Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, born in Pfaffenhofen-an-der-Ilm, Germany in 1969, is of Kurdish descent but has never lived in his ethnic homeland or in the town where he was born. Educated in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Austria, Poland and the United States, Dr. Gawlick holds degrees from the University of California in Santa Barbara (B.M. cum laude), the University of Texas at Austin (M.M.) and the New England Conservatory of Music (D.M.A).
Similarly, his music travels far afield by drawing inspiration from and engaging with literary, visual and musical landscapes both in time and place. This dialogue across centuries and among the arts informs much of his solo, chamber, orchestral, film and vocal music.
Through noteworthy festivals, recordings, and commissions, his work has received both national and international recognition, including grants, fellowships and awards from the American Composers Orchestra, American Music Center, ASCAP, SCI, the Moniuszko Musical Society, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Britten-on-the-Bay International Piano Composition Competition, the 1st Karol Szymanowski International Composers Competition and most recently, the Red Note New Music Festival International Composition Competition. Groups championing Mr. Gawlick’s works include the Slovak State Philharmonic, the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the American Composers Orchestra, The Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, Sinfonietta Polonia, the New England Conservatory Classical Orchestra, the Knabenchor der Chorakademie Dortmund, the Treble Chorus of New England, Youth Pro Musica, New York’s Music at the Anthology (MATA), Composers in Red Sneakers, Majestic Brass, the Hawthorne and Atma String Quartets, as well as numerous new music ensembles and distinguished soloists.
In 2003, Mr. Gawlick was the American selection at the 1st Festival of Contemporary Art in Kosice, Slovakia. Zrodlo, for soprano solo, mixed chorus and full orchestra, was commissioned in 2004 for the 25th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Boston and the United States. The following year, his work At the still point of the turning world for solo violoncello was selected by the Miami ISCM Section as one of six works sent to the 2005 World Music Days in Zagreb, Croatia, representing the United States. His compositional oeuvre includes solo, chamber, orchestral and choral music as well as music for a film documentary commemorating the 20th anniversary (2009) of the fall of the Berlin Wall, music commissioned by the German Embassy (Washington D.C.) and Boston College. The world première of his cantata Kinderkreuzzug in April 2010, written for the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII, was supported by the German Consulate General Boston, the Jesuit Institute, Boston College as well as the Goethe Institutes in Boston and Munich. In addition to the European premiere ofKinderkreuzzug in Dortmund, Germany, in June 2012, his song-cycle Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände) was performed at the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln by soprano Anne Harley and guitarist Eliot Fisk in April 2013. Missa gentis humanæ, a Mass for eight-voice a cappella choir was recently premièred by Julian Wachner and the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Mr. Gawlick’s music, broadcast on National Public Radio, is available on the Capstone label and Musica Omnia.
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick teaches at Boston College and his music is available through ECS Publishing, Brazinmusikanta Publications and the American Music Center. He lives in Newton, MA, with his wife Basia and their two children.
Imagined Memories (Bîranînên Xeyalî) op.20 (2014 - 2016) String Quartet, 45 min.
Commissioned by the Hugo Wolf Quartet
Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände) op.19 (2013) Soprano, Guitar, 55 min.
Commissioned by Anne Harley and the Rose Augustine Foundation
Sorores (Frauenpartita) op.18 (2011) Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin , Cello, 26 min.
Commissioned by Etoile Productions and Boston College
Suscipe Domine op.17a (2011) Alto, Violin, Cello, 7 min. (Text: St. Ignatius)
Commissioned by T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., and the Jesuit Institute, Boston College
Quando il Fiume Giallo si acchiararà (Frammenti ricciani) op.17 (2011) Alto, Violin, Cello, 28 min. (Text: Matteo Ricci and St. Ignatius)
Commissioned by Jeremy Clarke, S.J., Boston College
Missa gentis humanæ op.16 (2008-2010) Eight-voice a cappella chorus (CCAATTBB), 53 min. (Texts drawn from the Ordinary of the Mass, Borges, Virgil, Brecht, Dostoevsky, Plautus, Herbert, Scott and the Gospel of St. John)
Commissioned by Michael Noone and Ensemble Plus Ultra
Published by ECS Publishing, Boston, MA
Berlin Suite op.15 (2009) String Quartet, 26 min.
Commissioned by the German Embassy (Washington D.C.) and Boston College
Ich schreite kaum… op.14 (2006-2007) Small Orchestra, 11 min.
Commissioned by Kirk Trevor and the Missouri Symphony Orchestra
Kinderkreuzzug (Cantata) op.13 (2004-2005) Children’s Choir, Sanctus bells, Clarinet, String Trio (Vln,Vla,Vc), Organ, 38 min. (Text: Bertolt Brecht)
Commissioned by Jacek Sykulski and the Poznan Boys Choir
Published by ECS Publishing, Boston , MA
Zrodlo (The Source) op.12 (2004) Soprano Solo, Chorus (SATB), Large Orchestra, 12 min.(Text: Karol Woytyla)
Commissioned by the Moniuszko Society
Glocken-Spiel op.11 (2004) Piano Quartet, 16 min.
