Goldstein, Malcolm (b. March 27, 1936, Brooklyn, New York). American composer, now resident in both Canada and the USA, of mostly chamber and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as an improviser and violinist.
Mr. Goldstein attended Columbia University from 1952–59, where he studied composition with Otto Luening for one year and where he earned his BA and MA. He later studied violin privately with Antonio Miranda in New York City from the mid- to late 1960s.
Among his honors are the Artists Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition in Boston (1988), the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award (1990) and the Prix Acustica International from WDR (1994, for between [two] spaces [zwischen (zwei) räumen]). He has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
As a performer of new music, he has been active as an improviser, violinist and vocalist and has also played various found and natural objects, as well as other instruments. As a violinist, he performed with the Judson Dance Theatre in New York from 1962–64, the New York Festival of the Avant Garde in the 1960s and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York in the 1960s. Since then, he has performed primarily as a soloist, both in improvised and notated music, and as such has performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. He has performed numerous free improvisations called Soundings since the late 1960s.
He is also active in other positions. With Philip Corner and James Tenney, he co-founded the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963, a new music group that performed until 1970. He later served as director of the New Music Ensemble of Dartmouth College in the 1970s and of the Hessischer Rundfunk Ensemble für Neue Musik in Frankfurt/Main in the 1990s. As a writer, he has contributed articles about improvisation to various journals, notably Perspectives of New Music, many of which appear in From Wheelock Mountain: Music and Writings by Malcolm Goldstein (1977, in Pieces: A Profile, edited by Michael Byron). In addition, he wrote the book Sounding the Full Circle: Concerning Music Improvisation and Other Related Matters (1988, self-published, now available through Frog Peak Music).
He taught various subjects at Columbia University from 1961–65, the New School for Social Research from 1963–65 and 1967–69, the New England Conservatory of Music from 1965–67, Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania from 1969–71, Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont from 1972–74, Dartmouth College from 1976–78, and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine from 1978–82.
In addition to the works listed below, Mr. Goldstein was commissioned by the Charles Ives Society to prepare critical editions of Symphony No. 2 in 1976 and String Quartet No. 2 in 2002, both by Charles Ives.
Frog Peak Music distributes some of his music.
E-mail address for consulting scores: firstname.lastname@example.org
Street address: Mr. Malcolm Goldstein, PO Box 134, Sheffield, VT 05866, USA
Website (publisher): http://www.frogpeak.org/
SELECT LIST OF WORKS (note that all works are structured improvisation compositions)
STAGE: Marin's Song, Illuminated (sound/theatre ritual, vocalise), any number of voices, any number of players, 1979–81 (also version for violin [+ voice, any number of metal objects], tape, slide projections [by the composer]); Aparición con vida (theatre piece, text by Marjorie Agosin), violin (+ voice), 1993; a convergence of distances, any number of dancers, any number of players, 1994
ORCHESTRAL: a breaking of vessels, becoming song (concerto), flute, orchestra, 1981; Cascades of the Brook: Bachwasserfall (concerto), violin, orchestra, 1984; Two Silences, 2003; a cultivation of field (for Morton Feldman), small orchestra/orchestra, 2005
CHAMBER MUSIC: Majority – 1964, violin, viola, cello, piano, 1964; frog pond at dusk, any number of players, 1970; upon the string, within the bow...breathing, any number of strings, 1972; Yosha's Morning Song Extended, any number of players, 1974; Hues of the Golden Ascending, any number of flutes, 1979; The Seasons: Vermont, any number of players, tape, 1980–82; Jade Mountain Soundings, any string instrument, 1983; Of Sky Bright Mushrooms Bursting in My Head, any 3 winds, violin, piano, percussion, 1983; my feet is tired but my soul is rested, violin, 1985; ...that hung like fire on heaven, English horn, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, French horn, trombone, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, tape, 1985; Soweto Stomp, any number of players, 1985; qernerâq: our breath as bones, violin (+ voice), 1986 (version of vocal work); Sounding the Fragility of Line (in memoriam Morton Feldman), violin, 1988; Ishi/'man waxati' Soundings, violin, 1988; through deserts of time, string quartet, 1990
CHAMBER MUSIC: gentle rain preceding mushrooms (in memoriam John Cage, vocalise), violin (+ voice), 1992; an enactment of absence, violin, piano, 1995; Configurations in Darkness (improvisations on a folksong from Bosnia and Hercegovina), any ensemble, 1995; as it were, violin, double bass, percussion, 1996; Divisions of Ground, any 3 wind/string instruments, piano, 2 percussion, 1998; it were another (texts by the composer, a John Cage-Jasper Johns acrostic), violin (+ voice), 1998; Hardscrabble Songs (text by the composer), violin (+ voice), 2000; A New Song of many faces for In These Times, string quartet, 2002; where are we going when we're standing still, looking backwards?!, violin, 2002; Two Silences, any number of players, 2003; what can be said of our differences?, any 8-20 players, 2005; a meditation/responses to Charles Ives' 'Unanswered Question' (texts from the questions "why is life like this"?, "pourquoi est-ce que la vie comme ça"?), violin (+ voice), 2006
CHORAL: Illuminations from Fantastic Gardens (text by Arthur Rimbaud [translated by Louise Varèse]), 3-5 mixed voices, 1964; Overture to Fantastic Gardens (vocalise), mixed chorus, piano, 1964 (also version for mixed chorus, any number of players, 1976); death: act or fact of dying (texts from random dictionary definitions), mixed chorus/any number of speakers, 1967
VOCAL: Yosha's Morning Song (vocalise), voice, 1973; qernerâq: our breath as bones (text by Padloq, an Iglulit Inuit [transcribed by Knud Rasmussen]), voice, any number of players, 1986 (also version for violin [+ voice]); ...out of changes: Keeping Still/Mountain (vocalise), voice, any number of players, 1994; Regarding the Tower of Babel (texts from dictionary definitions; all players also speak), any number of players, 1997
MULTIMEDIA: State of the Nation (sound environment), tape, audience, 1967; Marin's Song, Illuminated (sound/theatre ritual, vocalise), violin (+ voice, any number of metal objects), tape, slide projections (by the composer), 1979–81 (version of stage work); The Life Cycles of Stones (visual/aural installation, text from a 16th-century American hymn), violin (+ voice), tape, 1987; Violin Solos the (Whole) World Plays, or the 'Third' World within Us (visual/aural installation), violin, visual art (by the composer), 1992
RADIO PRODUCTIONS: The Edges of Sound within, 1985; Ishi/timechangingspaces, 1988; Topography of a Sound Mind, 1991; between (two) spaces [zwischen (zwei) räumen], 1993; Versuch einer Gründlichen Violinschule, 1996; as it were, another, 1998
DISCOGRAPHY (recent selection)
Hardscrabble Songs. Malcolm Goldstein, voice, violin (In Situ, 2004)
Live at Puget-Ville. Malcolm Goldstein, violin; Barre Phillips, double bass (Bab-lli, 2007)
Configurations in Darkness (2 versions); Ishi/timechangingspaces; Ishi/'man waxati' Soundings. Philippe Racine, flute; Philippe Micol, bass clarinet; Radu Malfatti, trombone; Malcolm Goldstein, violin; Beat Schneider, cello (New World Records: 80676-2, 2008)
(Last updated on February 13, 2008)