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Bruce Roter
Hometown: Long Island, New York
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(b. 1962) Formal studies began in 1979 at the Juilliard School's preparatory division. Roter received a B.M. from the Eastman School of Music (1984), a M.A. in Musicology from Yale University (1985), a M.A. in Composition from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1987), and a Ph.D. in Composition/Music Theory from Rutgers University (1992).

With a richly tonal palette, Roter's musical style balances soaring lyricism with passages that are bold and heroic. Melodies are frequently interwoven, creating exciting contrapuntal textures. Roter writes for all standard concert media, from songs and choral works to compositions for chamber ensembles, concert band, and orchestra.

Roter often finds inspiration in world events and social issues. His A Camp David Overture - Prayer for Peace (link found below) was inspired by the Camp David Peace Accords and is dedicated to the signatories of that historic peace initiative--former President Jimmy Carter, former Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The 2006 Washington DC premiere brought together diplomats from all over the world, including Egypt and Israel.

A Camp David Overture contains several symbolic gestures to portray the spirit of the Peace Accords. The music begins solemly, with the lowest strings presenting a four note motive in their darkest registers. This serves to evoke a long and painful history of enmity and despair (this primary motive, first presented chromatically to suggest foreboding will by the conclusion become transformed within a glorious major key). The middle section, marked Allegro Furioso, is highly percussive and punctuated by dissonant outbursts. There also exist within this section two aleatoric episodes, which form a "chaotic" texture. These passages in particular symbolize the senselessness of war. The second, and larger, of these climactic outbursts last for exactly thirty seconds--one second for each year a state of war existed between Israel and Egypt. As this episode gradually fades, the beginning of the principal melody reappears. Borrowed from cinematography, this "dissolve technique" allows the new theme to enter like the sun rising from behind a storm cloud. While this principal melody suggests a folk tune (so as to evoke a "universal language"), it is also intended to transcend any specific national or ethnic identity. This theme and its subsequent variations conclude A Camp David Overture, ultimately taking the form of an "Anthem of Peace."

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Bruce Roter
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