The Phoenix

Composer: Nunes, Matthew
Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Piano, Tuba
Genre: Contemporary

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The Phoenix is a tour de force piece for tuba and piano commissioned by Kayla Davis. The piece represents the internal and external struggles associated with challenging a mindset that desperately needs repair but refuses to listen. Daunting chords signify a near-impossible foe while the tuba represents a lone phoenix fighting for change. Inevitably the phoenix is wounded and nears defeat. It is in this time that the slightest glimmer of hope gives way to rebirth – a stronger and wiser version of the phoenix charges forth, refusing to yield. The work ends triumphantly but whether the battle has been won or our phoenix has escaped to see another day is up to the listener to discern. 

The material of this work is derived from a seven-note motive created by assigning each letter in the word “phoenix” to a pitch. There are also several references to composers and works Kayla and I were performing during the piece’s inception. Some references are harmonic or rhythmic, some are structural, and others cry out at the frustrations associated with daily life in a place where the mindset needs challenging. 

The Phoenix premiered April 19th, 2015 by Kayla Davis (tuba) and Elisabeth Tomczyk (piano) at the Hartt School of Music.

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    Matthew Nunes is a composer and euphonist aiming to improve the relationship between performer, composer, and audience. In 2017 he advanced to both the Northeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference's Mock Band Audition finals and the Leonard Falcone International Tuba-Euphonium Festival's Euphonium Artist semi-finals. Matthew was the 2012/2013 UCF Concerto Aria Competition Winner for Band – earning the distinction of being the first euphonium player to win since his former teacher Dr. Gail Robertson in over twenty years. Matthew was also one of seven euphonium players selected to Dr. Demondrae Thurman’s Workshop at the National Music Festival in 2013. He has performed with the Brass Band of Central Florida, Space Coast Wind Symphony, 2014 FMEA Intercollegiate Band, the National Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, as well as the UCF Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, and Orchestra. 

    Matthew is a published composer with two unaccompanied works for euphonium: Ashe and Dies Irave available from Cimarron Music Press as well as Flurry for flute quartet (or ensemble) available through Brixton Publications. In  2014 his band piece Second Strike won the Phi Mu Alpha Mu Eta Chapter Composition Competition and was premiered by the Space Coast Wind Symphony. In April of 2016 his Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Band was premiered by Dr. Gail Robertson and the Little Rock Wind Symphony. In January of 2017 he was selected as Runner-up in the Mid- America Freedom Band’s Call for Proposals. Matthew’s recent compositions are available for listening on his SoundCloud profile. 

    Matthew has taught as part of the band staff at Space Coast Junior/Senior High School in Brevard County, Florida until 2015 and has taught private composition and euphonium lessons. Matthew earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from UCF studying with composer Christopher Marshall. He earned his Masters in Euphonium Performance at Montclair State University studying with Derek Fenstermacher. His former teachers include Dr. Gail Robertson, Robin Sisk, and Tim Van Dam.

    More Information
    SKU CM3308
    Price 18.00
    Delivery PDF download, Shipped (printed)
    Composer Nunes, Matthew
    Instrument Piano, Tuba
    Instrumentation Solo and Piano
    Genre Contemporary
    Grade 4
    Duration 5
    Publisher Cimarron Music Press
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