Trent Johnson - Compositions 

      American composer Trent Johnson has received numerous accolades as one of this generations leading young composers. He has been described as a "rising star" among composers. He has been praised for his "fine ear for orchestral color", and "orchestral and vocal writing." The "beautiful lean writing" in the adagio of his Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano seduced one critic. Another critic noted, "Johnson’s Trio had the virtue of crystal clarity of structure; one could grasp immediately his compositional intent. The inner adagio movement was lovely and communicative."

      His skill, imagination and treatment of the orchestra have led others to note the beauty of "particularly his harmonies and instrumental colors." Pulitzer Prize winning composer Wayne Petersen noted his "outstanding feeling and talent for choral writing." One critic noted, "Mr. Johnson’s musical language is sincere, most attractive in its lyricism, orchestrated with considerable skill and imagination ... varied in effects and dramatically coherent."

A Selective List of Recent Compositions

  - Wittenberg - The Story of Martin Luther (2018) - a new work for narrator, soloists, chorus and orchestra commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

 - Trent's opera "Kenyatta" (2017) a new opera based upon the life of Jomo Kenyatta, independence leader and first president of Kenya will premiere in November 2017 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. The libretto was written by playwright Richard Wesley and the opera was commissioned by Trilogy: An Opera Company, Newark NJ.

 - We All Love to Sing (2017) a children's anthem written for the Celebration Singers of Asheville of North Carolina, 10th anniversary, Ginger Haselden, Director.

 - The Wisdom of Solomon (2016), a work for chorus, brass ensemble, organ, timpani and percussion.

 - Children's Suite for piano (2015)

 - Saint Augustine (2014), a cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra for the Oratorio Singers of Westfield, NJ, premiered in March 2014.

 - 2 Songs for Alaska (2013), based upon Alaskan poetry, for mezzo soprano, harp, cello and French horn, commissioned by the Juneau Brass & Winds on behalf of the Juneau Symphony Orchestra, premiered in April 2013 in Juneau, Alaska.

 - Cantus Avium Solamen Est, or Birdsong Brings Relief (2012), a concerto for clarinet, bird whistles, chorus and orchestra commissioned by Andrew Lamy of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

- Songs of Irony (2012), for tenor and piano, for tenor Rufus Muller, settings of poems by Stephen Crane

- Concertante for organ and string quartet (2011), American Guild of Organists Commission, Premiere July 2011 with the Shanghai String Quartet and organist Marilyn Keiser.

- Concert Variations on The Carnival of Venice (2010), for organ

- Celebration Overture (2010), for orchestra, for the Oratorio Singers 30th Anniversary Concert

- In Homage of Spring (2009), for soprano soloist, chorus and orchestra, written for the Oratorio Singers

- Viola Concerto (2008), commissioned by violist Brett Deubner of New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

- Elegy (2008), a work for organ and string orchestra, premiered at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine

- Two Vignettes for Quintet (2006), commissioned by the Cygnus Ensemble, New York City

- The New Colossus for orchestra (2006), commissioned by the Westfield Symphony, Westfield, NJ

- Five Psalms (2005), for 4 soloists, chorus and orchestra for the Oratorio Singers, Westfield, NJ

- Organ Toccata on Engelberg (2004)

- Poem for viola and orchestra (2004), commissioned by violist Brett Deubner

- Petite Suite for orchestra (2004), commissioned by the Colonial Symphony, Morristown, NJ

- Quartet for Saxophones (2003), written for the New Jersey Saxophone Ensemble

- The Wind Tapped Like a Tired Man (2002), commissioned by The Madrigal Singers, Westfield, NJ

- Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano (2001), commissioned and recorded by the Halcyon Trio

- Visions for organ (2001), written for organist Mark Miller

- The Cantata, The Paschal Lamb (2001), written for soprano, Phyllis Bryn-Julson and the Oratorio Singers and Orchestra

- Outback (2000), for didgeridoo and piano

- Concerto for Trumpet (2000), written for Donald Batchelder

- 2 Pieces for String Orchestra (1998)

- 3 Characteristic Pieces for organ (1997)

- 8 Pieces for Piano (1997)

- Flute Sonata (1996), written for David Cates

Arrangements

 

- Great is Thy Faithfullness (2016), a setting for chorus, brass ensemble, organ, timpani and percussion

 - Amazing Grace (2016) a setting for chorus, brass ensemble, organ, timpani and percussion

- the Pilgrim's Chorus from Tannhäuser (2016) a setting for brass ensemble, organ and timpani


- The Orange Blossom Special (2010), for organ

- Mbombela (2008), for Thula Sizwe and the Mixed Flock Orchestra Project

- Ukuthula (2007), for Thula Sizwe, the Halcyon Trio, and the Mixed Flock Orchestra Project

- "Wir eilen mit schwachen", from Cantata No. 78 of J. S. Bach (2003), for the Halcyon Trio

- Household Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams (2002), for the Halcyon Trio

- Film Music of Howard Shore (2002), for the Halcyon Trio

- Pasture Songs of Gary Pratt (2002), for the Halcyon Trio

- A Lincoln Portrait of Aaron Copland for brass (2001), for narrator, timpani and organ

- George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (1999), for the Halcyon Trio