Press Notices (Selected)


“Peter Jarvis conducted the 40-minute piece without score, yet did full justice to it’s rhythmic complexities; Mr. Jarvis and his forces richly deserved the standing ovation they received.” – New York times


Mark Kostabi, May 10, 2020:

Any concert that I’m involved with, if Peter Jarvis is involved too, it’s the highlight of my year! I’m also proud, as a visual artist, to have done a few Jarvis album covers!” – Mark Kostabi

Percussive Notes – Vol. 58, No.1  February 2020 – review of Jarvis and Friends Volume 2

I have a sweet spot for the unexpected, and Volume 2 by Jarvis and Friends is grounded in the unexpected. Featuring both recorded and improvised works, this collection of duos is the second installment of largely duo recordings by the seminal performer, composer, and conductor Peter Jarvis.

The seamless manner in which this collection of duos shifts between pre-composed and spontaneously composed works leads the listener on a consistently stable musical journey, regardless of each piece’s origin of composition. A high level of authenticity is omnipresent and speaks to the performers’ collective maturity and sensitivity to timbre. Similar to Jarvis and Friends first volume of recordings, Peter Jarvis enlists a notable roster of musicians including bass trombonist David Taylor, guitarist Gene Pritsker, and percussionists Kevin Norton and Payton MacDonald to join him on this sonic exploration.

This recording is a worthy education in the versatility of improvisation, from the array of rock-inspired duets with Pritsker, with their ad­ventures through metal, psychedelic, and punk, to the hard-bop explorations with Taylor. This eclectic recording is organized into tracks by duo partner, featuring a total of 20 tracks ranging in length from under 30 seconds to almost 15 minutes. Recording engineers David Kerzner and Daniel Iucci expertly balanced a startling array of timbres such that each duo collaboration feels equally present without sacrificing either instrumentalist’s nuance.

I recommend this recording not only for its artistic merits, but also for its pedagogical merit as a tool for exploring the less tangible aspects of musicianship necessary in chamber music set­tings. Congratulations to Jarvis and Friends on a great recording worthy of spending time with.


Percussive Notes – Vol. 57, No.1 March 2019 – review of Jarvis and Friends Volume 1

This is a collection of 21 tracks of improvisations divided into four sections. The recording is well-conceived and executed, giving the listener a window into the musicality of Peter Jarvis, Director of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, and his friends.
According to NAXOS, “Percussionist (drumset and vibraphone) Peter Jarvis has teamed up with some of the finest musicians in the world including: Glen Velez – frame drums, Franz Hackl – trumpets, William Schimmel – accordion, and John Clark – horn, to produce this creative volume of music. In addition to the improvisations, included are three fully composed pieces, one each, by Peter Jarvis, William Schimmel, and Glen Velez.”
The selections with Velez are groovy, as expected, but with a unique character to each track. The spirit of chance-taking in the improvisation is evident yet executed gracefully. “Postal Bebop Non Priority Suite” with Franz Hackl is bright, energetic and reminiscent of late-bebop and free jazz. The tracks with accordionist William Schimmel are much more spacious and darker by comparison to the previous tracks. This helps to cleanse the musical listener’s palette. The horn playing by John Clark on the final suite of improvisations reminds the listener of flugelhorn-like jazz riffs.
All the suites and collaborations display Jarvis’s musical creativity. His touch and sense of groove is evident regardless of the style or collaborative partner. I highly recommend this recording for those looking for unique combinations and fresh ideas for improvisation. — Justin Bunting
American Record Guide, March/April, 2019 – review of New Jersey Percussion Ensemble at 50, Volume 1
Jarvis, MacDonald New Jersey Percussion Ensemble/ Peter Jarvis
Composers Concordance Records 71309—52 minutes

