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Schwob School of Music

Schwob School of Music

New Concerto for ISSAC's Competition Finals


Composer Dan Trueman has written a new work for alto saxophone and percussion ensemble entitled, "A Palimpsest." Each of the six competition finalists will premiere this new piece with the CSU Percussion Ensemble as part of ISSAC's competition Final Round. The 1st prize winner will be featured on the CSU Percussion Ensemble's next CD recording.


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Dan Trueman is a composer, fiddler, and electronic musician. He began studying violin at the age of 4, and decades later, after a chance encounter, fell in love with the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, an instrument and tradition that has deeply affected all of his work, whether as a fiddler, a composer, or musical explorer.

Dan has worked with many groups and musicians, including Trollstilt and QQQ, the American Composers Orchestra, So Percussion, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Brentano and Daedelus string quartets, the Crash Ensemble, many wonderful fiddlers, and has performed across America, Ireland, and Norway.

His explorations have extended into new technologies; Dan co-founded the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, the first ensemble of its size and kind that has led to the formation of similarly inspired ensembles across the world, from Oslo to Dublin, to Stanford and Bangkok.

Dan's compositional work reflects this complex and broad range of activities, exploring rhythmic connections between traditional dance music and machines, for instance, or engaging with the unusual phrasing, tuning and ornamentation of the traditional Norwegian music while trying to discover new music that is singularly inspired by, and only possible with, new digital instruments that he designs and constructs.

Dan's work has been recognized by fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, among others.

He is Professor of Music and Director of the Princeton Sound Kitchen at Princeton University, where he teaches counterpoint, electronic music, and composition.

For more information about Dan and his work, see this profile onNewMusicBox by Molly Sheridan, and this interview with Marty Moss-Coane on RadioTimes.

Dan Trueman's website is

"The dazzling results mixed George Crumb's knack for unearthly timbres, Alvin Lucier's infinitesimally fine gradations of tone and the fierce creative audacity of Jimi Hendrix." —The New York Times

"Trueman is a man out of time, one foot in tomorrow's software, the other in yesterday's folk music." —Electronic Musician


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The CSU Percussion Ensemble is directed by Schwob School of Music faculty artist, Paul Vaillancourt. Year after year this ensemble continues to perform at the highest artistic level, dazzling audiences with their subtlety, precision, and remarkable communication.

In addition to the list of works premiered—by composers James M. David, Matthew Welch, Eric Moe, John Parcell, Brian Cherney, and Nico Muhly—the group performs and records music from the traditional percussion ensemble repertory, including works by Davidovsky, Varèse, Jolivet, Cage, and Reich.

This ensemble has recorded on Albany Records, NAXOS, and John Zorn's TZADIK label.

Vaillancourt and the ensemble were featured prominently in the 2012 ISSAC, premiering James. M. David's saxophone concerto L'oiseau dans l'espace with each of the 2012 ISSAC competition finalists.

Please click on these links for more information about the CSU Percussion Ensemble and their director, Paul Vaillancourt.