Charles Fussell has been and important figure in the musical life of Boston for over twenty years. His music has been and is still programmed frequently by Boston ensembles, in particular Collage New Music, The Cantata Singers, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Charles Fussell has been and important figure in the musical life of Boston for over twenty years. His music has been and is still programmed frequently by Boston ensembles, in particular Collage New Music, The Cantata Singers, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Fussell attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he worked with Thomas Canning and Bernard Rogers, and studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, working with Boris Blacher. While in Germany, he also attended the Bayreuth Masterclasses of Frideland Wagner. He later was assistant to and close friend of composer Virgil Thomson. He has received a citation and award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, grants from the Ford Foundation and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and a Fulbright Fellowship.

Fussell's discography includes Specimen Days and Being Music, two commissions for the 1992 Walt Whitman Centennial (Koch Records), Symphony No. 5, The Astronaut's Tale, and Right River, Concerto for Cello solo and String Orchestra (Albany Records). Fussell has served on the faculty of Boston University and Rutgers University, and is active as vice president of the Virgil Thomson Foundation. He resides in Woodside, New York.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | November 3, 2006
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | October 1, 2004

News and Press

[CD Review] Fanfare reviews Charles Fussell: Wilde

These two orchestral works by Charles Fussell are new to me, as is his music in general. Wilde, Symphony for Baritone and Orchestra, was runner-up for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, a surprise not because of its merits or lack thereof, but because the style is not typical of most contenders from that era. Since the track record of Pulitzer decisions is decidedly mixed, runner-up status is considered a badge of honor among some new music aficionados.

Fanfare Full review
[News Coverage] Independent labels embrace a D.I.Y. ethos

The major classical recording labels, a few notable exceptions aside, seemed determined to continue their march toward irrelevance and oblivion this year. For independent outfits the prognosis was better: The budget-priced Naxos reigned supreme, while hardy concerns like Hyperion, Kairos, Testament and Bridge produced invaluable offerings. But some of the most robust activity in 2008 involved labels operated by those with the most to gain: musicians, orchestras, composers.

The New York Times Full review
[Press Release] BMOP/sound releases Charles Fussell: Wilde

BMOP/sound, the nation's foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings, announces the release of its sixth CD Charles Fussell: Wilde. Inspired by two iconic literary figures, this CD is a musical exposé of the tragic lives of American poet Hart Crane and Victorian dramatist Oscar Wilde. Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), this recording embraces the rich extended tonalities and shifting, lyrical textures characteristic of Fussell's musical language.

Full review
[News Coverage] A record label of one's own

The news these days about the classical music recording industry is almost always bleak, so it’s a pleasure to report a bright spot on that landscape: the Boston Modern Orchestra Project has finally launched its own record label called BMOP/sound.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] Letter from Boston: BMOP drops six more into the kitty

BMOP (the Boston Modern Orchestra Project), now in its 10th season, is on the side of the angels when it comes to being good musical citizens. Can anyone doubt it?

To begin with, when they use the word Project, that’s exactly what they mean. Everything on their recent (Nov. 3) Jordan Hall concert - some six works by four composers - was slated for commercial recording immediately afterward. With this done, the BMOP discography will amount to an impressive 20 releases.

Sequenza 21 Full review
[Concert Review] A classic start for composer with BMOP

Founded a decade ago, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project has risen to the front ranks of American contemporary-music ensembles through its fire, precision, and commitment to new work. BMOP’s 10th season opened Friday at Jordan Hall with a concert including two pieces by emerging singer and composer Lisa Bielawa, 38, inaugurating her three-year residency with the orchestra. BMOP’s typically canny programming surrounded Bielawa’s works with beautifully complementary compositions - two, like hers, inspired by literary sources.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP begins season in daring style

“The Boston Modern Orchestra Project filled Jordan Hall with song at its Friday-night season opener. The program, titled “Voices,” featured music for voice and orchestra delivered by a stage full of Boston’s finest musicians led by artistic director Gil Rose. . .

. . .Rose and company then dazzled with their go-for-the-gusto playing of the wall-shaking Sacred Song of Reconciliation by George Rochberg. Set to a Hebrew text, the music portrays the fearsome power of the Old Testament God. Bass-baritone David Kravitz conveyed that power in a performance of staggering impact.

The Boston Herald Full review