  • “New Jersey Percussion Ensemble at 50: Volume 1” explores short concertos for solo instrument and percussion ensembles of various sizes. The “Concerto for Frame Drums and Percussion Sextet” by Peter Jarvis is an exciting, unrelenting journey through sound, spotlighting frame drums—an impressively versatile family of percussion instruments. The “Concerto for Accordion and Percussion Sextet,” also by Jarvis, has William Schimmel on accordion. Mischievous runs in the accordion augment the rainbow of percussion sounds employed in this short concerto, and the pairing of the accordion and percussion sextet does somehow make all the sense in the world here. “70,” by  Payton MacDonald, takes a different spin on the accordion and percussion concerto combination, with slowly evolving textures that very clearly evoke a Middle Eastern pastoral scene. Percussion students are encouraged to explore this collection of mini concertos—this is a genre that MacDonald and Jarvis have proved can work, and here are eight pieces that demonstrate that.” – March/April 2019

American Record Guide, March/April, 2019 – review of Payton MacDonald Solo Marimba Commissions 2 – Composers Concordance Records

  • ” ‘Satie’s Hammock,’ by Peter Jarvis, feels nearly improvised, with its lines climbing over one another in one range before migrating to another.”

Fanfare Magazine, 2019 – New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Volume 1 – COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE COMCON0045 (54:16)

Back in 1972, when the label was more daring, Nonesuch recorded an album by the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble that remains one of the genre’s classics. At the time, the ensemble’s director was Raymond DesRoches, and the composers represented included Charles Wuorinen and Michael Colgrass. Now, four decades later, and five decades after the founding of the ensemble itself, here is a new CD featuring the ensemble’s current Director (Peter Jarvis) and Managing Director (Payton MacDonald) in the roles of conductor, performer, and composer. Now, as before, the Ensemble is based at William Paterson University in the northern part of New Jersey, not far from Manhattan. The recording was made at William Paterson.
In addition to excellent musicianship from both the Ensemble and its guest performers, there is plenty of variety here. MacDonald, who received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, also studied with the Gundecha Brothers, practitioners of a style of Hindustani classical music called dhrupad. He also was a founding member of the Alarm Will Sound ensemble. One can hear Eastern influences in his music, including in Marwa, which MacDonald composed for Jarvis. The title refers to a particular Hindustani mode whose very un-Western construction gives it an unusual sound. 70 was composed to honor veteran accordionist William Schimmel’s seventieth birthday, and the piece is based, in different ways, on the number seven. (Not having a score in front of me, I will take that on faith!)
Peter Jarvis’s works, on this CD, are four concertos for a solo instrument and percussion sextet. Schimmel also is a soloist in one of these works. Its rhythms are both driving and irregular, and the mood is playful. The Concerto for Vibraphone and Percussion Sextet is dedicated to DesRoches, who retired as the Ensemble’s co-director in 2004. Jarvis wanted to compose a piece that vibraphone soloists could use in their touring repertoire—to put it in their suitcase, as it were. Compared to MacDonald, whose music feels more internal and spiritual, Jarvis comes across as a virtuoso who delights in virtuosity—his own, and other musicians’—and who enjoys producing a visceral reaction in listeners. As composers and also as performers, both Jarvis and MacDonald are very good at what they do!
Performances of several of these works have been uploaded onto YouTube, so give them a try. Percussion playing is a form of athletics, after all, and seeing percussionists in action adds a level of excitement to the music.
Should music speak for itself? This release comes without booklet notes, and even lacks track timings. For the converted, this won’t be a problem, but listeners who want to explore new territory probably would appreciate a few trail markers along the way. On the other hand, the sound on this CD is terrific, and it is easy to immerse yourself in it.
This is a beguiling release, and is recommended if you are feeling a little adventurous. Raymond Tuttle


Facebook, September 5, 2016 – A comment from Jeff Perry 

  • “It’s sad. I’ve heard more than one horrendously under- or mis-rehearsed performance of Milton Babbitt’s orchestral music, and what shines through is invariably some of the most dancing, rhythmically alive music I’ve ever heard. Only a few musicians, e.g. Peter Jarvis, get this right.”                                                                                                                                                         – Jeff Perry

Jazz da Gama (,) August 1, 2016 – review of the Pritsker / Jarvis Duo CD. 

