Robert Bonotto

A graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, Robert Bonotto is a professional actor (former member of AEA), professional illustrator (his illustrations for "Slonimsky's Book of Musical Anecdotes" is published by Simon & Schuster), and a professional composer of classical music (his work, primarily for the viola, has been played over National Public Radio's program "New Sounds").

Bonotto: "I am a virtually self-taught composer of classical music. My works encompass string quartets, symphonies, sonatas, and the like. Many of my works are for the viola. I write to order. The sound world my music inhabits has been variously compared to Piston, Shostakovich, Poulenc, and Fauré. In addition, I have done some work with microtonal music. In fact, my short piece sibelius, the cuckoo of jarvenpaa was broadcast twice over National Public Radio's "New Sounds". Some pieces are still awaiting a public performance: the quartet for flute and strings; a concerto for viola and piano trio (in other words, the usual piano quartet with an enlarged, solo part for the viola); and a number of short works for various chamber ensembles as well as small orchestra. My specialty is in writing for the viola, the 'cello, and the flute.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1937 Sibelius and the Cuckoo of Jarvenpaa 4.00 stars CD
Robert Bonotto's Sibelius & the Cuckoo of Jarvenpa, op. 16, utilizes a conventional piano and glockenspiel, offset by quartertonal intervals on the viola and cello. According to a biography of Jean Sibelius' last years by his secretary, Santeri Levas, Sibelius expressed the sentiment that the cuckoo's call was particularly memorable due to its lilting song falling exactly between the major and minor third. Accordingly, Mr. Bonotto wrote a musical composition to express something of the elder composer's love for his natural surroundings, premiered in Columbia University's St. Paul's Chapel on April 15, 1994

David Gold - Viola
Dave Eggar - Cello
Joshua Pierce - Piano
Tom Goldstein - Bells