Welcome to the official website of pianist and composer Deanna Witkowski.
The Astoria Choir May 16 Sacred Songs concert will include my SATB work, Glistening Lily. Click the photo for details.
As a pianist, I’ve entered a fair share of music competitions. Some were in junior high and high school, on both piano and flute; some were college auditions. Some were professional: in 2002, I won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. It was my third time there as a finalist, and I remember deciding before the performance that no matter what happened, it was going to be my last time. It paid off!
In more recent years, I’ve been seeking out composition competitions- or, if not exactly competitions, open calls to submit scores for performance or workshop opportunities. So far in 2015, this work has yielded two opportunities: in February, I was chosen as one of five composers for the New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, where I collaborated with five playwrights to create five new music-theater works in two weeks’ time.
Now, I’m one of two winners in The Astoria Choir’s (TAC) Sacred Songs contest. For my score submission, I selected “Glistening Lily,” a piece set to a Marian text of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), the German medieval mystic, abbess, botanist, musician, and author. The piece has only been performed once, by the Park Avenue Christian Church Sanctuary Choir, in 2012 (I played piano on the premiere- but played only with my left hand, as the premiere occurred three days after I fractured my right collarbone in three places!).