  • “The principal virtues in this coupling concern clarity (especially with regard to inner voices) and musical intelligence. Gene Pritsker draws some shapely phrasing from his guitar and together with drummer Peter Jarvis the two virtuoso instrumentalists trace seamless lines that bring a rich glow to the compositions on this recording. The guitarist’s duet with Jarvis on ‘Roundelay’ is magical. The whimsically titled ‘Pritskrvis’ might certainly give the impression that this is disc is playful, almost flippant, but to assume so would be a mistake. There is much happening beneath the surface of what might sound like clever or perfunctory, even self-conscious pieces. Of course, Pritsker and Jarvis dispel notions of facetiousness quite early on in the proceedings and continue throughout the recording to produce performances of rare and visceral excitement. They are sui generis manifestations of special schooling and unique talent. This is a duet recording by two musicians of impeccable pedigree.” – Raul da Gama

Jazz Weekly (,) July 21, 2016 – review of the Pritsker / Jarvis Duo CD. 

  • “Sometimes it is the quieter moments that draw you in. Guitarist Gene Pritsker creates some duets with drummer Peter Jarvis for a mix of ‘controlled improvisations’ and beyond.  Some edgy space effects come across like a Gentle Giant album.”  – George W. Harris

New Music Buff, June 24, 2016 – review of the Pritsker / Jarvis Duo CD. 

  • “This is quite different in character being a duo between a guitarist (Gene Pritsker) and a drummer (Peter Jarvis).   Each of the six tracks is by a different composer (Peter Jarvis, Gene Pritsker, David Saperstein, Joseph Pehrson, Jessica Wells and Daniel Palkowski).The style here ranges from free jazz to rock and perhaps some contemporary musical styles as well. Each track is a succinct statement and none of the tracks seem to go longer than necessary.  The musicianship is superb so if you are fond of the sound of guitars and drums played creatively and well you will enjoy this disc. These musicians extract a great deal of varied sounds from their instruments.” – perkustooth

United Mutations, June 12, 2016 – review of the Pritsker / Jarvis Duo CD. 

  • “The latest release on the Composers Concordance Records label focuses on Gene Pritsker and Peter Jarvis. The duo, with Gene Pritsker on guitar and Peter Jarvis on drums, performs six compositions. The first two pieces on the album were written by respectively Peter Jarvis and Gene Pritsker.”
  • “This music is not intended for the faint of heart. Electric guitar plus drums. Complex. Contemporary. Experimental rock.This one will ask for your complete attention. Once you’ve put this disc in your cd-player, there’s no escape possible.  I love it.”

Gapplegate guitar and Bass Blog, June 9, 2016 – review of the Pritsker / Jarvis Duo CD. 

  • Gene and Peter turn in carefully considered and vibrantly interesting performances. The idea that “anything goes” is operative. In the end, this is music of fascination–groundbreaking, and memorable–with each piece exploring its own turf and giving us a coherent approach, but every one of them rather unique.  It is music that grabs your interest right away but then should be heard repeatedly to get fully on the wavelengths involved.”
  • The album gives you serious fun, daring fare, lots to ponder. Anyone of a progressive mind will appreciate it, I do believe. Kudos!” – Grego Applegate Edwards

San Diego Story, April 9, 2016

  • New York’s edgy CompCord Ensemble opened NWEAMO 2016, the latest installment of San Diego’s most established new music festival, with a boisterous concert Friday evening at the San Diego Central Library. From CompCord’s opening salvo, Peter Jarvis’ ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, I was tempted to categorize their style as minimalism meets rock band.” – Ken Herman

2012 – June 19, 2012 – review

  • Peter Jarvis and Mark Mothersbaugh also contribute a fine piece to the score.”  (“Moonrise Kingdom” by Wes Anderson) – Geoffrey Winssinger

