Composer Lembit Beecher was selected as the first Composer in Residence (CIR) in 2011. Lembit is a New York-based composer from Santa Cruz, California.
Born of Estonian and American parents, Beecher's music focuses on themes of storytelling, nature and the immigrant experience. His large-scale composition, And Then I Remember, won the 2010 Opera Vista competition. This piece, which he describes as a “documentary oratorio,” combines Estonian folk poetry, classical singing, orchestral writing, and recorded interviews to tell the moving story of his grandmother’s World War II flight from her native country. In his proposal for the CIR program, Beecher wrote, “I would like to explore the connection between true stories from people’s lives and the fictional stories that they find particularly important.”
Gotham Chamber Opera presented the World Premiere of Beecher’s opera, I Have No Stories to Tell You, in February 2014 in the Medieval Sculpture Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch responded to Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by focusing on the aftereffects of war. Their 35-minute opera turns from the battlefield to domestic life to tell the story of a photojournalist's return home after extended assignment in the Middle East. Haunted by her experiences and reluctant to discuss them with a husband who no longer seems to understand her, she struggles to readjust to home. The "cleverly devised" work was hailed by The New York Times for its "emotive score" and "moments of arresting tension."
Beecher graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2002 and holds a Masters of Music in composition from Rice University (2005); he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Michigan in 2009.
April 4 - 9 | Workshop and public presentation of work-in-progress of untitled song cycle with Scrag Mountain Music in Warren, Vermont
May 10 | The New Amorous World premiere by Cantori in NYC
May 11 | Premiere of a short variation on the Trout Quintet theme by The Colonials at Spectrum in NYC
May 30, 31 and June 1 | Premiere of new song cycle at Scrag Mountain Music in Vermont
June 14 | Piano Trio performance in Milton Massachusetts by the Claremont Trio