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Beth Denisch


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Beth Denisch’s music has been performed around the world, including at Moscow’s Concert Studio of Radio Kultura in Russia, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. Her music has received radio play and tracks are available online in addition to CDs from record labels such as Albany, Juxtab, Odyssey, and Interval. Her scores are published and distributed by Juxtab Music, Clear Note Publications, and TrevCo-Varner Music.

Denisch frequently draws inspiration from artists and authors, such as Henry James in her work "Sorrow and Tenderness," commissioned by the Handel and Haydn Society; Jeanette Winterson in her work "Jordan and the Dog Woman," commissioned by the Equinox Chamber Players; and Kathleen Jamie’s The Tree House. Many ensembles and organizations have given Denisch awards and commissions, including the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Moscow for Fire Mountain Intermezzo; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony for The Singing Tree, inspired by the Maxfield Parrish painting; and the Composers Guild for Motherwell Lorca’s Bagpipe Lament (the piano solo version). Other institutions that have commissioned her music or supported it include the PatsyLu Fund of Open Meadows Foundation, American Music Center, Our Bodies Ourselves, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Her book, Contemporary Counterpoint, was published by Berklee Press/Hal Leonard. 

Career Highlights
  • Composer and pianist
  • Recordings include Images of Eve, Nothing Works as Planned, Dark Winds Rising, Laments for Solo Guitar: Apostolos Paraskevas, Jordan and the Dog Woman, The New Romanticism
  • Publications include Contemporary Counterpoint, published by Berklee Press/Hal Leonard
  • Commissioned works for the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Equinox Chamber Players, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, and Handel and Haydn Society
  • Private lessons with Pulitzer laureates John Harbison and Bernard Rand
  • Recipient of several composer grants from the American Composers Forum
  • Recipient of Composers Guild (U.S.) award for "Motherwell Lorca’s Bagpipe Lament" (piano solo version)
  • Recipient of the Ted Pease Excellence in Teaching Award from Berklee College of Music
  • School Name
    Boston University
    State or Province
    Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
    Field of Study
    Music Theory and Composition
    Date Degree Received
In Their Own Words

"Being in the moment in the classroom is one of the most exciting things about teaching. Each classroom, each class, each day is different. I get to know my students as individuals and as a group throughout the semester. From one semester to the next, it's never going to be the same again; I'm going to have different students, so I'll present the material differently. How students respond influences how I respond, and every day I'm working off of them. Improvisation is a very big part of teaching. And when I see that light bulb go off in a student's head, it makes my day."

"One of the unique things about Berklee is that the students who are into classical music—traditional and contemporary—are also skilled at popular music. So there's less judgment and more acceptance of all different types of music, which is so important as students search to find their own personal styles."

"My job as a faculty member is to teach students new skills and how to access resources that will help them find their own voices. Through exposure to new music and through modeling and experimentation, students experience which materials, styles, and techniques resonate within them, and they then make it their own. I think Berklee students have more of an opportunity to do that than students of other schools where they may be exposed to less varied styles of music."

"The classical music program at Berklee is strong and vibrant. I hope that I inspire the students as much as they inspire me."