Peter Pindar Stearns
PETER PINDAR STEARNS was born of musician parents, in New York City on June 7, 1931 and began to compose at the age of twelve. He studied at the Mannes Music School where he worked with Bohuslav Martinu in composition. After a brief period in Hollywood, studying with Miklos Rozsa and composing and arranging for films, he returned to New York, where he was appointed to the faculty of Mannes. He taught there from 1957 to 1989, composition, orchestration and several other courses, chairing the Composition Department for fifteen years. His interest in young musicians led him eventually to the directorship of the Mannes Preparatory Division.
His over 300 compositions include seven symphonies, numerous other orchestral and chamber works, as well as a substantial amount of organ and choral pieces. He presently lives in Vermont with his wife, Marcia.
Works by Peter Pindar Stearns
This two-part work for SATB choir and organ celebrates the Lord's greatness and mercy. The text of the first movement is based on the Magnificat, or Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55), while the second text is from the Nunc dimittis, commonly known as the Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32).
The difficulty level of this piece may be more appropriate for experienced choirs. The total work is around seven minutes in length. Either movement may be used independently.
This work is based on a passage from The Spiritual Canticle by Saint John-of-the-Cross. It works well as part of a prelude, musical meditation, or in performance.
This collection includes five canticles, each one a meditation on a short text. Each setting uses a Psalm tone — as presently used at Holy Cross Monastery, having evolved over the centuries since their first use in the early church — as a point of departure, painting a whimsical picture of the topic text.
Using a text by poet John Donne, this introspective song begins with a blunt admission of our continuing sinfulness, asking God how he can possibly continue to forgive us. The works ends in hope, however, that through the work of Jesus Christ we "fear no more."
This unaccompanied work is well-suited for both small and large choirs that are able to accentuate the piece's dynamic contrasts.