…de la mas sabrosa y agradable vida… op.10 (2003) Large Orchestra, 16 min.
Commissioned by Max Hobart and the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra
At the still point of the turning world op.9 (2001-2002) Solo Cello, 14-50 min. (variable durations attributed to formal possibilities)
Commissioned by Composers in Red Sneakers
Chamber Triptych opp.6-8:
Sonata-Mazur (Aus der Ferne…) op.8 (2000-2001) Violin and Piano, 25 min.
Concerto Concertante per Sei Instrumenti op.7 (1998-1999) 2 Pianos and String Quartet, 27 min.
Mysteriun doloris quintae (Tropen-Kreuz) op.6 (1996-1997) Solo Piano, 21 min.
Published by Brazinmusikanta Publications, Amityville, NY
An die Nachgeborenen (3) op.5 (1995) Low male voice, 3 Oboes, 3 Tenor Trombones, String Trio (vln, vla, vc), 15 min. (Text: Bertolt Brecht)
Sinfonietta op.4 (1994) Chamber Orchestra, 25 min.
Trio op.3 (1993) Violin, Cello, Piano, 18 min.
Treny op.2 (1993) Baritone and Piano (Text: Jan Kochanowski) 20 min.
Satz für Streichquartett op.1 (1992) String Quartet, 11 min.
Music for “Dziad i Baba” (DVD) – Independent animation film by Basia Goszczynska (2011), 7 min.
Music (Berlin Suite) for “Berlin Holocaust Memorial” (DVD) – film documentary by John Michalczyk for Jacques Salmanowitz Program (2010), 4 min.
Music (Berlin Suite) for “Writing on the Wall: Remembering the Berlin Wall” (DVD) – film documentary by John Michalczyk and Ronald Marsh (2009), 57 min.
Missa gentis humanæ (select movements), ‘Bach at One’ Concert Series at Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church, NY, NY, April 2014; Choir Of Trinity Wall Street, Julian Wachner, conductor
Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände), Scripps College, Claremont, CA, March 2014 Anne Harley, soprano; Eliot Fisk, guitar
Missa gentis humanæ, world premiere, Chestnut Hill, MA, February 2014; Choir Of Trinity Wall Street, Julian Wachner, conductor
Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände), European premiere, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln, Germany, April 2013; Anne Harley, soprano; Eliot Fisk, guitar
Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände), world premiere, Chestnut Hill, MA, April 2013; Anne Harley, soprano; Eliot Fisk, guitar
Kinderkreuzzug (Cantata for Children’s Chorus and Chamber Ensemble), European premiere, Boy Choir of the Choral Academy Dortmund, Jost Salm, conductor, Dortmund, Germany, June 2012
At the still point of the turning world, Boston College Music in the Afternoon Concert Series, Chestnut Hill, MA, April 2012; Rafael Popper-Keizer, vc
Sorores (Frauenpartita), premiere, Chestnut Hill, MA, February 2012; Richard Shaughnessy, cl; Diane Heffner, bass cl; Blanka Bednarz, vln; Rafael Popper-Keizer, vc
Suscipe Domine, Chestnut Hill, MA, July 2011; Daniela Tosic, alto; Guiomar Turgeon, vln; Sarah Freiberg Ellison, vc
Quando il Fiume Giallo si acchiararà (Frammenti ricciani), premiere, Chestnut Hill, MA, April 2011; Daniela Tosic, alto; Gabriela Diaz, vln; Rafael Popper-Keizer, vc
Kinderkreuzzug arrangement (Cantata for Children’s Chorus and Chamber Ensemble), Boy Choir of the Choral Academy Dortmund, Jost Salm, cond., Dortmund, Germany, July 2010
Kinderkreuzzug (Cantata for Children’s Chorus and Chamber Ensemble), premiere, Boy Choir of the Choral Academy Dortmund, Youth pro Musica, Treble Chorus of New England, Ensemble Glockenspiel, Valerie Becker, musical director, Chestnut Hill and Concord, MA, April 2010
Berlin Suite, premiere, Hawthorne String Quartet, Chestnut Hill, MA, March 2010
AUDIO AND VISUAL RECORDINGS
Missa gentis humanæ [MO 0605] - 2014
At the still point of the turning world [MO 0603] - 2013
Kollwitz-Konnex (…im Frieden seiner Hände) - 2013
Sorores (Frauenpartita) - 2011
Music for “Dziad i Baba” (DVD) – Independent animation film by Basia Goszczynska - 2011
Quando il Fiume Giallo si acchiararà (Frammenti ricciani) - 2011
Kinderkreuzzug- Musica Omnia [MO 0406] - 2010
Solo and Chamber Works – Musica Omnia [MO 0309] - 2010
Berlin Suite - 2010
Music for “Berlin Holocaust Memorial” (DVD) – film documentary by John Michalczyk for Jacques Salmanowitz Program - 2010
Music for “Writing on the Wall: Remembering the Berlin Wall” (DVD) – film documentary by John Michalczyk and Ronald Marsh – 2009
Concerto Concertante per Sei Instrumenti – Capstone Records [CPS-8712] - 2003