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MP3 Carl Witt - Quiet Mind

...delicate and sublime piano pieces...the music is spare, tranquil, hushed--put your quest aside for a moment, and simply listen...to the QUIET MIND.

5 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Relaxation, CLASSICAL: Minimalism

Carl''s work is rooted in the great Classical tradition--his music blends the soulful expressiveness
of contemporary popular styles with the intellectual rigour of classical, modernist, and post-modern creative thought. Trained in a vigorous conservatory environment,
he worked as a pianist in both classical and uptown art music before moving to solo performing full time. His style has been described as a mix of Van Cliburn and George Winston but Carl himself would add to that a pantheon of twentieth century composers--Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Ives, Messiaen, Boulez, Elliott Carter, Lou Harrison, Morton Feldman, Bernstein, Copland, Reich, Riley, and a lifetime of personal influences unique to everyone. Meditation and improvisation--in a sense, one and the same thing--infuse Carl''s playing and composing. The Buddha''s teachings are very important in his music and personal life.

Carl Witt''s concerts are an intimate mix of his compositions, classical music--recently the music of Bach--and improvisations, which create a bridge between composing and performing. He sometimes throws
in a dash of blues or ragtime for variety. Staying attuned to the audience and even inviting their attentive participation as they listen is important to Witt and audiences appreciate being included in this way. Performances are being booked for the 07-08 concert season.


Dr. Carl Witt received his DMA in composition and applied piano from the Eastman School of Music, where he
received the top composition prize, the Howard Hanson Award, and where his written qualifying doctoral
examinations were among the highest scoring in the history of that institution. He studied piano with David
Burge, and composition with Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner and Samuel Adler. He received his Master of
Music degree from Southern Methodist University in 1985, where he studied with pianist Alfred Mouledous and
composer Sydney Hodkinson. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University in
1981, studying piano with C. Curtis-Smith and Phyllis Rappeport, and composition with Ramon Zupko.
He has recently worked with Sophia Rosoff in New York, studying the pedagogical and performing methods of Abby


From 2003 through 2007, Carl Witt oversaw the music program at Saint Andrew''s- Sewanee School, a boarding school in Tennessee where he attended as a student. Under his watch, the school received the largest gift in its history--$2.2 million dollars for a new performing arts building. He has taught and led master classes at Augsburg College, the University of Saint Thomas, Hamline University--all in Minnesota--the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, the University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga, and the University of Wisconsin at River Falls; he was organist and music director at Unity Church-Unitarian, Saint Paul''s largest Unitarian church. And he taught through the Faith Partners Residency Program. Witt''s playing has been heard on Schickele Mix, Performance Today, MPR’s New Releases, and John Diliberto’s Echoes in radio broadcasts nationwide. He won the $25,000 McKnight Performance Award, with Minnesota Orchestra Co-Principal Barbara Leibundguth. They were invited by Pierre Boulez to discuss and rehearse the master’s Sonatine for flute and piano, which they have recorded, along with other landmark works for flute and piano, on a CD entitled Visionary Duos, which is available through Albany Records. His discography includes releases on the Innova, CRI, Troy-Albany, and Heon labels. Recent solo concerts of improvisation and Bach have drawn excellent reviews and growing audiences. He has collaborated in chamber music with many fine American and European classical and contemporary musicians. He has
performed with members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has recorded with members of the Minnesota Orchestra, including premiers by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Peter Schickele. From 1997 to 2000, he was Co-Artistic Director of Zeitgeist, presenting premiers of works by John Cage, Terry Riley, Paul Dresher, Jerome Kitzke, Warren Kreuger, Martin Bresnick, Yoko Ono, Pauline Oliveros, and many more. He has improvised publicly with contact improvisation artists Chris Aiken and Peter Bingham, Flying Sisters Theatre, Borrowed Bones Dance Theatre, Zeitgeist, and the James Sewell Ballet. His
CD, Quiet Mind, is gaining notoriety in the healing music genre as a profoundly tranquil work, with deep musical
integrity. Throughout his career as a performer and composer, Witt has strived to work collaboratively, as a creatively engaged and equally participating musical participant; as such, he is popular as a chamber musician and accompanist. He is particularly identified for his willingness to tackle challenging 20th century works. Respected as a superb sight-reader, he teaches this essential skill to his students. He was accompanist and assistant musical director with Minnesota Opera, working with Maurice Sendak and Oliver Knussen on Where the Wild Things Are, and preparing new operas by Larsen, Moran, and others. He plays keyboards and guitar in blues bands around Nashville.


As a composer, Dr. Witt has been commissioned by and written music for Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra ''Cellist Kirsten Whitson, Minnesota Orchestra Co-Principal Flutist Barbara Leibundguth, Wissam Boustany, bagpiper Dick Hensold, Minneapolis Chamber Symphony, Zeitgeist, Corn Palace Productions, the Lyra Concert, Flying Sisters Theatre, Borrowed Bones Dance Theatre, Minnesota Ballet Theatre, Walker Art Center, Unity Church-Unitarian, Bet Shalom, United Theological Seminary, Nautilus Music Theater, as well as writing and arranging music for records, concert performance, commercial videos, dance, and dance theater. His Duo, commissioned by Barbara Leibundguth, was featured as a highlight of the Upper Midwest Flute Association''s 1997 convention. This Invisible World was premiered in its original version by Wissam Boustany at the 1999 National Flute Convention in Atlanta, revised in 2001, and since played in Europe, the Middle East, and in the US and Canada. Leibundguth and Witt performed his Blessing at the 2004 NFA convention in Nashville. His works for flute and piano have been played around the world. He has worked with choreographer Wynn Fricke on several collaborations over the past several years, including commissions by the Walker Art Center, Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, Zeitgeist, and Minnesota Dance
Theatre. Their Corridors of Sleep and Two Fridas have been performed in numerous productions in the Twin Cities and in New York City. In July of 2002 the Southern Theater and Walker Art Center co-presented their most recent project, Hungry Ghost, which was attended by sold-out audiences at all performances. Witt is the recipient of Eastman''s top composition award, the Howard Hanson Prize; the Alieanor Prize; the Quinto Maganini Award, ASCAP awards, and grants and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the Dayton-Hudson Foundation, the Target Foundation, The Twin Cities Metropolitan Arts Council, the Brannon-Cooper Fund, The Fisher Scientific Trust, The Upper Midwest Flute Association. He was awarded a Composers Commissioning Project fellowship in 1998, a McKnight Composer Fellowship in 1999, and a McKnight
Performing Artist Award in 2001, with flutist Barbara Leibundguth. He is the recipient of the 2000-2002 Faith Partners Residency Award, working with a consortium of three diverse religious institutions in the Twin Cities to provide new works, and lead classes and workshops. He received a 2002 Nautilus Music Theater Composer-Librettist Studio award.

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