Local Classical Featured Artist – 07/10/23 – 07/23/23
In this week’s playlist, we feature local composer Frank Felice in honor of his recently released album, THE BEAUTY OF INNUENDOS. Frank is an eclectic composer who writes with a postmodern mischievousness: each piece speaks in its own language, and they can be by turns comedic/ironic, simple/complex, subtle/startling or humble/reverent. Recent projects of Felice’s have taken a turn towards the sweeter side, exploring a consonant adiatonicism. Frank began his musical studies in Hamilton, Montana, singing, playing piano, guitar and double bass. His interest in composition began through participation with a number of rock bands, one of which, Graffiti, toured the western United States and the Far East in 1986-1987. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, the University of Colorado, and Butler University, studying with Michael Schelle, Daniel Breedon, Luiz Gonzalez, and James Day. Most recently he has studied with Dominick Argento, Alex Lubet, Lloyd Ultan, and Judith Lang Zaimont at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he completed his Ph.D in 1998. Frank currently teaches as an associate professor of composition, theory and electronic music in the School of Music, Jordan College of Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Frank explores his own brand of “consonant adiatonicism” in THE BEAUTY OF INNUENDOS. Throughout the album, Felice sets a variety of texts to music, ranging from the antiphons of 9th century Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen to the modernist poetry of Wallace Stevens. Felice’s compositions explore the given text while also demonstrating the virtuosic skill of the singer and the pianist; the latter, far from a mere accompaniment, joins with the voices equally to lend even great profundity to the poetic text. Featured in these recordings is mezzo-soprano Mitzi Westra, who commissioned two of the works. Above all, THE BEAUTY OF INNUENDOS solidifies Felice’s reputation as a dauntless and innovative composer. We’ll hear Frank talk with host Salvador all about the album, his background, involvement in rock bands, and much more when you connect to Classical Music Indy Streaming’s Local Classical channel.