Paul Desenne photo by Tony Rinaldo
PaulDesenne
2010–2011
Rieman and Baketel Fellow for Music
FESNOJIV (El Sistema) (Venezuela)
Music Composition
A Coffee Opera

Venezuelan composer and cellist Paul Desenne’s recent work is steeped in the counterpoint of Bach, music of the 16th century, and contemporary techniques; he is influenced always by the rich forms of Latin American music. “Gran Cacelorazo,” his recent piece for piano, percussion, and strings, premiered at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg by pianist Gabriela Montero with Kremerata Baltica. Recently, he recorded Jaguar Songs (Cello Classis, 2010), a collection of cello works with cellist Nancy Green, and La Revoltosa (Clarinet Classics, 2010), two chamber works for clarinet with clarinetist Jorge Montilla.

During his Radcliffe fellowship, Desenne plans to compose a tragicomic chamber opera linking the parallel roots of Latin American music and coffee, which marked the beginning of a new era that changed the social structure of many provinces. Delving into the multiculturalism of Latin America and the Caribbean and deconstructing these musical forms, the opera will include percussion, ethnic instruments, harpsichord, recorders, and prerecorded audio material alongside traditional orchestral instruments.

Awarded the Premier Prix from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Desenne is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow and has received composition grants from FESNOJIV (El Sistema) in Caracas and Meet the Composer in New York, among many others. He was a 2006 fellow at Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. His works have been performed in major venues around the world, including Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.