Francine Trester

Francine Trester is Professor of Composition at Berklee College of Music. Recently, Trester’s “An Oman Odyssey,” a song cycle setting of the composer’s poetry, was commissioned by the Mirror Visions Ensemble and premiered at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. Selections from the cycle were performed at the Louvre, Paris in April and were performed earlier this year in Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently composing “A Walk in Her Shoes,” which will be premiered by Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell in August 2020. Boston Landmarks Orchestra also commissioned and premiered her “At the River” with soprano soloist Jayne West. Shelter Music Boston has commissioned two new works, including a chamber opera, “Florence Comes Home,” based on the life of composer Florence Price. “Florence Comes Home,” as part of SMB’s Florence Price Project, is the recent recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additionally, Trester was commissioned by saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky to write “Street Views” for the Amram Ensemble. This piece received its Jordan Hall premiere in 2018, and in November 2019, an orchestrated version will be premiered by the Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society at Faneuil Hall under the direction of conductor Steven Lipsitt, with soloists Kenneth Radnofsky and Elmira Darvarova, violin.

Her opera “Keepers of the Light” (libretto and music by the composer) was commissioned by and premiered this past June at the Nahant Music Festival. The cycle “Nahant Calling” was commissioned by and premiered at the 2017 Nahant Music Festival, and her opera “Sleeping Beauty” was commissioned and premiered by NMF in 2015. Performances also include a Jordan Hall premiere of “Walkers with the Dawn,” a commission from the Rivers School for choir and orchestra, with the late Robert Honeysucker as baritone soloist. Additional vocal works include numerous song cycles and the chamber opera “334 Bunnies,” performed by the Mockingbird Trio and featuring contralto Elizabeth Anker and the late baritone Donald Wilkinson, Founder of the Nahant Music Festival.

The Scottish Clarinet Quartet premiered her work at the ICA ClarinetFest in Italy, and members have performed her work in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland (Fringe Festivals). Trester’s works have also been performed in Russia, China, France and England. New York performances include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, SubCulture, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, and the Kosciuszko Foundation. Trester has written multiple works for guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan, and her work appears on his “New Lullaby” CD. Her compositions are also recorded on Albany and Crystal Records, and published by Clear Note Publications.

Trester received her BA, MA and DMA from Yale University and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study composition in Cambridge, England. She has received awards from ASCAP, the Fromm Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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