Off the beaten path...
Jonathan Sheffer
the Eos Orchestra

play the music of
n the final celebration of the the great American composer's 100th birthday anniversary.

A conductor-composer-innovator

It is not surprising that Jonathan Sheffer, Founder-Artistic Director-Conductor of the Eos Orchestra, has a special affinity for Aaron Copland. Like Copland before him, Sheffer is a prolific composer of music for theater and film. In fact, his conducting career emerged from his composition of scores for Hollywood films (e.g., Pure Luck, Darkman, Omen IV, Bloodhounds of Broadway, In a Shallow Grave), for TV (e.g., Andre's Mother) and musical theater (e.g. the musicals Ladies in Waiting and Going Hollywood, and the operas Camera Obscura and The Mistake). His latest opera, Blood on the Dining Room Floor, with text by Gertrude Stein, ran off-Broadway in June 2000. It received the Richard Rogers Production Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was given a reading as part of the New York City Opera's "Showcasing American Composers Program".

Mr. Sheffer has also conducted the recording of scores for several of Hollywood's biggest films, including Michael Collins, Batman Forever, Interview With the Vampire, Alien 3, A Time To Kill, Heat, Batman and Robin, and Sphere. He most recently conducted the recording of the score for the Julie Taymor film, Titus.

His other orchestral compositions include a ballet (which he also conducted) for a benefit at Lincoln Center (October 1993); a Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra, which premiered in Stockholm in November 1996, with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; and Six Piano Pieces, written in 1996, which was choreographed by Robert LaFosse and presented for the New York City Ballet Guild. His orchestration of Francis Poulenc's Appolinaire Songs was performed at the Poulenc Centenary Celebration at the 92nd Street Y in October 1999.

After conducting three film score recordings with the Seattle Symphony, he made his conducting debut on the concert stage with the San Diego Symphony in 1991. Then in 1992, he served as assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas at the London Symphony Orchestra and L'Orchestre National de France. He has since conducted other prominent orchestras in the US and Europe.

A native New Yorker, Mr. Sheffer graduated from Harvard University where he studied with Leonard Bernstein and Leon Kirchner. He also attended the Juilliard School and the Aspen School of Music.

A different kind of orchestra

With its non-traditional concerts that bring to life neglected (but important) works by important (and sometime neglected) composers, it did not take long for the Eos Orchestra to become a force in American music. The orchestra presents an annual subscription season at the Society for Ethical Culture Auditorium in New York City. Now in its fifth season under the artistic direction of Jonathan Sheffer, the orchestra gave its first concerts in 1995 performing The Music of Paul Bowles at a 3-day festival at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. In 1998, the orchestra returned to the Lincoln Center Festival in a program called Literally Bernstein. It has also performed t the 92nd Street Y, the Guggenheim Museum, and the White House at the presentation ceremony for the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.

Eos has released four CDs, the latest "Celluloid Copland" (released in 2001) featuring heretofore unrecorded music of Aaron Copland. Eos has also been heard twice on National Public Radio's Performance Today as well as on European public radio. This Aaron Copland celebratory program marks the orchestra's second TV appearance; the first was on the Arts & Entertainment Network (A&E) in a biography of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Eos is also unique in its interest in music education. It has published four books of essays and images on musical topics and in 1999 received the Japan Music Award for its education programs.
- GC/ FanFaire 2001

Photo credit: Joe Sinnott, courtesy Thirteen/WNET, NY

SHEFFER & the Eos

Listen to a clip from Cummington Story
(composed and conducted by Jonathan Sheffer, performed by Eos; from the CD Celluloid Copland Telarc CD-80583, 2001)



Don Giovanni Unmasked with Dmitri Hvorostovsky

3 Mo' Tenors

Little Women

Joshua Bell in
West Side Story Suite



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