Windy City Times, May 30, 2012

  • I enjoyed the energizing marching music performed by Peter Jarvis and his drum corps. Moonrise Kingdom opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival May 16 to great reviews and strong audience response.” – Sawyer J. Lahr

A.V. Club, May 2, 2012

  • “Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack as tasteful and impeccably curated as you’d expect” – Steven Hyden


The And of One – January 18, 2010

  • “I’m amazed at the hard work and dedication to these projects that Peter Jarvis and Calabrese Brothers have shown. More organizations should be following that model of direct involvement with composers, resulting in performances and published scores–a huge service to the musical community in general and to percussionists in particular.” – Carlton Wilkinson


New Music New Jersey, 2007

  • “The presentation of the Rzewski composition (Coming Together) was as grand and exciting as a Mahler symphony.  The audience was left breathless by the histrionics, the virtuosity, the interpretation, the rigorous baton of maestro (Peter) Jarvis, and the dedication of the performers to bring about this epic twentieth-century composition.” – Helmut Calabrese


New Music Connoisseur, 2006

  • “The virtuoso Jarvis commands the sonic space, participating as a live vocal source while his timpani, provoked by the unknown world of electronic voices, establish order for the ‘Occasional Demons’.” – Helmut Calabrese

Percussion Arts Society Reviews

  • “Kudos to . . . and the ‘indefatigable’ Peter Jarvis, as one of the composers admiringly referred to him, who compiled, engraved the music found in this meritorious vibraphone project.” – John R. Raush

The Star Ledger, July 31, 2006 – Bradley Bambarger 

  • “the crack New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.”

New Music New Jersey, 2006

  • “Want to know where the free new music treasure is in New Jersey?  The answer is at the “New Music Series” of William Paterson University headed by director Peter Jarvis.” – Helmut Calabrese


New Music Connoisseur, 2005

  • “The impressively versatile Mr. Jarvis played Sometimes with appropriate restraint and subtlety, just as he played Rainsticks with flamboyant energy.” –  Ellen Snellgrove

BBC.UK.COM, 2005
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Music H-79150

  • “Excellent US group.”

1999 July, 1999

  • “The largest work here, Sesso e Violenza by David Rakowski (conductor, Peter
    Jarvis) is a tour de force, which is almost guaranteed to leave the listener
    breathless by the end.”

Classical New Jersey, May 12, 1999

  • “In Jarvis’ hands the working out of dynamics in Homilywas startling in its effectiveness, and Babbitt’s ear for colors in something as supposedly limited as a snare drum was revealed.”
  • “Peter Jarvis’ reading (of Ionisation) was again restrained, emphasizing legato phrasing.  In context of the other works on the program it was a touching statement to render this standard repertoire piece as if it were by a reincarnation of Mozart.”
  • “Tomas Kolor, playing the complex work (Beaten Paths) from memory, had to pace back and forth, sometimes nearly jumping.”
  • “And the physicality of the performance (by Kolor) held the audience’s attention.”
  • “It was important for the NJPAC to have the Composers Guild and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble appear in its Victoria Theater.  It made a statement.”


Asbury Park Press, December 8, 1998

  • “Lest the name fool you, this ensemble is renowned around the world; New Jersey just happens to be the lucky state that it calls home (in William Paterson University, Wayne).  Led by Peter Jarvis, it consists of professionals and is augmented by students studying at the school under Jarvis and the group founder Raymond DesRoches.”
  • “It was delightful music played perfectly.”
  • “Its (John Cage’s Third Construction) inexorable rhythmic surge and splashes of sounds made for a thrilling ending to a powerful evening.”

Classical New Jersey, October 14, 1998

  • “Conductor Peter Jarvis led it (Ionisation) from memory, evincing a performance of classical proportion and light transparency.”
  • “Jarvis’ podium style embedded precision within flowing gestures, a philosophy of movement which clearly transferred itself to the players.”, October, 1998

  • “This disc features some of the finest Wuorinen interpreters: Ursula Oppens, Fred Sherry, New Jersey Percussion Ensemble”.

