Eleanor Aversa

Eleanor Aversa

BIOGRAPHY
COMPOSITIONS
CDs
VIDEOS
NEWS POST

Welcome!
I was born in NYC and after several moves returned there to study at CUNY Queens College. I now live in the Boston area, where I'm an Assistant Professor of Composition at the Berklee College of Music. I return to NYC at least once a year.
————-
Bio:
Eleanor Aversa is a composer whose music has been described as “shimmering” (New York Times) “ethereal” (Society for New Music) and “lustrous” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Many of her works feature lyrical melodies with unexpected harmonies and rhythms. Her vocal works often feature original text, especially for humorous pieces.
Her compositions have been performed nationally and internationally; venues include NYC’s Areté Venue and Gallery, the Boston Conservatory, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Disjecta Contemporary Art Center of Oregon, the Irish Cultural Centre of Canton, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, June in Buffalo, the Música Viva Festival of Portugal, and Symphony Space.
Dr. Aversa has been Composer-Not-in-Residence for San Francisco Choral Artists and has been Artist in Residence at the MacDowell Colony, the I-Park Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Honors include the Northridge Composition Prize (Hero’s Welcome for orchestra) and the Brian M. Israel Prize (Movement for String Quartet), as well as awards and grants from ASCAP, the Queens Council on the Arts, and the American Composers Forum.
————-
Please click on my website, above, for my full catalog.

Let Eternal Morning Rise

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: alto, any voice, baritone voice, bass voice, mezzo soprano, soprano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: text: Mary A Lathbury (public domain) for SSATBB
Hymn setting using 6-voice imitative polyphony and contemporary, jazz-infused harmonies

Theme Among Friends

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;00'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quintet, woodwind quintet

Instruments: any saxophone, any woodwind, bass clarinet, bassoon, clarinet, oboe

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: In this reed quintet, the theme travels among all five players and is transformed in various ways. A demonstration of 5-part counterpoint.

Variation on "A Theme Among Friends"

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;15'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: flute ensemble, flute quartet

Instruments: flute, piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: An energetic, contrapuntal, four-part setting of my piece "A Theme Among Friends," originally written for reed quintet.
May be performed by flute ensemble or flute quartet.

Local Forecast

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;30'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned by Amuse Singers, Lee Ryder, Artistic Director.
A story told in weather metaphors, with over a dozen musical quotations from weather-related songs.
Available for SSAA and SATB.

Victory at Arnot

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 40 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument sextet, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, young audiences

Instruments: flute, narrator/speaker, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The true story of how a ragtag band of farmers, miners, and dishpan-wielding women, led by a 60-something immigrant named Mary “Mother” Jones, won out over a greedy corporation. The story happened in Arnot, PA, in 1899 and also features union president William Wilson, who later became America's first Secretary of Labor. Text is by Eleanor Aversa and and Kristen Wall including speeches by Mother Jones.
Available for these instrumentations:
flute, violin, piano
flute, clarinet, piano, perc, violin, cello
clarinet, violin, cello

Litany of Divine Mercy

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 6'39;30'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella, solo voice(s) with piano

Instruments: piano, satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A "Kyrie elison" melody alternates with Biblical texts describing Divine Mercy. Text: Fr. Peter John Cameron, used with permission.
Also available for SATB, piano, cantor, and congregation (9'00").

Music in Memory

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 8 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, solo string with piano

Instruments: piano, viola

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: This stormy duet is a tribute to Hindemith’s adherence to his ideals in the face of persecution, his exile, and his eventual return to Europe.
Recording: Ayane Kozasa (viola), Eleanor Aversa (piano)

Prelude on "Alma Redemptoris Mater"

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 2:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: organ

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Organ prelude harmonizing the Gregorian chant Alma Redemptoris Mater (“Kind Mother of the Redeemer”)

Probably Helical

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director.
A tribute to biologist Rosalind Franklin, whose research provided evidence of the helical structure of DNA. The text for the piece is taken from her 1953 article in the journal Nature concluding, "the structure is probably helical."

Knock on Wood

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 1:40

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned and recorded by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director
Text: Eleanor Aversa

Gesundheit!

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 1:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned and recorded by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director
Entire text: Gesundheit!

Darkling Thrush

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 5:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: NoteNova

Description: Commissioned by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director.
Thomas Hardy’s poem describes a joyous music from a bedraggled bird… What does it know that we don’t? This setting presents the poem as is, then revisits the text from the point of view of the bird. This latter half incorporates fragments of melody based on field recordings of the hermit thrush, the wood thrush, and the veery.
Available for SSAATTBB and SATB.

