A commissioned composition by Ray Shattenkirk of the Hope College music faculty received critical acclaim when presented by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Albuquerque on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 18-19.
Shattenkirk's composition, "American Icons,"
laments extinct American wildlife and expresses concern for
endangered species. The concert presented three movements
of a larger work that is still in progress.
"In 'American Icons,'" the quixotic Shattenkirk
has created a lyrical and moving evocation and loss," the
"Albuquerque Journal" said. "Shattenkirk's passion was
conveyed through a fine musical sensibility and sure
The three movements presented during the
Albuquerque concert concern the extinction and endangerment
of butterflies; the extinction of the passenger pigeon; and
the extinct Eastern Bison. Completed in their original form
in 1994, 1998 and 1995 respectively, the three movements
were orchestrated through a commission from the NMSO.
The NMSO's musical director, David Lockington, is
also musical director of the Grand Rapids Symphony
Orchestra. He and Shattenkirk have been friends since they
met while studying music at Yale University.
The movements are half of a planned one-hour
composition that the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra will
premiere in May of 2001. The completed composition's finale
will be "Wings of Hope," which premiered during the
inauguration of Hope College President James Bultman on
Friday, Oct. 22.
Shattenkirk is composer-in-residence and assistant
professor of music at Hope. He joined the faculty in the
fall of 1999.
He has received numerous awards and prizes,
including a National Endowment for the Arts Composer
Fellowship, the Lakond Prize of the American Academy of Arts
and Letters, a California Council for the Arts fellowship
and several Meet the Composer Awards. He has been a fellow
at the Tanglewood, Aspen and American Dance festivals, and
at the MacDowell Colony.
Among others, he has also received commissions
from the Long Island Philharmonic, Chamber Music America and
Shattenkirk holds bachelor's degrees from the
University of Florida, and a master's and doctorate from
Harvard University, and has also pursued his musical
training at Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and the University of California-Berkeley. In
addition to Hope, he has taught at the Yale School of Music,
Harvard University and the Preparatory Department of the San