My music has been heard by people on five continents, as well as on both public radio and cable access television. I have set all of the poems of James Joyce and more poems of Emily Dickinson than any composer in history. On October 24, 2017, baritone, Hartmut Schulz presented the European premier of Six Songs of Innocence and Experience to poems by William Blake in Cologne, Germany. In June of 2015, The Swallow and The Prince was performed under a grant from Town of Dedham, MA Cultural Council that benefited The Dedham Food Pantry.
In 2012 Hamlet, an operatic drama based on the play by William Shakespeare, was commissioned and partially performed by Boston Metro Opera. Also in 2012 Fire Chant was commissioned by Non-Verbal Sacred Chants. In 2011 Birthday on The Moon, won second place in The Long Leaf Opera Competition. Thanks to a generous grant from Daniel B. Kelly; in 2010 The Acting Singers Project professionally recorded my opera Edward II. Also in 2010 Antigon was awarded Boston Metro Opera's Main-Stage Award in their International Composition Competition. The prize consisted of a performance and DVD recording.
Also in 2010, Alone Gd. Sufficeth won a performance, recording, and The Director's Prize in The Longfellow Chorus Composition Competition. Previously My Invocation for Organ was commissioned by The American Guild of Organists and is published by E. C. Schirmer.
My music has been performed: Copley Square Ballet Company, Kinetic Dance Theater of Moscow, M. I. T. Concert Band, Mobius, North Shore Civic Ballet, OutLook Film and Video, NYC. The two series that I produced for BNN TV: Crazy Dinosaurs and Out-TV won an honorable mention and 2nd prize in The Hometown USA Film and Video Competition.
I have been the composer-in-residence for The Putnam Court Musicians (also regular performer); Primetime for Kids at Massasoit College in Brockton, MA. (also Music Director and pianist) Music Now and Now Dance (also Artistic Director and regular performer; I was one of three composers with Charles Turner and Merton Brown. Guest composers included: Gary Nolan, Daniel Pinkham, and David Swerdlove.)
I received a Bachelor of Music in composition from The Juilliard School of Music. I received an honorary scholarship my Junior year. I received a Master's degree in vocal performance from Trenton State Teacher's College. At Trenton State I was also a teaching assistant. Later, I pursued a PhD in musical composition at Boston University. There I taught courses in Ear Training and Keyboard Harmony on a teaching fellowship. Subsequently I was offered post graduate scholarships in opera at Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory.
I wrote my first mass on my 12th birthday, which was performed in New York City at The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, NYC and at St. Anne's Pro-Cathedral of Brooklyn, NYC. At age 13 my Organ Sonata: 12 Tone Under Glass; was performed on numerous concerts across New England by my father, Dr. Sam Walter. My Passion According to St. Mark was written when I was age 16, and performed the next year at The Church of The Resurrection in NYC. Cloud Blue (at age 18 or 19) and Masque of The Red Death (at age 21) were read by
The Julliard String and Concert Orchestra respectively, under Thomas Ludwig.
Two of my mentors were particularly helpful: Vincent Persichetti and Calvin Hampton. Persichetti stressed listening for the psychological timing of musical ideas, while Hampton stressed the importance of having an catchy idea, followed by a contrast and a return.
This simple formula is the basis of all of my work. But my father, Dr. Sam Walter was by far
my greatest musical influence. He was a great brilliant conductor, composer, and concert organist, who gave 52 concerts a year. He encouraged, promoted, and performed my music from an early age. He even copied parts.
I studied Harmony, Counterpoint and then Composition privately with Marilyn Keiser from age thirteen to sixteen. As a result of this early training, at Juilliard, I placed out of secondary piano and the first two years of theory. At Juilliard, I studied composition with Vincent Persichetti, David Diamond, and Otto Leuning. 6 degrees of separation in the pop-up below this page shows the sometimes bizarre, tendrils to these and some of my other teachers, reaching back several centuries.
At Juilliard, I was a voice student of Oren Brown. Later I also studied voice with Metropolitan Opera stars: Jeffrey Gall (counter tenor) and Jerome Hines (bass). I premiered the male solos in the newly discovered chamber version of The Fauré Requiem at King's Chapel, Boston under Daniel Pinkham. You can hear more of my singing at actingsingersproject.com
Here are what critics have said:
"Walther is a formidably prolific composer; he writes music constantly and has a seemingly endless stream of ideas for new projects..." Roger Edmonton, The Advocate; full page article with full page photograph on Crazy Dinosaurs.
"Easily the highlight of the concert were several arrangements by David Edgar Walther... Especially satisfying was Walther's setting of three familiar folk songs, a medley that managed to sidestep all the stereotypes with a version of Simple Gifts that owed absolutely nothing to Aaron Copeland's. Walther's touching arrangements of Long Time Ago set Mary Saunders' rich, soprano peeping through the lush harmonic haze of flute and guitar like the sun through the clouds.' George W. Harper, Beverly Times.
"May the Darkness of the season inspire you with the Saturnian vibe
you so long towards: Slow, Sad, Reflective, Dense, Obsessive, Complex,"
Andrew Swan, husband of 25 years.
Closing Thoughts: It is my belief that music is "about" emotions that tell stories. Most of my pieces have myths and tales associated with them. Sometimes I keep them to myself, but usually I share them. Music has very strong visual associations for me.
For example, when I think of tones, I see colors: A: red; B: black; C: white; D: yellow; E; pale violet; F: black; and G: green. I don't know why this is... but it has always been so. I think that it might be associated with the Greek modes. I have known and read of other people with synesthesia; but I have never known of two people who AGREED on the particular associations.
I am currently in a several year long process of extended examination of dynamics, phrasing, and especially tempo in my work. It is proving most helpful.
Unlike the avant-garde I do believe in repetition and development; but I don't run things into the ground like the minimalists. Things are better on repeat... until they aren't.
I believe that audiences will agree that my music is neither cloyingly tonal nor annoyingly atonal.
Please feel free to email David Walther at: email@example.com