Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mark Alburger

Mark Alburger (b. April 2, 1957, Upper Darby, PA) is an eclectic American composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. He is Founder and Music Director of San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra and The Opus Project, Music Director and Resident Composer of San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions, and Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal.

Alburger played oboe in Philadelphia and Delaware County Youth Orchestras (the latter in association with George Crumb, Richard Wernick, and George Rochberg), and studied composition with Karl Kohn (Pomona College, 1978); Gerald Levinson and Joan Panetti (Swarthmore College, B.A., 1979); Thomas Wubbenhorst (Weber State University, 1983); Jules Langert (Dominican University of California, M.A., 1991); Roland Jackson, Thomas Flaherty, and Christopher Yavelow (Claremont Graduate University, Ph.D., 1996); and Terry Riley (1997-99).

He has taught Music Composition, History, and Theory at Philips Academy Andover (1979-80), Westtown School (1983-86), Marin Academy (1986-90), Dominican (1992-97), Diablo Valley College (2002-present), and St. Mary's College of California (Visiting Lecturer, 2009-2010).

Among his 346 opus numbers (often troped after Medieval/Renaissance practices on pre-existing works ranging from ancient Chinese sources to the musics of Igor Stravinsky, Crumb, and Philip Glass) may be counted 16 concerti, 27 operas, 31 song cycles, 9 symphonies, and a 12-hour work-in-progress on The Bible. Other notable works include The Twelve Fingers, Diocletian, Mary Variations (on Mary Had a Little Lamb), The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Playboy of the Western World, The Vespers of 2010 (in homage to the 400th anniversary of the Claudio Monteverdi setting), and Sex and the Bible: The Opera (Part I). His 2017 was recently premiered in Vallejo and Albany, CA.

In addition to regular performances with The Opus Project, SFCCO, and SFCO/GHP -- Alburger's compositions have been presented across the Americas by such organizations as The American Composers Forum, The Annie Wright School (Washington), Berkeley Arts Festival and Store Gallery, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (Oregon), Boxcar Theatre, California State University Stanislaus, Chapel of the Chimes, Christ and St. Stephens Church (New York), College Music Society, College of Marin, Dos Santos - Palestro Duo, Diablo Valley Chamber Music, DVC Philharmonic Orchestra, Foothill College Radio, Ilona Duo, KPFZ 88.1 (Lake County), Left Coast Ensemble, Music Next Millenium, National Association of Composers U.S.A., The Next Stage, Noe Valley Ministry, Noh Space, North/South Consonance Orchestra, Northwestern State University (Louisiana), NOW Music Festival, Oakland Metro Opera, Old First Concerts, Opus 415 Marathon, Onyx Quartet, Orchestra 2001, Palo Alto Cultural Center, Pacifica TV, Pacific Sticks, Potrero Hill Neighborhood House Theatre, Las Pulgas School, Sacramento State College, San Francisco Community Music Center, San Francisco Conservatory, San Jose Choral Project, San Jose State Univeristy, Scola Cantorum, Sinfonica Nacional del Paraguay (AsunciĆ³n), Sounds New Ensemble, Star Classics Recital Hall, The Surrey School (Maine), Susan Hess Dance (Philadelphia), Thick House Theatre, Tuolumne Brass, 20th-Century Forum, Universidad Nacional de Lanus (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Venue 9, The Western Springs Music Club (Chicago), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Z Space.

His YouTube channel (DrMarkAlburger) includes more than 500 music videos of his work, and has received hits from around the world -- notably from Australia, Brazil, England, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. These videos have also been featured on All TV Downloads, AOL Video, Apni Community, Cha Cha, CineBasti, Cine Duck Video, Desi Shock Videos, Domotica, Download Video, Encyclopedia.com, Find4Real, FormAsk, FullSongs.Net, Go Song, Historic River Cities, Holy Tube, Holy YouTube Religion-Based Videos, Lyrics AZ, Moving Space Productions / Lady Tenenbaum, MP3 Downloads, MP3-Find, MP3DL, Music Sense, Musipedia, Next Gossip, One Pakistan Videos, Online Free Videos, Online Television, Otimo Videos, Portal de Misterios, Prismotube, RB Video Search, Sea Flog, Siteo Web Professional, Songs RS, Supermarket, Tube Home, Tube Sense, Veengle, Video Search 24, Vid Surf, Video Surf, Watch Crash Demented Videos, Watch 2 Videos, Witty Sparks, Wokalisci, World News, Yidio, and YouTube Dish.

