Nolan Composing

“Nolan Gasser’s World Concerto was a global triumph… an absolutely superb, whirlwind musical tour that yielded rich rewards because the music was so mesmerizing… a deserved life in the repertoire.” Sue Gilmore – Oakland Tribune

Listen to Samples of Nolan's Compositions
Click Here to Learn About Nolan's Current Projects

Nolan Gasser is the epitome of an eclectic composer, comfortable working in a wide-range of musical genres and styles, for a wide range of instrumental and/or vocal mediums ­– from Pop/Rock to Contemporary Classical, from Theater to Jazz, from solo piano to full orchestra, and everywhere in between. Nolan was fortunate to have been exposed to multiple style of music during his formative years, which combined with his natural ability to synthesize disparate musical idioms and make them his own has proven a great advantage throughout his career. Since at least the age of eleven, the long tail of “classical” music has been his most commanding calling – prodding him to undertake a rigorous educational path, culminating in his obtaining a Ph.D. in Musicology from Stanford University, in 2001. Indeed, his identity as a classical composer is the most “sacred” aspect of his musical identity, and it is a source of great pride that he is able to devote so much of his time to composing orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works – thanks to the generosity of numerous individual and institutional patrons.

Among the most significant new developments in Nolan’s compositional career is his 2011 commission to write a children’s opera for San Francisco Opera – based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, The Secret Garden. The opera, with a libretto by Carey Harrison, premieres in the 2012-2013 season (see News for more details). The opera premieres on March 1, 2013, with additional performances on March 2, 3, 9, and 10, 2013. These performances feature a stellar cast – including Sarah Shafer as Mary Lennox; 14 year-old sensation Michael Meo as Colin Craven; and Scott Joiner as Dickon Sowerby – along with a terrific group of SF Opera Adler Fellows. The production features the stunning and cutting-edge visual design by Naomie Kremer, under the direction of Jose Maria Condemi and conducted by Sara Jobin. Future performances are already slated for Houston Grand Opera (exact dates TBD), with several others in the works.

Another major compositional project currently in development is Nolan’s Broadway-bound musical, Benny & Joon (based on the 1994 film of the same name). The musical – in collaboration with producer Larry Hirschhorn’s H2H Productions and MGM OnStage – had its first “Reading” in New York in January 2013, featuring a slew of very talented actors; it was a huge success, and the musical is now on the path toward a full-fledge workshop in spring 2013, with an expected off-Broadway preview in early 2014. The writers – Nolan, along with lyricist Mindi Dickstein, and book writer Kirsten Guenther – are all very excited and optimistic at the prospects moving forward.

Nolan’s next major commission will be announced in detail soon, but in general involves an inventive collaboration between symphony orchestra and jazz quartet. Stay tuned for info on that!

Another major initiative to begin shortly is Nolan’s foray into film and television scoring. Look for big announcements in the coming months.

Otherwise, the past six years have seen a serious expansion of his compositional output and an accompanying national exposure that is still at an early stage. His orchestral and chamber works have appeared in concert halls and music festivals around the world, with recent performances by the Baltimore, Charleston, Memphis, Arkansas, Oakland, and Napa Valley Symphonies, the American Brass Quintet, the Alexander String Quartet, pianist Kimball Gallagher – who in 2008 performed his 3 Jazz Preludes at Carnegie Hall, and many others. Other highlights include the premiere of his Sonoma Overture by the Santa Rosa Symphony under Bruno Ferrandis, commissioned for the opening of the new Green Music Center in September 2012, followed by a performance in January 2013 by the Sacramento Philharmonic under Michael Morgan; in late 2009, his narrated symphony, Cosmic Reflection was premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. (see below); in 2009, the World Concerto for Cello and Orchestra was premiered to great success by acclaimed cellist Maya Beiser with the Oakland Symphony, along with a trio of international soloists; and in 2008, the prestigious music management firm IMG Artists, which boasts some of the world’s foremost classical musicians, signed on to promote Nolan’s large oratorio, American Festivals – beginning with a recent complete performance at the 2008 Festival del sole in Napa Valley, which featured two top vocal soloists (Jill Grove and Eric Owns) from IMG Artist’s impressive roster, along with actor Craig T. Nelson. Many more performances are scheduled or in the works – including the forthcoming performance and film release of Cosmic Reflection, as part of Stanford University’s “Thinking Matters” undergraduate curriculum – set for November 2014.

For a list of Concert works, download here

Click Here to Learn About Nolan's Current Projects

Here are some samples of Nolan’s compositions:

Copyright 2013 Nolan Gasser
Last update: march 23rd 2013