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Andrea Clearfield: Composing East & West

Produced by Karen Smyles

November 2012

Andrea Clearfield is a Philadelphia native and an award winning American composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, dance and multi-media collaborations. Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. Commissions include works for The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Debussy Trio and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Carol Wincenc, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Mendelssohn Club, Orchestra 2001 and Network for New Music. She has composed ten cantatas for voices and orchestra and is currently working on an opera.

Clearfield's newest cantata, Tse Go La (At the threshold of this life), was co-commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and premiered on April 29, 2012 with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. It was inspired by her experiences studying chant and folk music in the Tibetan community of Lo Monthang, located in a remote and restricted Himalayan region of Nepal.

This month Friday Arts talks with Andrea about her trek into the eastern world of music and how she was able to transform that experience into such a vibrant work. We also hear from the Tibetan community here in Philadelphia about the importance of sharing their music and culture with others.

Extended Interview with Andrea ClearfieldEdited by Larry Goodwin