Solace

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 2:00

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: piano

Instruments: piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A meditative piece.
Premiered at the I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, CT

Piano Trio #2

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): 24:00:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, piano trio (vln, vc, pno), small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Each performer in this trio has a starring movement. The first features the piano, the second the cello, and the fourth the violin. In the middle − the third movement− is a scherzo-rondo in which the instruments combine equally and gleefully. The movements can be performed alone or together.
I. Maestoso
II. Largo
III. Vivace
IV. Maestoso - Allegro
Please see my website for excerpts from each movement.

Hero's Welcome

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 6:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: orchestra and chamber orchestra

Instruments: percussion

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Overture-style work for full orchestra.
Winner of the 2010 Northridge Composition Prize.

Sonora: Six Desert Songs

Year: 2009

Duration (in minutes): 11:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: clarinet, percussion

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A suite of pieces inspired by the various moods of the desert. Each movement uses a different set of small percussion instruments:
I. Noon (large and medium cymbals, gong)
II. Saguaro and Mesquite (juju bean rattle, woodblock)
III. Mirage (bells, rainstick)
IV. Lizards (bongos)
V. The Desert at 4am (finger cymbal, tambourine)
VI. Rain (temple blocks, cowbell)
Sonora was the winner of the University of Pennsylvania's David Halstead Music Prize.

life is more true

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano, piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Setting of "life is more true than reason will deceive" for low voice and piano.
Text by e.e. cummings, used with permission

Eyes Open

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Winner of the 2009 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Competition
The piece is based on a single line of text, cut and looped in the manner of electronic music. As the piece progresses, the fragments coalesce until the entire message becomes clear.

Fortitudes

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo instrument other than piano, solo woodwind instrument

Instruments: oboe

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The title is a play on the word "etude." Oboes too often play laments, songs of resignation— this soloist fights.

Lesson

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 0:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: any male voice, baritone voice, bass voice

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A miniature for solo male voice.
Text: Eleanor Aversa

Something Gleamed Like Electrum

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 7 minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quintet

Instruments: cello, clarinet, flute, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The prophet Ezekiel's vision of four cherubim.
Electrum is an alloy of gold and silver.
Premiered at Symphony Space by Second Instrumental Unit.
This recording is by Juventas at the Boston Conservatory.

Movement for String Quartet

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;45'34;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, string quartet

Instruments: cello, viola, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Winner of the 2008 Brian M. Israel Prize

BIOGRAPHY
Welcome!
I was born in NYC and after several moves returned there to study at CUNY Queens College. I now live in the Boston area, where I'm an Assistant Professor of Composition at the Berklee College of Music. I return to NYC at least once a year.
-------------
Bio:
Eleanor Aversa is a composer whose music has been described as “shimmering” (New York Times) “ethereal” (Society for New Music) and “lustrous” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Many of her works feature lyrical melodies with unexpected harmonies and rhythms. Her vocal works often feature original text, especially for humorous pieces.
Her compositions have been performed nationally and internationally; venues include NYC’s Areté Venue and Gallery, the Boston Conservatory, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Disjecta Contemporary Art Center of Oregon, the Irish Cultural Centre of Canton, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, June in Buffalo, the Música Viva Festival of Portugal, and Symphony Space.
Dr. Aversa has been Composer-Not-in-Residence for San Francisco Choral Artists and has been Artist in Residence at the MacDowell Colony, the I-Park Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Honors include the Northridge Composition Prize (Hero’s Welcome for orchestra) and the Brian M. Israel Prize (Movement for String Quartet), as well as awards and grants from ASCAP, the Queens Council on the Arts, and the American Composers Forum.
-------------
Please click on my website, above, for my full catalog.
COMPOSITIONS

Let Eternal Morning Rise

Year: 2020

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: alto, any voice, baritone voice, bass voice, mezzo soprano, soprano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: text: Mary A Lathbury (public domain) for SSATBB
Hymn setting using 6-voice imitative polyphony and contemporary, jazz-infused harmonies

Theme Among Friends

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;00'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quintet, woodwind quintet

Instruments: any saxophone, any woodwind, bass clarinet, bassoon, clarinet, oboe

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: In this reed quintet, the theme travels among all five players and is transformed in various ways. A demonstration of 5-part counterpoint.

Variation on "A Theme Among Friends"

Year: 2019

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;15'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: flute ensemble, flute quartet

Instruments: flute, piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: An energetic, contrapuntal, four-part setting of my piece "A Theme Among Friends," originally written for reed quintet.
May be performed by flute ensemble or flute quartet.

Local Forecast

Year: 2017

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;30'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned by Amuse Singers, Lee Ryder, Artistic Director.
A story told in weather metaphors, with over a dozen musical quotations from weather-related songs.
Available for SSAA and SATB.

Victory at Arnot

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 40 min.

