Brian Balmages (b. 1975) is a young, prolific American composer with several new works making their way into the repertoire at all levels, from elementary school bands to professional orchestras. His music has been performed all over the country, including at Carnegie Hall. He wrote Pele in 2004. It is a horn feature, originally written for and commissioned by Jerry Peel, the professor of horn at the University of Miami (now at Rutgers University). Balmages’s publisher, FJH, provides a program note:
Pele was inspired by the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire (or Volcano Goddess) by the same name. She was passionate, volatile, and capricious. This lyrical work is an emotional rollercoaster in which we experience a glimpse of her personality — from her quiet moments to her most volatile.
Brian Balmages’s website, including bio and extensive works list with many recordings.
Brian Balmages profile at James Madison University, his alma mater (class of 1998).
A moving Baltimore Sun piece on a middle school concert in which Balmages was commissioned to write a piece in memory of slain band members.
See Pele live:
Finally, please visit FJH Music (the special Canzonique section) and Brian Balmages’s compositions page, both of which have the official University of Miami recording of Pele with Professor Peel as soloist.