The first sound file is the ending of my Symphony No.1. The four-movement work lasts 33 minutes and is scored for a large orchestra consisting of triple woodwinds and a standard complement of brass, percussion and strings. While it is hard to describe four minutes of music in a few words, it’s even more difficult to describe four minutes that are the summation of yet another 30. So let’s just say I was going for a feeling of great joy and wonder! The recorded performance here is by the Prague Dvorak Orchestra. My colleague and friend Julius Williams conducts.
Hojnacki enjoys an unusually varied musical career, spanning the classical, theater, jazz and popular idioms. As a keyboard player he has worked recently with the national touring productions of A Chorus Line and Altar Boyz, and he has appeared with the Prague Radio, Claflin Hill and New Bedford Symphony Orchestras. Recent chamber concerts have included performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, Bartok’s Contrasts, and Schubert’s Die Winterreise. Also an accomplished jazz pianist, Hojnacki works regularly with his own group and has performed with the saxophonists Bill Pierce, Joe Lovano and George Garzone. He also has appeared with the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, the Kenny Hadley Big Band, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, and the singers Al Martino, Steve Marvin, Eula Lawrence, Deb Larkin and Amanda Carr.
As a conductor, Hojnacki has led performances of ballet, opera, musical theater and symphonic compositions. His repertoire includes works of Copland, Handel, Bizet, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Ellington, Harris, Verdi, Weil, Sibelius, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Puccini, and Gershwin, as well as his own music.
Hojnacki has written over 50 compositions, including works for musical theater, orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. His music has been performed by many distinguished performers and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the New World Chorale, the mezzo Vivica Genaux, the baritones David Murray and Richard Conrad, the Berlin Saxophone Quartet, the Rhode Island Saxophone Quartet, the Solati Trio, the Berklee Jazz Orchestra, the Premiere New Music Ensemble, the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Dvorak Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the String Orchestra of the Rockies, and the Cumulus Winds and Brass Venture. He has made a number of recordings, most notably his Symphony No. 1 with the Prague Dvorak Orchestra, conducted by Julius Williams on Albany Records.
Hojnacki has taught on the faculties of Dean College and the New England Conservatory of Music. Since 1999 he has taught theory, composition, piano, and conducting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he is the assistant chair of the harmony department. He is currently writing a book about harmony in American popular song.