John Berners (b.1961, Milwaukee) began composing at an early age andstudied
trombone at Northwestern University with Frank Crisafulli, earning a B.M
in performance and a B.A. in Mathematics. Composition studies began privately
with C. Curtis-Smith in Kalamazoo, MI and continued at the University of
Michigan under William Albright, EvanChambers, Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty
and William Bolcom. Currently aPh.D. candidate, John Berners lives in Silver
Spring MD, and is Assistant Professor of Music at American University in
Washington, D.C. His workshave been played by the Detroit Symphony, the Boston
Symphony brass section, the Tanglewood Festival Brass, Kalamazoo Symphony,
Brave NewWorks, the Michigan Chamber Brass and many college ensembles. His
music has been recorded by pianist Alan Huckleberry, the Millar Brass Ensemble,
and Boston's Old South Brass.
Praeludium program note:
I was delighted when Chris Kim asked me to write a piece for the Brave New Works Art of Fugue Project. My first thought was, with all those fugues, why not a prelude? I began composing Praeludium with the idea of a serene, major-key prelude like some found in the WTC. After a fewpages, however, the mood of the piece took a definite turn for the worse.A short quote from Bach's Contrapunctus IX leads the music in a darker direction. Eventually, the fragments of Baroque-style figures are left tofend for themselves in increasingly bleak surroundings.