Alburger's works have been recorded on the North/South Consonance, New Music, and I Kill Me Music labels. He is published by New Music, with his early compositions (through Op. 34) available at The International Music Score Library Project.

Alburger has received a number of awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and Theatre Bay Area; and grants from the Getty, William and Flora Hewlett, Marra, MetLife, and Zellerbach Family Foundations.

As Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music monthly journal (first published as 20th-Century Music from 1994-99), he has interviewed many composers, including Charles Amirkhanian, Lisa Bielawa, Henry Brant, Earle Brown, Crumb, Andrew Culver, Anthony Davis, Paul Dresher, Dean Drummond, Jim Fox, Glass, Ali Akbar Khan, Joan La Barbara, Steve Mackey, Tod Machover, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Riley, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Melinda Wagner, Erling Wold, Christian Wolff, and Pamela Z.

Alburger has written the updates of the John (Coolidge) Adams and Philip Glass articles for Grove Online and the second edition of The New Grove American Dictionary of Music, plus new essays on American Baroque, Dan Becker, Cold Blue, Jim Fox, Alden Jenks, Mona Lyn Reese, Belinda Reynolds, Alex Shapiro, Andrew Shapiro, M. Wagner, William Winant, and Wold.

Alburger's parents are George and Elizabeth Alburger, artists and journalists of the Philadelphia area. His sister Sorrel Ann is a New York performance artist. He was married to Carolyn Alburger from 1983 to 1999; their child Chris is a recent graduate from Harvard Divinity School.

Alburger resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his partner of seventeen years, Harriet March Page -- mezzo-soprano, and Founder and Artistic Director of San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions.

YouTube Channel

Past and Upcoming Events

Complete Works (In Progress, Always)

International Music Score Library Project

Daily Blog
markalburger2021.blogspot.com (2021)
markalburger2020.blogspot.com (2020)
markalburger2019.blogspot.com (2019)
markalburger2018.blogspot.com (2018)
markalburger2017.blogspot.com (2017)
markalburger2016.blogspot.com (2016)
markalburger2015.blogspot.com (2015)
markalburger-2014.blogspot.com (2014)
markalburger2013.blogspot.com (2013)
markalburger2012.blogspot.com (2012)
markalburger2011.blogspot.com (2011)
markalburger2010.blogspot.com (2010)
markalburger2009.blogspot.com (2009)
markalburger.blogspot.com (April-December, 2008)
markalburger2008.blogspot.com (January-March, 2008)
markalburger2007.blogspot.com (2007, in progress)
myspace.com/markalburger (2007)

Music History (Textbook)

21st-Century Music (Online Versions of the Monthly Journal)
21st-centurymusic.com (Archive)
21st-centurymusic.blogspot.com (In Progress, Always)

Performing Groups
(The Opus Project)
(San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra)
(San Francisco Cabaret Opera / Goat Hall Productions)


Biography at Bach Cantatas

Partial List of J.S. Bach tropes

Partial List of Grids, Influences, Quotations, Tropes

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31 - Preposition Propositions

In Barstow.

After the train.

Near the tamarisk.

At the station of the crossed clouds.

Across the Mojave on 58.

Below the southern Sierra Nevada.

Up Tehachapi Pass's Joshua trees, snow, and (unfortunate) windmills.

Through the industrial violations of the high plateau.

By the town.

Down the grade.

Past oaks and digger pine.

