Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra congratulates composer Arthur Gottschalk whose work for chamber orchestra, Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand, won the 2017 ISU Contemporary Music Festival/Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition.

A man whose music has been described as “rapturous, argumentative, and prickly” (Gramophone Magazine), and “fascinatingly strange” (BBC Music Magazine), award-winning composer Arthur Gottschalk is Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. With the number of compositions in his catalog now over 200, his music is regularly performed both domestically and overseas. Mr. Gottschalk has worked in diverse areas of music, including composing and arranging music for feature films, television scores, numerous industrial films and commercials, music publishing, and artist management. He continues to work as an expert in music copyright cases and as a forensic musicologist. Mr. Gottschalk has written the following notes regarding his competition-winning composition:

Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand was written as part of a composer consortium commission in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. I gave some thought to the meaning behind the commission, and decided that the piece should be about the school, and not the composer. And of paramount importance to the incredible advances the Shepherd School has made since its inception 40 years ago were the outstanding men and women who peopled its beginning. Those who, starting with little more than a dream of a world-class conservatory, and housed in the third sub-basement of Sewall Hall, nonetheless worked selflessly and tirelessly to propel this idea from a brash notion to the reality of today.

I feel privileged to have known and worked with all of these people, many and most of whom have passed away during these years of growth and excitement, who dedicated their remaining lives and careers to the goal of taking this tiny opportunity and building it into what is now considered one of the top classical conservatories in the world. A remarkable achievement, the Shepherd School today stands upon the shoulders of these men and women, and though they may be unknown to many of the students, faculty, and staff today, I ask, through this piece, that we remember them, and take but a moment to hold them in our thoughts.

Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand will be performed by Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:30 PM in Tirey Hall, Tilson Auditorium, Indiana State University. Performance is Free and Open To The Public.

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