Quotes

"...arresting...remarkable...Kernis [has] fearless originality and [a] powerful voice."

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"In the 20th Century there were giants in the land: Ives, Ellington, Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein. But who is filling those shoes now? Heading many lists is Aaron Jay Kernis...bursting onto the scene in 1983 with a New York Philharmonic premiere, Kernis has written distinctive, vivid music in virtually every genre."

FORBES

"With each new work and new recording, Kernis solidifies his position as the most important traditional-minded composer of his generation. Others may be exploring musical frontiers more restlessly, but no one else is writing music quite this vivid or powerfully direct."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Kernis is now among the most celebrated people in American Classical Music. In 1998 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his "Second String Quartet." And now, he has just captured one of classical music's major prizes - the 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition [for] `Colored Field'."

FANFARE

"Kernis has developed a real following among local audiences. People genuinely like his music and look forward to hearing his new offerings. 'Colored Field,' a large, powerful and dramatic work, is possibly Kernis' major work so far. It brings a terror that the gentle, lyrical, all-too-human solo line can barely withstand."

THE STAR TRIBUNE [Minnesota]

"Kernis has a gift for long singing melodic lines, and a fondness for the big, bold statement ['Colored Field']. The two shorter works are adaptations of 'musica celestis,' a transcription of a quartet movement for string orchestra, reaches heights of radiant exaltation in homage to Hildegard of Bingen; 'Air' shows Kernis at his simplest and most expressive."

BBC Music Magazine

"The most ambitious of the new works was Aaron Jay Kernis' Symphony No. 2. His style is eclectic, with Romantic leanings, and much of his music has a magic and originality that has made him a composer to watch."

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"...Schwarz gave the premiere of an imposing half-hour score by Aaron Jay Kernis, 'Symphony in Waves.' Like most composers of his generation, Kernis achieves his ends by avidly sponging up the myriad stylistic choices now available to him, from minimalism and salsa back to Wagner and Schoenberg. Few absorb, combine, and use all these materials with more originality or brilliance -- a major work."

TTHE NEW YORK TIMES

"'Symphony in Waves' turned out to be a rather spectacular piece of music....Kernis has a great ear for unusual sonorities and orchestral effects and, above all, great skill and imagination."

THE STAR TRIBUNE [Minneapolis

"Most arresting new orchestral piece of 1991 ['Symphony in Waves']"

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"A roar of approval from the audience that greeted Aaron Jay Kernis' 'Symphony in Waves' Friday at the Ordway.... showed the essentials of Kernis' skill in construction and communication, and his ability to orchestrate so clearly that every instrument makes itself heard."

ST. PAUL PIONEER DISPATCH

"They met this marvelous piece, 'e Quattro Stagioni della Cucina,' of historic re-imagination on its own mad terms and had the audience howling for a second course."

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"Aaron Jay Kernis' 'Le Quattro Stagioni della Cucina Futurismo' (The Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine) gets my vote as the darkest, funniest new piece of the 1990s. Courage was at a premium in Kernis' unbridled score in a score that bristles with melodic fervor and hair pin shifts of mood."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Mr. Kernis is, to my ears, the most consistently exhilarating of the younger American postmodernists."

THE NEW YORK OBSERVER

"Aaron Jay Kernis is a remarkable composer...in his 'Goblin Market'...you hear an irresistible variety of invention from the 13-piece ensemble...

THE GUARDIAN [UK]

Kernis: Double Concerto for Violin and Guitar and other works, Argo Records "Kernis leaps into a jazz-classical fusion unlike anything I've ever heard. There are flashes of jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, as well as Leonard Bernstein in his symphonic jazz mode, and a uniquely Kernis synthesis that makes this one of the more exciting new pieces to come from an American composer in a few years."

USA Today

('Garden of Light'), a 40-minute impulsive explosion of sound and effusive lyricism. Kernis' melodic writing is almost decadently lush with its bittersweet extended melodies, rich harmonies and lavish orchestrations."

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

"'Garden of Light' is full of the delicate orchestral effects and ripe lyricism that characterize nearly all of Kernis' music, but the emotions involved -- and the ideas that spawn those emotions -- are especially large."

THE STAR TRIBUNE [Minnesota]

"The fact that ['Goblin Market'] often sounds like a symphony orchestra in full cry is tribute enough to his skill in instrumentation: the range of color extracted from the players is quite bewildering...neo-decadent...catches to perfection the hothouse of Christina Rossetti's imagination and the forbidden fruits purveyed therein....Kernis's music is so vibrantly theatrical in shape and sound that he should have opera managements queueing at his door with commissions."

THE TIMES [London]

"Kernis' music explodes around - or maybe inside - Duffy's words ['Valentines' for Renee Fleming]. In this huge, colorful, detailed score, it's as if the words are Roman candles that send the music flying off in all directions. The energetic opening in the orchestra, full of razzmatazz, gives way to a soft lament at the start of the second poem. He writes "Mrs. Midas" as if it were an opera scene. He times the laugh lines expertly and enforces a subtle tone of sensual reverie at the end."

THE STAR TRIBUNE [Minnesota]

"[The Philadelphia Orchestra] could hardly have been aware of the effects they created in Aaron Jay Kernis' "Color Wheel," which it commissioned for this occasion. The work was really meant to highlight the traditional orchestra, which it did in novel ways. He manages to use color as an emotional tool in and of itself. Kernis formed an emotional arch that was, if unpredictable, still discernible as the stuff of a heroic human journey."

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER