Born in England and raised in the United States, Martin Kennedy began his formal training at Indiana University, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in both composition and piano performance. He went on to earn a Master of Music in Composition at Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Juilliard School, where he was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow. His principal teachers in composition include Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Don Freund, and Sydney Hodkinson. His principal teachers in piano include Jeremy Denk, Eveylne Brancart, and Pamela Penick.
Notes from the Composer
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Fugue and Sarabande from "Suite"
Performed by the Musica Reginae String Quartet.
Suite for string quartet was commissioned by Musica Reginae, a relatively new classical music society based in Queens, New York. Their newly formed resident quartet was interested in having new works written for them, and I was at the same time eager to write a string quartet, something that I had somehow managed to avoid up until then. It received its premiere in January 2008 in Flushing Town Hall.
I tend to rely on form as a means of compositional incitement, so I saw the composition of a suite as an excellent opportunity to experiment with formal structures. Admittedly they are sometimes pushed to the brink of recognition, but these forms are always present and essential to each movement’s composition—the fugue is textbook, the passacaglia is up to code, and even the mischievous sarabande passes inspection.