The composer will talk about how his experience as a jazz and rock drummer has influenced his compositional approach. For instance, an improvising drummer makes intuitive decisions about rhythm, gesture and orchestration in an accompanimental context and also melodic decisions for solos. The result should be musically satisfying, so the art is the instantaneous decision-making process. When composing, Stolz attempts to improvise strong musical material. During the revision process, he often finds that the first idea was the better, and that some materials become "over composed." Other times the improvised idea becomes improved and refined through the compositional process. The talk will feature live performances of Princess Ka'iulani (2010) for flute and the first movement of Piano Sonata (2012).
Dr. Nolan Stolz has a unique compositional voice, one that is clearly influenced by his performance background in jazz and progressive rock, yet firmly rooted in the contemporary classical tradition. Stolz is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (Oregon), and he has taught composition at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of South Dakota, The Hartt School, and Naugatuck Valley Community College (Connecticut). His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and across Europe, including festivals such as the Academie Internationale d'Ete de Nice (FRANCE), Suolahti International Summer Music Festival (FINLAND), Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacosutic BarnDance, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, eXtensible Electric Guitar Festival, Las Vegas International New Music Festival, Las Vegas Music Festival, Music Today Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, and at several College Music Society Conferences. He has been commissioned by the Alturas Duo, CCSU Chamber Players, Synchronix, LVA Jazz Ensemble, Las Vegas Music Festival Orchestra, SUNY-Stony Brook, Tom Peters, Aaron Larget-Caplan, Mark McArthur, Leslie Ann Leytham, Robert Plotkin and Stephen Tobin. Stolz has received several grants including two Jackpot Grants from the Nevada Arts Council, an artistic grant from the Evelyn Preston Fund, and others. He has received several awards, including the Max DiJulio Composition Prize.