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date: 20 August 2019

Berl, Christinelocked

  • Janelle Gelfand

Extract

(b New York, July 22, 1943). American composer of dual US and Italian citizenship. Her first music teacher was her father, Paul Berl, an accompanist for Victoria de Los Angeles and a founding member of the Mannes College of Music. Ernst Oster was also a primary influence. She studied at Mannes (1961–4) with Nadia Reisenberg (piano) and Carl Schachter (theory) among others, and at Queens College, CUNY (MA 1970), where her teachers included Weisgall and Perle; she later studied privately with Henry Weinberg and Yehudi Wyner. She has received commissions from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (1989), Peter Serkin (1990) and Pierre Amoyal (1991). From 1980 to 1997 she taught composition at Mannes.

Berl's style has been described as free of both modernist abstraction and neo-romantic nostalgia. Sonata quasi una fantasia (1988) is in a one-movement cyclical sonata form that evokes Ives’s ...

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