New York Times, June 9, 1998

  • “They can be the occasions of great performances, as they were here.”
  • “Finally the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble gave a hugely exciting performance of Percussion Quartet. . .”

Ultimate Audio, March/April, 1998 – Richard S. Foster

  • “For sheer aural insanity, there’s Ionisation with DesRoches and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble (Nonesuch 71291). Ionisation is one of the most dynamic recordings ever put on LP.”

The Music Connoisseur – Spring, 1998 – by Elliott Schwartz
A review of the NJPE recording of Encounters by Ron Mazurek on Capstone Records CPS-8616

  • “On the other hand, the playing of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble in Mr. Mazurek’s opus is crisp and sure.”


US 1, June 4, 1997

  • “I feel as if I am interviewing a world-class chef (Peter Jarvis) who wants me to believe haute cuisine is not much different from boiling water or making toast.”
  • “…listening to the pounding, tinkling and clicking of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, one is particularly conscious of the physical objects that make the sound.”


The Star Ledger, November 29, 1996

  • “…the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble is a national treasure. Nothing less can fairly describe this team…”
  • “…the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble brought the beauty of the score to life.”

Star Ledger, April 14, 1996

  • “…the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble is a driving force in the state for the performance of new music.”


Spoleto Today, May 28, 1995

  • “… tempi and quick dynamic changes in a kind of machine-shop counterpoint required precision reflexes in the performers.”

Jim Gardner’s Reviews of Various Varese Recordings, 1996
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Music H-71291

  • “The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble’s is for my money the best performance of Ionisation.”

The Christian Daily Newspaper (Copenhagen, Denmark) April 20, 1995

  • “The general atmosphere was good. The Americans’ direct and open approach to the music contributed greatly to the atmosphere.”
  • “One cannot imagine better ambassadors for their music. Their ensemble playing was perfect in precision and physical presence.”

Nieuwsbald van het Noorden, (Groningen, Holland) April 13, 1995

  • “Best percussion group in the world.”

New York Times, March 27, 1995

  • “…both received crack, proprietary readings of an expected sort.”

Asbury Park Press, March 23, 1995

  • “…a 1987 work for Solo Snare Drum, Peter Jarvis played the complex rhythms strongly.”


Star Ledger, May 12, 1994

  • “…hearing their music come off the page, especially when we have someone the caliber of Peter Jarvis to read through the scores with the players…”
  • “…recreated the unsettling moods under the leadership of Peter Jarvis.”


The Sandpaper, June 9, 1993, New Jersey

  • “…at the end, the ensemble received a standing ovation.”

Asbury Park Press, April 20, 1993

  • “The ‘moment of terror’ was a gigantic blast of sound, propelled with the rhythmic intensity that permeated the evening’s offering. It was a moving performance of a difficult piece.”

Star Ledger, April 4, 1993

  • “…a disciplined, razor-sharp, well balanced performance…”
  • “Peter Jarvis and the players were superb, New Jersey can be proud.”

Star Ledger, March 22, 1993

  • “…first, people actually found themselves ‘dancing in the aisles’ at a serious concert, …(need one ask if the audience had a good time?)”

The Vilkshrant, (Rotterdam, Holland) March 4, 1993

  • “…the start of the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (NJPE) received a smashing opening.”


Star Ledger, February 11, 1992

  • “…the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble is ready willing and able to oblige. This organization has been known to devote 200 hours of rehearsal to making some eyeball-glazing piece sing like Puccini.”
  • “…this band can cook.”


The Beach Haven Times, New Jersey, May 15, 1991

  • …the four members of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble worked wonderfully with the students, showing patience, understanding and interest.”

New York Times, January 29, 1991

  • “Peter Jarvis led the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble in a precise, tactile performance with an elastic pulse.”


