Iconic composers Derek Bermel, Gabriel Kahane, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stucky, and Augusta Read Thomas talked with 21CM about their creative process, the glorious advantages and limitations of technology, and how being a composer has changed with the times, and remarkably stayed the same.
Artist: Gabriel Kahane
Over the last decade, Gabriel Kahane has quietly established himself as one of the leading exponents of American song, grafting a deep interest in character and narrative to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. On the heels of his major label debut, The Ambassador, hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”, Kahane now celebrates the release of his fifth LP, The Fiction Issue, an album comprising three chamber works performed by string quartet Brooklyn Rider, with vocal appearances by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, and Kahane himself.
Gabriel has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Sufjan Stevens, Blake Mills, and Chris Thile, frontman of Punch Brothers, for whom Kahane opened forty concerts in the US last year. In addition to a tour with Brooklyn Rider in support of The Fiction Issue, this season finds Kahane returning to Carnegie Hall for a duo recital with pianist/composer Timo Andres. In March, he makes his European debut with concerts at Kings Place in London, the Paris Philharmonie, and the Finnish National Theater in Helsinki, among others.
As a composer increasingly known to mine his songs for material in larger-scale works, Gabriel has been commissioned by, among others, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured in the spring of 2013, performing Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States, an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. He has written three works for the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial, to be performed by the Interlochen Academy Orchestra, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus, and violinist Jennifer Koh.
An avid theater artist, Gabriel starred at BAM in the critically-lauded staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany. That production was also presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and by Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Kahane has been an artist-in-residence since 2014. He is also the composer-lyricist of the musical February House, which was premiered in 2012 at the Public Theater, for whom Gabriel is currently writing a new evening-length musical theater work.
A fellow of both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, Gabriel lives in Brooklyn, NY.
- Venice, CA, USA
- New York City, New York, USA
- The AmbassadorWhere are the ArmsGabriel Kahane
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Les Freres Corbusier
The Public Theater
Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Award