Introducing Jake Runestad

A few weeks ago I got a call from concert pianist Jeffrey Biegel, who wanted to tell me about a new consortium commissioning project he’s working on. At the end of a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra, a young composer approached him about a piece he’d like to write for piano, chorus and orchestra. Jeffrey was intrigued and, after several discussion meetings, the piece began to take shape. The young composer, a student of Libby Larsen and Donald Fraser, was Jake Runestad. Jeffrey suggested I get in touch with him.

Jake and I spoke a few days later and I found his project fascinating. I suggested that he become a guest blogger for Polyphonic and take us with him through the process of creating such a large work. He readily agreed and his first post follows.

Jake holds a Masters degree from Peabody and has an impressive list of commissions from a variety of ensembles, including Seraphic Fire, the Baltimore Concerto Orchestra, the Grammy-nominated Peabody Children’s Chorus, and the Lunar Ensemble. His newest opera, The Abbess and the Acolyte, was performed at the Virginia Arts Festival, and his Lux Aeterna for SSAA choir was recently selected as a winner for the Essentially Choral Reading Session with Minneapolis-based VocalEssence and conductor Philip Brunelle.

The piece he is writing for Jeffrey Biegel is titled Dreams of the Fallen, and is based on poetry by an Iraqi war veteran, Brian Turner. Jeffrey is hard at work finding orchestras to join the consortium, and the project has already raised over $4,435 on Kickstarter, surpassing their goal.

I’ll let Jake tell you the rest of the story.

Ann Drinan

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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