Trenton Times, October 9, 1990

  • “The Composers Guild of New Jersey opened its Capital Music Festival’s Sixth season Sunday with an inspired performance by the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.”
  • “All were demanding pieces to perform, and all were played with smooth interpretations and graceful virtuosity.”

Star Ledger, June 12, 1990

  • “Were it not for concert protocol, there might have been dancing in the aisles to the music of Cage’s Second Construction and Third Construction.”

The Philadelphia Inquire, June 11, 1990

  • “The complexity of writing was smoothed over by this deft quartet: Peter Jarvis, John Ferrari, Michael Frasche, Kenneth Piascik.”

Star Ledger, June 6, 1990

  • “Surely no piece of cake, the work was impressively conducted by Peter Jarvis.”

New York Times, May 9, 1990

  • “The loudest approval went to the most radical work, John Cage’s Third Construction, in a bristling, electric performance by the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble (Peter Jarvis, Michael Frasche, John Ferrari, Kenneth Piascik). One does not often hear so many shouted bravos from such a staid audience.” – James R. Oestreich


Princeton Packet, June 7, 1989

  • “Particularly lovely was Peter Jarvis on marimba, whose delicate, hollow and carefully placed notes epitomized the haunting power of the second movement.”
  • “…honed to a fine brilliance by the talented ensemble.”
  • “…the ensemble was extraordinary down to the last detail.”

Trenton Times, January 30, 1989

  • “Peter Jarvis and John Ferrari gave virtuoso performances of Yttrehus’ jagged but hypnotic music.”
  • “…it was beautifully played by violist Scott Rawls and Peter Jarvis on snare drum and xylophone.”
  • “…the program closed with a brilliant performance of Third Construction by John Cage.”


News – Times, New Jersey, August 18, 1988

  • “They proved extraordinarily vital, performing music that demands the utmost concentration as if it were in their veins, as undoubtedly it is.”

Princeton Packet, August 8, 1988

  • “There was considerable fascination in just watching the enormous virtuosity of the young players.”

Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1988

  • “Lisa Moore, Tara O’Connor, Mark Stewart and Peter Jarvis gave it a blithe, bravura performance.”
  • “stunningly played by Moore, Jones and Jarvis.”

New York Times, May 4, 1988

  • “It was a power (NJPE, conductor – Peter Jarvis) that went beyond mere shock value.”

Newsday, February 29, 1988

  • “Best of all was the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, the country’s pre-eminent such group of it’s kind since it’s inception in 1968. This muscular, energetic band of percussionists plays with a kind of unrestrained virtuosity, worthy of the best of today’s chamber ensembles.”

San Francisco Examiner, January 25, 1986

  • “The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Peter Jarvis, is a marvelous group of 24 musicians who play with a welcome sensitivity to the repertoire.”
  • “To realize the colors imagined by the composer and weave them into an airy tapestry of sound takes tremendous concentration. The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, which premiered the piece in 1978, did a masterful job.”
  • “it was nice to be reminded lat night of its effectiveness, not only as a percussion piece, but as a work of art.”


The Reporter (California), January 17, 1986

  • “Founded by Raymond DesRoches in 1968 and conducted by Peter Jarvis, the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble gained national prominence as a group of gifted musicians committed to the promulgation of 20-century percussion repertory.”


New York Times, January 25, 1985

  • “Conducted by memory by Peter Jarvis. . . it is a riotous celebration of rhythm – colorful and even poetic.”
  • “The movements of the players as they weave from instrument to instrument provide a spontaneous choreography.”


New York Magazine, October 24, 1984

  • “Certainly no one hears anything less than music of solid merit and performances of brilliant virtuosity. That surely describes the concert given by the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.”

