Beth Anderson

Biography

Born: January 3, 1950; Lexington, KY  
In 1981, Beth Anderson wrote, "The idea that beauty is revolutionary is a revelation to me...I've discovered the part of my brain that can't decode anything, can't add, can't work from verbalized concepts, but that does make melodies with pitch and rhythm...beauty is enough." That year, she wrote Revelation, a piece demonstrating these ideas. In 1984 Barney Childs and the University of Redlands commissioned a shortened version of this Read more composition, known as Revel. There are five themes in Revel: a six-note scale that turns around on itself until it becomes a B minor melody; a "dueling trumpets" sequence; a tune in F sharp related to the first theme; a Spanish gypsy theme, fanfare-like; and a brass chorale summarizing the previous four themes.

Beth Anderson was born in Kentucky, where she started her studies. She also studied in California and in New York. Her teachers included John Cage, Terry Riley, Robert Ashley, and Larry Austin. Her other composition include the opera Queen Christian, the oratorio Joan, numerous works for soloists and tape, and two off-Broadway shows. She has received commissions from the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Staten Island Symphony, and the San Francisco Conservatory; her awards have come from BMI, the NEA, National Public Radio, and others.

Beth Anderson says, "My own mystic bent leads me to believe that musical variations, collage, reiteration and process, or evolution, are beautiful. Life is worth living and beauty is worth making."

Revel was recorded by the Richmond Symphony conducted by Jacques Houtmann. Read less