Arts Blog

Composer Jack Gallagher

American composer Jack Gallagher (born in Brooklyn in 1947), is a Grammy®-winning composer of works for a variety of instruments, including several orchestral works.  Some are of a large scale, such as his Symphony No. 2, ‘Ascendant’, while others, such as his Berceuse (lullaby) are diminutive but make as much of an impression.  Part of the appeal for me of Gallagher’s work is the sense that it is contemporary, yet has the immediacy of Romanticism.  There’s occasionally a jazz influence, which the composer says is no surprise, given his passion for the form which goes back to his high school years.

Piano Music of Jack Gallagher (Centaur 3522), spans about 45 years of the composer’s life, and some pieces, such as his Sonata for Piano, are the result of revision by him.  Gallagher says (in his conversation with me, posted on this page), that he occasionally looks over older material and takes the opportunity to improve on them.  I mentioned the “immediacy” of the work earlier; another is the sense that Gallagher wants to connect with his listener through his musical language and ideas.  Pianist Frank Huang is assistant professor of piano at Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio), and bridges the span between composer and listener, through his sensitive and insightful playing.  We’ve been playing the Berceuse (which was a piano piece originally) on All Classical Portland, along with a few other works; we look forward to enhancing our playlist with more by Mr. Gallagher.

Gallagher: Piano MusicFrank Huang
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