by Daniel Hathaway
Margaret Brouwer’s Path at Sunrise, Masses of Flowers, was premiered by the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra under Robert L. Cronquist on Sunday, April 11 during its 75th anniversary concert at Severance Hall. The piece was made possible by a Commissioning Music USA award from Meet the Composer. Margaret Brouwer retired in 2008 from her position as professor of composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. We spoke with her by phone at her home in Cleveland.
Daniel Hathaway: I assume you’ve had a bit more time to compose since you retired from teaching.
Margaret Brouwer: I have! It’s been wonderful and it’s lucky because I’ve had several big commissions and it’s been terrific to be able to just concentrate on that without trying to fit it in amongst many other things”.
DH: You just had a premiere in Dallas in January.
MB: I did — with the Dallas Symphony. It went beautifully. It really did. It was just a terrific experience. Got terrific reviews, and you know, there was actually a lot of press before the concert and some radio coverage. And you know there’s a new music group there called Voices of Change — they’ve been around for a long time, probably 20, 35 years — they piggybacked on the Dallas Symphony bringing me down there and so the Dallas Symphony played the concert premiere on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and then they scheduled a concert on Sunday where they did several of my chamber pieces.
DH: Fabulous. They should have given you the key to the city for the weekend.
MB: I know! It was terrific and they were wonderful. A lot of people in that group are members of the Dallas Symphony, so it’s a very high-level group, and they gave two wonderful performances of several chamber pieces in addition to the new concerto for viola and orchestra. It was hard to get back and just get to work again.