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Highly accessible, pop-influenced music by this gifted young American composer.

Eric Salzman writes: "The first impression that Michael Dellaira's work gives is that of simple beauty, no small virtue in and of itself. But listen again. Repeated hearings reveal a musical world of depth and subtlety, marked by the kinds of surprises that are the mark of a sure and confident ear. Michael has something to tell us. He has created a personal musical language that combines the harmonic vocabulary and rhythmic interest of rock music with the technical rigor of the best modern classical music. It is this combination and synthesis of seemingly contradictory elements which points to the direction of new American music in a new century and which gives both surface tension and excitement, and deeper value to Michael's music." Michael Dellaira was born in Schenectady, N.Y. A passable clarinetist, violinist, and chorister as a child, he also performed as a drummer, singer, and guitar player in rock and folk groups. After graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in philosophy, he pursued a career as a guitarist and songwriter and at the same time began the formal study of music theory with Robert Parris, Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Goffredo Petrassi and Franco Donatoni. During the 1980s, he withdrew into a private period of musical self-examination and re-evaluation, exploring styles and genres he had previously considered off-limits, simple-minded, or too abstract. This period lasted until 1995, the year he completed Three Rivers. That work, a turning point, employs the vernacular rhythms and harmonies characteristic of Dellaira's musical voice.
Michael Dellaira
The Stranger, Grief
Rannveig Braga, mezzo, Slovak Radio Orchestra, Joel Suben, conductor

Michael Dellaira
USA Stories
Cantori New York, Mark Shapiro, conductor

Michael Dellaira
Three Rivers
Slovak Radio Orchestra, Joel Suben, conductor

Michael Dellaira
This World is not Conclusion
Cantori New York, Mark Shapiro, conductor, Slovak Radio Orchestra, Joel Suben, conductor

Michael Dellaira
Colored Stones
Chris Trakas, baritone, Jennifer Peterson, piano

"...Dellaira's work really deserves notice, particularly by song recitalists and choral directors. It would grace any concert and makes very enjoyable home listening as well." (

"Dellaira strikes above all a composer with a personal and substantive take on choral writing." (Fanfare)
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