Music of Daniel Palkowski

ShiLing Shih, Wu Man, Elena Atanasovska, F.A.M.E.'S Studio Orchestra, Oleg Kontratenko

Catalog #: TROY1889
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Format: Digital

Daniel Palkowski is a composer, pianist/synthesist, educator, audio engineer and creative designer. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia. He has taught at both of those schools as well as at the Tisch School of the Arts and Music at New York University. He works for Ernst & Young as a creative designer, specializing in audio and video production. His music has been commissioned by organizations such as the Westchester Philharmonic, Music from China, and MacMillan Digital. The compositions on this recording were created in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pianist ShiLing Shih has performed throughout the U.S. and in Taiwan and has collaborated with husband Daniel Palkowski on many works and performances. Recognized as the world's premier pipa virtuoso, Wu Man is a soloist, educator, and composer who has given her instrument a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Macedonian pianist Elena Atanasovska has performed in numerous concerts in Macedonia as well as festivals in Bosnia, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, and Kosova among others.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Summer Suite Daniel Palkowski ShiLing Shih (piano)
Peas in a Pod Daniel Palkowski Wu Man (pipa)
Canonic Vectors Daniel Palkowski ShiLing Shih (piano)
Concertino for Piano & Chamber Orchestra Daniel Palkowski Elena Atanasovska (piano); F.A.M.E.'S Studio Orchestra; Oleg Kontratenko (conductor)


  • Adventurous composers generally need adventurous listeners. The first part of that sentence certainly applies to the New York City-based composer Danial Palkowski—the four pieces on this new release exapress oblique influences from the Modernist tradition, but we’re also here to experience Palkowski’s intense interest in electronic music and the far-removed realm of the Chinese pipa. Because he is skilled in so many idioms—I’ve only scratched the surface—a listener who seeks out a special interest will be gratified, but so will anyone who appreciates dazzling virtuosity. One aspect of virtuosity comes through Wu Man, an astonishing performer on the pipa.…Palkowski’s piece, Peas in a Pod, transports this ancient instrument to futuristic settings through the use of electronics. Using a pedal to initiate the electronic part, Wu Man is accompanied by pre-recorded samplings of herself with varying degrees of sonic manipulation. You might assume that layering one kind of exotica, Chinese music, on top of another, electronic music, would be unintelligible, but Peas in a Pod is a wild, virtuosic ride, hinting at science fiction or music from a distant planet. The result is fascinating and often exhilarating. The two solo piano works on the program are performed by Palkowski’s wife, ShiLing Shih, who has her own claim to virtuosity.…The program ends with an ensemble work, a Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra that aims for brilliance and achieves it.…The final product, if this is final, features a bravura piano part, thrillingly executed by Elena Atanasovska—she, like conductor Oleg Kontratenko and the F.A.M.E.’S Studio Orchestra, are Macedonian and perform to a polished international standard.…This release is recommended, therefore, to anyone who is attuned to the same on-the-wing curiosity that the music abundantly testifies to. Among the contemporary-music releases to come my way, this one stands out. Five stars: Adventurous music that culminates in a brilliant work for piano and orchestra

    – Fanfare

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