Demetrius Spaneas

Demetrius Spaneas (BM, MM, Performance, New England Conservatory; Graduate Study, Theory and Composition, Arizona State University) leads an active career in the greater New York City and Boston areas performing classical and jazz woodwinds, composing, arranging and orchestrating. He has performed to critical acclaim with the Auros Group for New Music and the Boston Philharmonic (with which he has also appeared three times as soloist). He is also co-director of the NYC based chamber group The Sapphire Ensemble. A champion of contemporary music, Demetrius has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous works, including works by: Bell, Cage, Colgrass, Ceely, Harbison, David Horne, Korde, Roscoe Mitchell, Gunther Schuller, and Dave Smith. He premiered John Harbison’s sonata for alto saxophone and piano, San Antonio, with a grant from the Demoulas Foundation, and has performed Milton Babbitt’s Whirled Series and Images many times to critical acclaim (and remains one of the only performers who plays both these works). Demetrius currently has two solo recordings, the first entitled When Wind Comes to Sparse Bamboo. This CD features the unaccompanied works of Bach, Britten, Debussy, Joan Tower, Bernard Rands, Donald Martino, Vincent Persichetti, Sean Heim, and an arrangement of Gregorian Chant. This was released in Fall 2003 on Capstone Records. His second CD, From a Far-off world, was released on Capstone Records in May, 2006 and contains new electroacoustic works for solo saxophone and bass clarinet by Jane Brockman, Sean Heim, Shaun Naidoo, and himself. A prolific composer, Demetrius has had many successful performances of his works at major venues and festivals around the U.S. Most recent premiers at: the New Directions in Percussion Festival at Cornell University, the Bay Area Chamber Symphony in Oakland, CA, and the Stone in Manhattan. Demetrius has also just been appointed Composer-in-Residence for the Bay Area Chamber Symphony, a California based ensemble that is dedicated to the presentation of New Music. His first work for the Symphony, Prelude, Romance, and Tango, met with great success. From his interest in music from the Balkans and Near East, Demetrius has formed the ensemble BALKANASIA, which takes traditional music from this area and combines it with American musical forms, such as jazz and rock. Demetrius’ vision for this unique world music ensemble is to be a creative vehicle of cultural confluence. The ensemble had its debut on March 3rd, 2005 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. A dedicated teacher, Demetrius has most recently been on the faculties of Gordon College, the New England Cons. Preparatory and Continuing Ed. Schools, and Northeastern University teaching classical and jazz woodwind lessons, composition, coaching classical and jazz ensembles, and teaching woodwind, theory, jazz history and American music classes.

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