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“… songs that elegantly combine personal fervor and worldly sophistication” (on “From a Book of Hours”) —Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times

“… James Primosch’s gorgeous ‘Dark the Star’… Set to texts by Rainer Maria Rilke, Susan Stewart and the Book of Psalms… it featured a brooding opening section, soaring and expressive vocal lines and creatively scored, beautiful instrumental writing.” Vivien Schweizer, New York Times

“… balm for the soul and food for thought.” —Christian Carey, Musical America

“Primosch’s text-setting instincts are seemingly unerring: his vocal lines always convey the words authentically and honestly, while the instrumental accompaniment provides added depth and drama…” —Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

+ more reviews


Recent CD from Bridge Records

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A CD devoted to music for voice and ensemble has been released by Bridge RecordsSusan Narucki and William Sharp are the soloists; Christopher Kendall conducts the 21st Century Consort. It’s available at Amazon and at Arkiv Music.

“He cares very deeply about the words… airy, thoughtful, and challenging, as any real sacred endeavor should be.” —Stephen Ritter, Audiophile Audition

“These songs are unfailingly compelling, whether the musical language is complex or seemingly simple… Christopher Kendall skillfully and sensitively leads the 21st Century Consort, which provides superb accompaniment.” —Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

“…the music is eclectic, as there are many influences: plainchant, expressionism and folk songs are a few. Yet this is an integrated eclecticism, where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts, and all is formed into a widely (this is important) expressive language, one that has a basis in tonal relationships, but that can be abundantly clear or mysterious…The pacing is elegant, movements are never too long or over stay their material, and the balancing of movements is delicate and done with assurance. The music… doesn’t strive always to be in a holy space, but instead to describe it and give it a human response. In this way Primosch is able to take us to, be in the presence of, and then take us out of, sacred time and space, an attribute which is at the center of the Western musical art form.” —Daniel Asia, Huffington Post


Just Released CD from Albany Records

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The new album Vocalisms includes ten of my songs for soprano and piano: Waltzing the Spheres, Shadow Memory, Three Folk Hymns, and the five songs that make up the cycle Holy the Firm. Soprano Mary Mackenzie and pianist Heidi Louise Williams are featured on this two-disc set that also includes music by Ned Rorem, John Harbison, and Daniel Crozier.

+ more CDs


Upcoming Performances

January 25, 2019: Matins
Peggy Pearson, oboe
Cantata Singers
David Hoose, conductor
Jordan Hall
New England Conservatory
Boston, MA


February 15, 2019: Four Sketches (premiere; commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society)
Imani Winds
American Philosophical Society
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Philadelphia, PA


January 31, 2019: A Sibyl
Florida State University Festival of New Music
Marcia Porter, soprano
flutist TBA
Deborah Bish, clarinet
Nina Kim, violin
Evan Jones, cello
Heidi Williams, piano
Justin Ball, percussion
Alexander Jiménez, conductor
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL


April 6, 2019: I Heard You (premiere; commissioned by Lyric Fest)
James Reese, tenor
Laura Ward, piano
Lyric Fest
Academy of Vocal Arts
Philadelphia, PA


April 7, 2019: I Heard You (premiere; commissioned by Lyric Fest)
James Reese, tenor
Laura Ward, piano
Lyric Fest
Haverford College
Haverford, PA


April 9, 2019: I Heard You (premiere; commissioned by Lyric Fest)
James Reese, tenor
Laura Ward, piano
Lyric Fest
The Phoenix Concerts
New York, NY


April 13, 2019: Times Like These
21st Century Consort
Christopher Kendall, artistic director
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington, DC

+ more upcoming and recent performances


In-Progress Projects

—a new work for woodwind quintet, commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and to be premiered by Imani Winds on February 15, 2019.

—a new song on a text by Walt Whitman, commissioned by Lyric Fest with first performances set for April 6 and 7, 2019.

—two new works for live instrumentalist and electronic sound: one for flutist Emma Resmini, and one for saxophonist Matt Levy. To be premiered in the 2019-2020 season.

+ more projects