Epstein, Paul (1938) | Special Collections of the ODU Libraries
Paul A. Epstein's compositions include two chamber operas as well as works for string orchestra and for a variety of small ensembles. He has written extensively for voice, including a setting of Robert Coover's The Leper's Helix and a series of collaborations with poet and novelist Toby Olson. He has received commissions from the Relâche Ensemble (The Leper’s Helix and AlgoRhythms 2) and baritone Thomas Buckner (Reading.) Epstein is a member of BMI.
In American Music in the Twentieth Century, critic Kyle Gann cites Epstein as “One of the finest postminimal composers...” and calls Chamber Music: Three Songs from Home “...a vocal setting for winds and keyboards of great contrapuntal beauty.” Epstein's music has been presented in the U.S. and abroad by such ensembles as Relâche, counter)induction, the Circle ensemble of London, and ONIX Nuevo Ensamble de México. It is available on compact disk on the Mode, Navona, and Capstone labels and is distributed by ThatNew MusicWebsite.com.
Paul A. Epstein is Professor Emeritus of Music Theory at Temple University, where he taught from 1969 to 2001. Born in Boston in 1938, he is a graduate of Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. His composition teachers included Harold Shapero, Seymour Shifrin, and Luciano Berio, with whom he studied privately on a Fulbright grant to Italy in 1962-63. Epstein has been involved in closely collaborative work with artists in theater and dance. He was associated with the New York environmental theater group The Performance Group from 1969 to 1972, and from 1974 to 1987 he was composer and music director for ZeroMoving Dance Company of Philadelphia.
An article by Kyle Gann, “American Composer: Paul A. Epstein,” appears in the December, 2004 issue of Chamber Music, a publication of Chamber Music America.