Lydia Lowery Busler b. 1970
Composer, hornist, and clinician LYDIA LOWERY BUSLER began her performing career at age 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and composing at the same time for high school dance troupes. Lydia has since performed with the New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic, José Limón Dance Company, and Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, as well as holding the position of Solo Horn with the Rome Festival Opera. Lydia was nominated in 2014 to ACME: Mu Phi Epsilon's list of esteemed Artists, Composers, Musicologists and Educators. Lydia is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
Lydia's compositions are performed by artists around the world. In honor of the 2011 Year of the Vermont Composer, Lydia and Lars were awarded a grant by the Consortium of Vermont Composers to begin work on the war-time opera One Way In. The International Horn Society Meir Rimon Commissioning Fund awarded Lydia for Lanterns, commissioned for and performed across the continent by the ZINKALI trio. That summer, Lydia's vocal/instrumental folk work Thirteen Feathers and Thirteen Stones was performed at the Vermont Statehouse for the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers while Journale was premiered by flutist Aleksandr Haskin with pianist Mary Au at the Nixon Library in Los Angeles.
Some notable ongoing trends and champions: Hornist Howard Wall released a new recording of Appalachia on his album called Horn Monologues on Affetto/Naxos. A new recording called Music for Women with violinist Elmira Darvarova and Howard Wall was also released in May 2020 on Affetto/Naxos. Appalachia is being recreated by female powerhouses on stages and in video and will be featured at the 2021 Northeast Horn Workshop at West Virginia University. Moon Lilies was a feature of The Women Composers Festival of Hartford as well as the Frost Cycle for soprano, horn and piano and Lanterns for flute, horn, and piano at the 2012 Women's Work series in New York City and the International Horn Symposium in Texas. Mysterium was also featured at the 2012 Northeast Horn Workshop.
Tina Barkan at the 92nd St Y in NYC premiered Path and Pinnacle for flute, horn, and piano just before the pandemic. Reverence premiered in 2019 and is a work for flute, horn, bass, and piano for Ellie Jenkins at Dalton State University. Metalwerx continues to feature great contemporary music, doing winter 2020 lunchtime performances; Irrational Happiness for the Metalwerx Tuba Quartet first premiered in 2017 and Metalwerx continued with the premiere of Deep in 2019. The acapella choir Syrinx toured with Throwing Seeds to the Wind in 2015, premiering at Saint Paul's Cathedral on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. Violist Elizabeth Reid and pianist Alison Cerutti commissioned, premiered, recorded, and performed The Scree Dragon (2014) on stage, radio, and virtual performance to present.
Lars Nielsen April 3, 1955 -June 29, 2018
Lars Nielsen wrote hundreds of poems including The Hockey Game and Walking Hubbardton Battlefield, published by the Poetry Society of Vermont. His Project in Honor of the Millennium included 300 poems written between May 1999 and May 2000. His most prominent work of poetry was a verse used in collaboration with his brother, Vermont composer Erik Nielsen, in the composition of The Falling of Trees, setting to music this verse Lars composed in honor of their oldest Nielsen brother, Karl, who died in 1998. Lars lost his own battle with a brain tumor in June of 2018.
Nielsen's next two poetic works in progress were NESHAMA BASHERT: Jewish Alternative Liturgies and Midrashic Meanderings (working title), a creative compilation of Jewish liturgical writing, based on weekly Torah portions as well as major holiday themes, a combination of poetry, narrative, and essays, and Observations Adopted: A Biography of Feelings, a collection of poetry as memoir and artistic development.
Nielsen was best known for drama. He wrote the play, HAIKU, in 1999, and it was performed by a Northfield High School student group as part of the 2004 High School Festival for which it received the most creative script award. It was later performed that spring in Northfield. Haiku forms the middle piece of three plays of the BIG TENT TRILOGY, including ICELAND, HAIKU, and THE BOOK CLUB that were part of the Fall Readings series put on by the Vermont Playwrights Circle in November 2008. In addition, Nielsen has written THE ASPIRANTS, NAMING OPPORTUNITIES, AND THE NIGHT LETTER, all performed in the annual TenFest Productions sponsored by the Vermont Playwrights Circle and the Valley Players, in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. He also wrote a full length play, ABSTINENCE, and was ferociously at work on a new dramatic presentation of the Wars of the Roses, called THE TALLY STICKS, interleaving both a late medieval and contemporary plots and characters. He also wrote fiction, including novels and short stories.
Lars was working on a major musical collaboration with prominent Vermont Composer Lydia Busler, titled “ONE WAY IN”. Lars had a strong musical background as a classically trained singer who performed in elite choral groups at Carnegie Hall, Little Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Kaufman Hall at the 92nd Street Y. He also in chant choirs as well as other early music contexts as well as more modern compositions inspired by his brother Erik. Lars also played percussion and occasionally electric bass.
Lars wrote commercials for Radio Stations WSNO and WORK in Barre for over ten years, and held a Master’s in International Diplomacy from Norwich University, where he taught political science and history to undergraduates and works as Administrative Program Director for the MA Programs in Military History.