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument sextet, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, young audiences

Instruments: flute, narrator/speaker, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The true story of how a ragtag band of farmers, miners, and dishpan-wielding women, led by a 60-something immigrant named Mary “Mother” Jones, won out over a greedy corporation. The story happened in Arnot, PA, in 1899 and also features union president William Wilson, who later became America's first Secretary of Labor. Text is by Eleanor Aversa and and Kristen Wall including speeches by Mother Jones.
Available for these instrumentations:
flute, violin, piano
flute, clarinet, piano, perc, violin, cello
clarinet, violin, cello

Litany of Divine Mercy

Year: 2016

Duration (in minutes): 6'39;30'34;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella, solo voice(s) with piano

Instruments: piano, satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A "Kyrie elison" melody alternates with Biblical texts describing Divine Mercy. Text: Fr. Peter John Cameron, used with permission.
Also available for SATB, piano, cantor, and congregation (9'00").

Music in Memory

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 8 min.

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, solo string with piano

Instruments: piano, viola

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: This stormy duet is a tribute to Hindemith’s adherence to his ideals in the face of persecution, his exile, and his eventual return to Europe.
Recording: Ayane Kozasa (viola), Eleanor Aversa (piano)

Prelude on "Alma Redemptoris Mater"

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 2:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo instrument other than piano

Instruments: organ

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Organ prelude harmonizing the Gregorian chant Alma Redemptoris Mater (“Kind Mother of the Redeemer”)

Probably Helical

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director.
A tribute to biologist Rosalind Franklin, whose research provided evidence of the helical structure of DNA. The text for the piece is taken from her 1953 article in the journal Nature concluding, "the structure is probably helical."

Knock on Wood

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 1:40

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned and recorded by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director
Text: Eleanor Aversa

Gesundheit!

Year: 2013

Duration (in minutes): 1:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Commissioned and recorded by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director
Entire text: Gesundheit!

Darkling Thrush

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 5:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: NoteNova

Description: Commissioned by San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Artistic Director.
Thomas Hardy’s poem describes a joyous music from a bedraggled bird… What does it know that we don’t? This setting presents the poem as is, then revisits the text from the point of view of the bird. This latter half incorporates fragments of melody based on field recordings of the hermit thrush, the wood thrush, and the veery.
Available for SSAATTBB and SATB.

Solace

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 2:00

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: piano

Instruments: piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A meditative piece.
Premiered at the I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, CT

Piano Trio #2

Year: 2011

Duration (in minutes): 24:00:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, piano trio (vln, vc, pno), small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: cello, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Each performer in this trio has a starring movement. The first features the piano, the second the cello, and the fourth the violin. In the middle − the third movement− is a scherzo-rondo in which the instruments combine equally and gleefully. The movements can be performed alone or together.
I. Maestoso
II. Largo
III. Vivace
IV. Maestoso - Allegro
Please see my website for excerpts from each movement.

Hero's Welcome

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 6:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: orchestra and chamber orchestra

Instruments: percussion

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Overture-style work for full orchestra.
Winner of the 2010 Northridge Composition Prize.

Sonora: Six Desert Songs

Year: 2009

Duration (in minutes): 11:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: clarinet, percussion

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A suite of pieces inspired by the various moods of the desert. Each movement uses a different set of small percussion instruments:
I. Noon (large and medium cymbals, gong)
II. Saguaro and Mesquite (juju bean rattle, woodblock)
III. Mirage (bells, rainstick)
IV. Lizards (bongos)
V. The Desert at 4am (finger cymbal, tambourine)
VI. Rain (temple blocks, cowbell)
Sonora was the winner of the University of Pennsylvania's David Halstead Music Prize.

life is more true

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: mezzo soprano, piano

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Setting of "life is more true than reason will deceive" for low voice and piano.
Text by e.e. cummings, used with permission

Eyes Open

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3'39;00

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: choral, solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: satb chorus

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Winner of the 2009 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Competition
The piece is based on a single line of text, cut and looped in the manner of electronic music. As the piece progresses, the fragments coalesce until the entire message becomes clear.

Fortitudes

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 3:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo instrument other than piano, solo woodwind instrument

Instruments: oboe

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The title is a play on the word "etude." Oboes too often play laments, songs of resignation— this soloist fights.

Lesson

Year: 2008

Duration (in minutes): 0:30

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: solo voice(s) a cappella

Instruments: any male voice, baritone voice, bass voice

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: A miniature for solo male voice.
Text: Eleanor Aversa

Something Gleamed Like Electrum

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 7 minutes

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quintet

Instruments: cello, clarinet, flute, piano, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: The prophet Ezekiel's vision of four cherubim.
Electrum is an alloy of gold and silver.
Premiered at Symphony Space by Second Instrumental Unit.
This recording is by Juventas at the Boston Conservatory.

Movement for String Quartet

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 5'39;45'34;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, string quartet

Instruments: cello, viola, violin

Publisher: Gold Mosaic Publishing

Description: Winner of the 2008 Brian M. Israel Prize

CDs
VIDEOS
NEWS POST