Phoenix
The Orchestra Reborn

Jeffrey Mumford (b. 1955)

of radiances blossoming in expanding air…

Featuring Deborah Pae, Cello

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Harp, Strings
20 Minutes


About the Composer

Born in Washington, D.C., Jeffery Mumford is a prolific composer for orchestras, chamber music and soloists alike. Throughout his career he has received numerous fellowships, grants, awards and commissions from prestigious organizations such as the American Academy of Arts Camp; Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, the ASCAP Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic and the Fromm Music Foundation (to name a few). Mumford has been praised for his “philosophy of music making that embraces both raw passion and a gentle imagistic poetry” (The New York Times). He currently serves as Distinguished Professor at Lorain County Community College in Northern Ohio; his previous appointments include: Washington Conservatory of Music, Bowling Green State University, and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

In an interview with the National Endowment for the Arts Mumford notes that music has always been a part of his life. He grew up in a home that celebrated the sounds of Count Basie, Billy Taylor, Ramsey Lewis, Beethoven and Handel’s Messiah; and started playing clarinet in fourth grade. From a young age Mumford was also captivated by visual art and even went to college as an art major. It was in college, when a painting of his was sabotaged, that he found solace in the music department. Mumford says “Maybe it was the best thing that happened to me, to have this painting sabotaged. Music became my mode of expression, that was my voice.”

Jeffrey Mumford

Jeffrey Mumford

When listening to Mumford’s music, it becomes exquisitely clear that he finds inspiration in the visual world around him. He looks to cloud imagery, ways of experiencing light, and interactions with people as the source material for his compositions.


About the Music

Tonight, you will hear the world premiere of Mumford’s of radiances blossoming in expanding air . . . Written in 2017 for Deborah Pae, this concerto features the cello in a series of ongoing developmental relationships with soloists and ensembles within the orchestra. According to Mumford these relationships generate motivic materials that spread through the fabric of the work and create new timbral combinations and interrelationships. Ultimately this leads to an increase in the number of sonic possibilities in an expansive space. Much of the work’s harmonic material is based on the letters of Ms. Pae’s first name: D, Eb, Bb (or), A, h (the German spelling of B-natural)

Deborah Pae

Deborah Pae

On of radiances blossoming in expanding air . . . Mumford writes:

Deborah Pae’s sublime tone and deep musical insight have inspired me to create a new work which will showcase her talents. The result is of radiances blossoming in expanding air. . . , which was commissioned by the Cricket Foundation along with a consortium of generous private donors. I am delighted to be working with artists such as Ms. Pae, Phoenix and Mr. Szymanski who communicate their approaches to music making in such utterly compelling ways.


of radiances blossoming in expanding air… is supported by generous assistance by the following sponsors:

Cricket Foundation
Regina Kessler
Zona Hostetler
Ann & Harry Santen

Washington Conservatory Consortium:

Walter Douglas, Bonnie Jo Dopp & Peter Hurley, Philip Berlin, Marianna Bettman, Larry & Arlene Dunn, Pamela Johnson, Eric & Susan Kisch, Mika Hornyak, Wanda Hale & Michael White, Susan Ketcham, Kenneth Fain, Katherine & Yanick Lapuh, Anne & Toby Seggerman, Otho Eskin, Fred Weck