Paul Somers (1942-  ) studied composition with Warren Benson and George Andrix at Ithaca College, and participated in master classes with Norman Dello Joio under a Ford Foundation Grant. Somers’ theatric works include the film score to the American International release Without Getting, incidental music to a New Jersey Shakespeare Festival production of Macbeth, and a full-length ballet A Pine Barrens Legend.

The Summit Chorale commissioned several choral works from him including Noe, Pastores, a piece for three antiphonal choirs. Somers’ A Modal Mass was commissioned by and premiered at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield, New Jersey. Antiphonien für zwei Bläserquartette was commissioned and premiered by  the C. S. Bläserchor in Frankfurt a. M., Germany. Somers’ Meditations on Jacob Wrestling was chosen for performance by the Halcyon Trio (clarinet, viola, and piano) as part of the Ars Vitalis new music concert at Kean University in New Jersey during the spring of 2003.

The 2005 season saw not only the premiere and recording of An Arch of Miniatures commissioned by the Palisades Virtuosi (flute, clarinet, piano), but the premieres of Evolving Chaconne commissioned by the Colonial Symphony of Morristown and New Jersey Camp Meeting: a Bloomfield Sabbath for flute and piano.

In the spring of 2006 Ondine Visions,  a work commissioned by the Palisades Virtuosi , was premiered by them in Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, New York City, as part of an Ondine Festival. February 2007 saw the premiere of Eight Epigrams for viola and guitar, premiered by the Duo Fresco — violist Brett Deubner and guitarist Christopher Kenniff — for Maurice River Music. His suite for solo piano, Maurice River Pictures, was premiered by pianist Ron Levy in 2008, and another solo piano suite, East Haven Spirits, was subsequently commisssioned and premiered by Levy in 2009.

Somers’ recently completed violin concerto for Jorge Avilá will be premiered by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony in March of 2011. His Cello Sonata will receive its premiere in June of 2010. He is currently working on a set of art songs.

Somers has lectured at Lincoln Center in New York City on “Les Six and the Modern Esthetic.” As Director of Adult Education for the Bay-Atlantic Symphony in southern New Jersey, his monthly lectures on various musical topics, supported by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, include venues in Gloucester County’s Glassboro Library, Cumberland County’s Millville Public Library, Atlantic County’s Margate Public Library, and Cape May County’s Avalon Free Public Library.
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Paul Somers - 18 Dec 2009