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George Tsontakis

George Tsontakis (photo: David Ludwig)

(b. 1951)

George Tsontakis (born October 24, 1951, Astoria, New York) is active both as composer and conductor. He has been conductor of the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble where he has been a teacher of composition since 1976.

His music is increasingly being performed and his commissions include quartets for the Emerson Quartet and the American String Quartet. He is currently writing a violin concerto for Cho-Liang Lin and a percussion concerto for Evelyn Glennie. He studied with Roger Sessions and Hugo Weisgall.

Fellow composer Christopher Rouse notes:

"his music's powerful craft, its splendid pacing, its happy union of a wealth of musical languages … its profound spiritual impulse, even when it does not purport to examine 'spiritual' matters." And George Rochberg, one of America's senior composers, says, "He has the 'luck' of having concrete musical ideas that the ear can perceive and the mind can hold in memory."

Recommended Recordings

Recommended Recordings

Ghost Variations (1991), with Variations by Corigliano, Copland, Ben Weber/Hyperion CDA67005
Stephen Hough (piano)
Four Symphonic Quartets - Other Echoes (1996), Perpetual Angelus (1992), The Dove Descending (1995), Winter Lightning (1993)/Koch 3-7384-2-H1
James de Preist/Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
String Quartets - #3 Coraggio & #4 Beneath Thy Tenderness of Heart/New World 80414-2
The American String Quartet
Galway Kinnell Songs/Opus One 137
Kimbell Wheeler (mezzo-soprano), Samuel Sanders (piano),
Frank Almond & Benny Kim (violins), Lawrence Dutton (viola), Andre Emelianoff (cello)
Trumpet