The Bergen Record, October 9, 1984

  • “…just counting the piece is a major challenge; the rapid meter changes read like an algebra equation: 2/2, 13/16, 5/8, 5+4+3/16, 5/8, etc. Jarvis conducted it from memory. Not only did he keep everything together, but he went a step further, coaxing music from all those boxes and skins and pipes and blocks of wood. The first movement ended with a lazy long slowing-down and lingering ring that was a masterful example of the conductors craft. Sandwiched between the percussive movements of the piece are melodic sections based on a medieval song by Guillaume Dufay. The conductor must do much more than beat time here, he must sculpt melody, and Jarvis did it so a listener forgot to breathe. His musicians, bobbing, twitching and practically dancing at their instruments were obviously having the time of their lives.”

New York Times, October 7, 1984

  • “Peter Jarvis conducted the 40-minute piece without score, yet did full justice to it’s rhythmic complexities; Mr. Jarvis and his forces richly deserved the standing ovation they received.”
  • “…the performers left the stage to enthusiastic whistles and prolonged applause.”


Atlantic 247 no. 4, April, 1981
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “has added some extraordinary works to the growing body of eloquent percussion music.”


New York Times, March 9, 1980

  • “The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble which today has the reputation of being one of the finest in the country. Its recorded album, “Percussion Music” was nominated for a Grammy Award.”

New York Times, March 3, 1980

  • “…what made the piece effective was the wit of Mr. Levitan’s rhythms and the skill of the performance.”


San Francisco Chronicle, September 2, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “It’s not so schizophrenic as you might think.”

Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “Scored for 26 players, the work’s endlessly fascinating textures and rhythmic diversity will stimulate even the grumpiest conservative and Nonesuch’s recording should shatter windows in the next county.”

New York Times, August 16, 1979

  • The article “Sound” by Hans Fantel mentions the recording of Percussion Symphony as having won an Audio Excellence Record Award for 1979.

Fugue 3, no. 11, July/August 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • an “enjoyable step in the development of percussion music in the twentieth century.”

Stereo Review, April, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • Salzman writes “Wuorinen composes ‘Gothic twelve-tone music’, but praises the performance and quality of the recording.”

Gramophone 56, no. 670, March, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “The symphony is played with great precision and refinement under the composer’s direction.” Whitfield concludes “it is a valuable introduction to a good composer who is far too little known.”

American Record Guide, March, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “I doubt it has many predecessors, but it surely deserves many successors.”

Records and Recordings, March, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-7135

  • “That imaginative leap that distinguishes good music from routine.”

The New Records, February 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “If you have strong ears and an open mind, don’t miss this.”

Downbeat 46, no. 3 February 8, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “a mastery synthesis of avant garde percussion techniques.”

The Village Voice, February 5, 1979, New York
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “The performance is sensitive and dazzling.”

Fort-Wayne News-Sentinel, January 20, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “holds the attention for the whole time with its vast array of timbres.”

The Sunday Record, Troy, New York January 14, 1979
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “This is not one of those irreverent pieces for crashing cymbals, 20 timpani and four car engines.”


Journal Gazette, December 17, 1978
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “a new, exciting wonderland of musical color.”

The Sunday Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, December 17, 1978, “Record Reviews”

  • “The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble’s performance on this recording exhibits innovative musical styles.”

The Oregonian, December 15, 1978
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “Written for percussion ensemble, the music exploits the vast resources of the instruments in a work that is substantial and engrossing.”

San Bernadino Sun, November 25, 1978
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • Only a few composers have handled percussion instruments as well as the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Charles Wuorinen.”

The Chattanooga Times, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 5, 1978
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “Recorded in an old theater in New Jersey, the album is a fine example of the recording art, a disc that should satisfy the most discriminating audiophile.

Seal Beach Journal, Seal Beach, California, October 25, 1978
A review of the Nonesuch Recording of Percussion Symphony H-71353

  • “The conciseness of sound peculiar to percussion, recorded here with cleanliness of execution.”

The Bergen Record, March 14, 1978

  • “The New Jersey Percussion ensemble is one of the finest in the country.”