza for alto with its lovely accompanying piano chord that was always my favorite moment in the piece!"

Marshall Taylor