Ben Gunn


Ben Gunn, a scena for baritone and piano

Florestan Recital Project: Aaron Engebreth & Alison d'Amato, Artistic Co- Directors
Music Composed by: Scott Wheeler
Texts by: Paul Muldoon
Performers: Aaron Engebreth, baritone; Alison d’Amato, piano



Recorded and Engineered by Joel Gordon
Produced by Florestan Recital Project and Scott Wheeler
Editing and Mastering by Joel Gordon and Aaron Engebreth
Images and Video design by James Greening-Valenzuela

Recorded on June 4, 2017 in the Distler Performance Hall, Granoff Music Center at Tufts University

Special Thanks: John McDonald, Tufts University, and Roderick & Joan Nordell  

Ben Gunn was made possible, in part, through a grant from Emerson College

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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen's University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.

Paul Muldoon's main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010).

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War."

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Scott Wheeler

Composer Scott Wheeler’s operas have been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera. the Guggenheim Foundation and White Snake Projects. His music has been performed by violinist Gil Shaham, conductor Kent Nagano, and singers Renee Fleming, Sanford Sylvan, and Susanna Phillips.

Mr. Wheeler has appeared as conductor in New York, Berlin, Boston, and on several recordings, often with the Boston-based ensemble Dinosaur Annex, which he co-founded and directed for many years. He has also conducted many productions of opera and musical theatre works and has appeared as a pianist in a wide repertoire of classical, jazz, and cabaret.

Scott Wheeler studied at Amherst College, New England Conservatory, and Brandeis. His principal teachers were Lewis Spratlan, Arthur Berger and Virgil Thomson, along with studies at Dartington with Peter Maxwell Davies and Tanglewood with Olivier Messiaen. His many awards include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Bogliasco Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin and the Classical Recording Foundation. He is Senior Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches musical theatre and songwriting.

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Joel Gordon

Co-founder, Producer and Sound Engineer

Joel Gordon has engineered and produced several hundred classical, contemporary and world music CDs, plus countless “live” and field recordings, recorded in the USA, Europe and Asia. His work can be heard on various recording labels throughout the USA and Europe. For over twenty years he has served as producer for WGBH Radio in Boston, MA, having overseen over one thousand live performance, concert and studio recordings as well as radio music special programs. His ethnographic field recordings can be heard on Smithsonian Folkways Records. His exemplary professional standards distinguish every Musica Omnia release and provide the label with its distinctive audiophile quality sound. Joel Gordon is also the founder of the internationally syndicated American new music resource, Art of the States.

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James Greening-Valenzuela

Acclaimed violinist JAMES GREENING-VALENZUELA's ties to the opera and vocal scene are extensive. He has worked as a vocal coach for over 20 years, was a staff member for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, for three years as well as serving as studio and master class accompanist for Sherrill Milnes, Patricia McCaffrey, Mignon Dunn, Ellen Alexander, Olivia Stapp, Chloe Owen, and Judith Natalucci, among others.

As a violinist, Dr. Greening-Valenzuela made his solo debut while in his teens, at the Bach Festival de Font’Neuve in France and went on to win First Prize in the Shreveport Symphony National Young Artist Competition, followed by critically acclaimed debut recitals at Symphony Hall in Boston and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He has been featured on seven solo CDs, produced by Musical America, Locrian Recordings and as an artist on the Con Brio Recordings label: his recording of the Bach Sonatas for Solo Violin earned a submission for a Grammy Award nomination. He was the recipient of the Elebash Fellowship Award from The Graduate Center (City University of New York), for his doctoral dissertation on the life and career of composer Ruggero Leoncavallo.

Other performances include Internacional Festival de Musica in Costa Rica, San Francisco War Memorial Herbst Theater, Wildflower Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Las Vegas Summer Music Festival, Menton Music Festival in France, New York’s 92nd Street Y, Kosciuszko Foundation, Tibor Varga Festival in Switzerland, Rodolfo Lipizer Festival in Italy, as well as guest appearances at Yale, Boston, UCLA, UNLV, Hofstra, NYU and South Dakota State Universities. In addition, he was Founder and Artistic Director of California Music Festival, which ran for eight years.

He has served as an adjunct faculty member of Queens College, Brooklyn College and Boise State University. Dr. Greening-Valenzuela currently maintains a private violin/viola studio in California and is sought after as a master teacher, lecturer and competition adjudicator.







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