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Introducing Jake Runestad

0 Ann Drinan

A few weeks ago I got a call from concert pianist Jeffrey Biegel, who wanted to tell me about a new consortium commissioning project he’s working on. At the end of a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra, a young composer approached him about a piece he’d like to write for piano, chorus and orchestra. Jeffrey was intrigued and, after several discussion meetings, the piece began to take shape. The young composer, a student of Libby Larsen and Donald Fraser, was Jake Runestad. Jeffrey suggested I get in touch with him.

Jake and I spoke a few days later and I found his project fascinating. I suggested that he become a guest blogger for Polyphonic and take us with him through the process of creating such a large work. He readily agreed and his first post follows.

Jake holds a Masters degree from Peabody and has an impressive list of commissions from a variety of ensembles, including Seraphic Fire, the Baltimore Concerto Orchestra, the Grammy-nominated Peabody Children’s Chorus, and the Lunar Ensemble. His newest opera, The Abbess and the Acolyte, was performed at the Virginia Arts Festival, and his Lux Aeterna for SSAA choir was recently selected as a winner for the Essentially Choral Reading Session with Minneapolis-based VocalEssence and conductor Philip Brunelle.

The piece he is writing for Jeffrey Biegel is titled Dreams of the Fallen, and is based on poetry by an Iraqi war veteran, Brian Turner. Jeffrey is hard at work finding orchestras to join the consortium, and the project has already raised over $4,435 on Kickstarter, surpassing their goal.

I’ll let Jake tell you the rest of the story.

Ann Drinan

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