Into the fog of the future with Harriet at the end of a most memorable happy year -- and, to all, many new ones more!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30 - Slip-Fault Sliding

Fly away up Oak Creek Canyon, past the increasing snows of Slide Ranch,

to the switchbacks by

the piney


adjacent to the small world of a Sikh snowball fight and

Native-American vendors.

Declivity gives way to plateau thereafter, as we approach the scalloped plowed edges of a Flagstaff service station,

where the San Francisco Peaks reign supreme,

then down out from the elevation-c.-7,000 high country into Mohave County (there's no accounting for Arizonan non-Hispanic spelling)...

to the expanses of the Yucca Rest Area,

near the Arizona Needles,

over the Colorado

River at the spot on the map known as Topock

and back

to our strange wonderful state,

with towns named after strange/natural out-of-state formations,

and the ghosts of yuccas in the Sacramento Mountains marching off to uncertain futures.

Down the alluvial slopes into the line of a deserted overpass in Ward Valley (this land where I entered the state to take up more-or-less permanent residence so many years ago),

up into the Piute Mountains,

and down again -- a palm-and-cacti


near Goffs finds views extending east to the aforesaid prominences

and west beyond a sad, silent, waterless flock to

the Providence range in the East Mojave Scenic Area: creosote bush, dark igneous table lands, and even a bit of relief for animal companions.

But other signs, including prices a full dollar more than elsewhere (hey, we're back of beyond; what can we expect?), are less encouraging (non-humans, refer back to previous scene). Nevertheless...

Ole!... Since the Scandinavian equivalent is not coming to mind...

On. To lonely railroads before the Cady Mountains,

and the evenglow of the Calicos

extending to the outskirts of Barstow for rest. Stop.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29 - Lifting Our Eyes

Jerome lies basking next to part of its raison-d'etre -- the open-pit-copper Clark Mine --

up nd at the Mingus Mountains,

in glorious views the San Francisco Peaks (north of Flagstaff),

Sedona Cliffs, and Verde Valley, on the way to the

Douglas Mansion

at the State Park.

From there, the town is part of the view,

along with the Mine (namesake of the aforesaid original big-time minor, obliged to look at his interloping late-comer arrival's digs down the hill) and

Little Daisy Hotel (rather a lot really, named for Douglas's rival excavation, and now an unexpectedly private residence),

old mine equipment,

stately walls,

views scrimmed,

stark, and


extending downslope to Clarkdale (Clark's combo humanitarian-industrial founding), the Verde Valley, Sedona Cliffs, and Williams and San Francisco Peaks.

Upslope, lunch is at the Jerome Grand Hotel (a former hospital),


looking out on the patio,


and all the rest, again (now including the Powder Box Church -- now a private residence, and named for its construction utilizing old wooden boxes which once contained explosives).

Harriet buys me a new hat (much to the relief of some of my students), and we're out the door, back to Sedona.

First stop, Lower and Upper Red Rocks Loop Road, since it's about time to take in the picture-book vistas of Courthouse Butte and

Cathedral Rock,

set among various

foregrounds (clearly, look, but don't touch).

Dry Creek Road, the unique teal-arched planning-board-approved McDonalds, the adobe Safeway before Capitol Butte,

followed by Soldier (or Soldier's -- the first seems favored by a majority of guidebooks and maps, while the second is on the street signs) Pass's Coffee Pot Rock

evince the mixed blessings of development.

From here, we ascend halfway up Airport Mesa to the, shall we say, Vortex View of

the Coxcomb,

Chimney Rock,





The Sphinx, The Fin,

Wilson Mountain, and Steamboat Rock.

At the top of the Mesa, another stop --

are we viewed-out yet (with the Safeway down left from Capitol Rock and

the vista across the airport proper)?

Evidently not, because next is the beginning (but only the beginning, as the main course is unpaved) of Schnebly Hill Road, named after a founding pioneer in these parts, whose wife's given name was given to the town.

Here the world extends west to Mitten Ridge,

east to Munds Mountain,

and south back towards Capitol etc. And back towards there we head, to rendezvous with Roland and Liz at a local grill, for steaks and stir-fry and a far-inland fisherman's platter.