You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

A Collection in Bloom

Marti Epstein (1959-) is an American composer, pianist, and professor originally from Denver, Colorado and a resident of Boston, Massachusetts for most of her professional career. The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library has acquired much of Epstein’s compositions and correspondences, partnering with Epstein to share and preserve her work. 

Portrait of the composer Marti Epstein, who is wearing glasses and smiling.

Portrait of Marti Epstein (Career Girls web site)

Epstein earned her Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Colorado (1982) and obtained her Master of Music in Composition (1984) and her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition from Boston University (1989). In addition to instructing students in composition at Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, she composes between three and five pieces a year, usually on commission. Her composition work is often for musical ensembles, including many based in New England and reaching international patrons.

This collection contains 39 scores by Epstein, many of which were completed as commissions, such as Waterbowls, composed in 1989 for Kathleen Supové and commissioned by the New England Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association. 

In addition, included in the collection are Epstein’s youthful works, pieces she composed during her studies. After her high school band teacher suggested she become a composer, she began taking lessons from Professor Robert Beadell at the University of Nebraska. 

Composer's manuscript score.

Marti Epstein, Cereal music. Ms. Coll. 181, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

Composer's manuscript score.

Marti Epstein, Viennese waltz. Ms. Coll. 181, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

Epstein describes her music as “unrealistic,” and many of her compositions are handwritten on large sheets of music.

Bloom, one of these pieces, is a 2009 composition commissioned for Robert Sheena and the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble. Prominently featuring English horn, other instruments in the piece include piano, harp, marimba, glockenspiel, vibraphone, and xylophone. The piece is separated into 10 sections, with English horn either at the forefront of the section or supporting other instruments; fast rolled chords throughout the piece represent water. 

Composer's manuscript score.

Marti Epstein, Bloom. Ms. Coll. 181, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

The Marti Epstein collection of scores and recordings: approximately 1977- is now available to be scanned or viewed by appointment. To access, click on Request to Copy or Visit in HOLLIS. This collection was processed by Émilie Blondin and Christina Linklater. 

Contributed by Émilie Blondin, Class of 2025, with quotations and information from Career Girls website , Marti Epstein’s website and Wikipedia.

« Older posts

© 2023 Loeb Music Library

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