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Composer's Bio: Malcolm Caluori

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Malcolm Caluori
Composer/Music Dramatist

Composer Malcolm Caluori is a music dramatist and theorist whose works include choral, orchestral, keyboard and chamber music as well as dramatic works of varied genres. He is the recipient of a Connnie Amos Memorial Scholarship and a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music. Mr. Caluori has received multiple competition awards for works ranging from opera, to keyboard and chamber works. An accomplished brass performer, Mr. Caluori is a Drum Corps Midwest Regional Champion Soloist, and has been honored as Brass Player of the Year by the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps, with whom he toured and competed as Horn Sergent and Mellophone Soloist from 1987-1992.
 
As a music dramatist, he pioneered the collaborative method "exchange writing", which fully integrates the dual contributions of composer and librettist as from a single writer, enabling fuller control of musical structure to the composer while maintaining the librettist's complete control of dramatic detail. His theoretical work in the area of musico-dramaturgy most notably includes the notion of 'dramaturgic congruity', whereby musical operations are treated to function akin to operations functioning in drama; and the thoery of thematic continuity ("continuum theory"), which examines the relationships of musical "forms, identity, transformation and perception," arranging a drama's psychological themes (literary and musical) into a complex of continua. A skilled orchestrator, Caluori's medium is acoustic instruments. His compositional style combines an eclectic aesthetic with a traditionalist approach, and is often colored by universal and metaphysical concepts.

The drum corps experience was invaluable, boasting numerous formidable mentors, among them David Tippett (Buddy Rich Orchestra, etc.) and George Sheppard (Dizzy Gillespie, etc.). The firey dramatics of drum corps brass arrangements impressed a marked influence on the passionate and epic sound of Caluori’s compositional style.

Born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan, Malcolm Caluori's fascination since boyhood with both musical construct and recording technologies demonstrates an early creative impulse toward audio, and an already intense interest in music making and dramatic story telling. As a student, he studied piano, baritone horn and trumpet, achieving solo chair and drum major status, sang in the choir, competed in state-wide dramatic interpretation tournaments (partnered with future librettist Johnathan Daniel Steppe), and regularly appeared in leading roles in productions of plays and musicals. During these formative years, Caluori was introduced to operetta, much musical theatre, developed an appreciation for film scores, and was engaged in more serious training and repertoire, performing with the Battle Creek Community Chorus, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, Battle Creek Youth Symohony Orchestra, and Battle Creek Boychoir (Consort of Men and Boys), which inserted Caluori into a culture and study of concert music and opera, and provided outlet for premiering his early orchestral and choral works.

His public orchestral and conducting debut at the age of seventeen was received with great audience enthusiasm. The piece for bass voice, chorus and orchestra, an excerpt from an unnamed opera; its story, an original idea of Caluori’s own fashioning, later set aside as youthful and impractical. Both, however, effervesce as early examples of Caluori’s burgeoning ambitions. Loath to postpone higher learning for some future degree, he undertook individual study of musical form, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, notation, and history, appreciating all kinds of music, and learning directly from leading professionals and great masters alike in the study of recordings, orchestral scores, and video lectures. He was granted an independent line of musical studies under Lannette Calhoun, and received private instruction in music theory under Brooks Grantier.

A Canticle for Our Times, a response to the 1991 Persian Gulf War written for choir and strings, was Caluori’s final Battle Creek premier. After serving a brief post as music director to a local church, Caluori left Battle Creek for Boston. There, surrounded by music schools, composers, musicians, vocalists, and the electricity of new ideas and discovery which comes with a city populated by students, he continued to write, and began to assemble the earliest vocal recordings of selections from his best known stage work to date, Dangerous Liaisons. Later auditions for the complete recording would garner the interest of theatre talent nationwide.

Malcolm Caluori now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He is affiliated with BMI, is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, is published by Melpomene Music Group, and can be found in regular attendance at the Atlanta Opera. His work with librettist Johnathan Daniel Steppe on Dangerous Liaisons is the subject of the upcoming book, Killing Valmont, by D. Hector Francis.

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