Neo-classical romanticism for the 21st century
Edmund Barton “Bart” Bullock has been leading a double career as composer and pianist with success, performing his own major works and chamber music throughout the United States and Europe. He scored a musical triumph in June, 2016 with the world premiere of a commissioned Te Deum based on a 4th century Latin text. The event, performed at the Cathedral Ste. Marie of Auch in France, enjoyed the patronage of His Royal Highness, Prince Henrik of Denmark, regional governors and high church officials of France, Knights of the Order of Malta, and a community of French aristocrats.
Bullock’s major symphonic work is the Appalachian Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. It was commissioned for the installment ceremonies of the Appalachian State University Chancellor in April 2005. Its French premiere, with Bullock at the piano, was performed twice in May of 2008 by the Orchestre de la Cité Internationale de Paris. It was then performed twice by the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina in February 2009.
Bullock has had a unique musical association with the Prince Consort of Denmark and has composed two song cycles based on Prince Henrik’s highly respected poetry. A cycle of six songs based on his collection Cantabile was performed at the Château de Cayx, the French residence of the Prince and the Queen of Denmark, in August 2014.
Another song cycle based on poems in the Prince’s collection La Part des Anges was performed in July 2016 at the “Musiques entre Pierres” International Music Festival in Palaminy, France.
In the 1990s Bullock maintained a nine-year collaboration with the La Gesse Foundation and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He composed and performed chamber music in the USA, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. His Songs of the Night was premiered in Carnegie Hall, New York City, in 1999, and an evening of his chamber music works was staged in the Carnegie Recital Hall in September 2002.
One of Bullock’s most recognized collaborations is with the Académie des Jeux Floraux de Toulouse, the oldest literary society in the western world, founded in 1323 by seven poetic troubadours. Bullock’s Cycle of Seven Art Songs was premiered in the Clémence Isaure Hall in 2001, and then performed in Carnegie Hall that same year. Few musicians, especially American ones, have ever had the access that Bullock enjoys with the prestigious Académie and its members.
Bullock’s perfect fluency in French and his excellence as a composer and pianist have made him popular in French society. He is the artistic director of an annual music festival in the Comminges region of southwestern France and performs on a regular basis at other venues while working on commissioned compositions. He continues to be a frequent French radio guest and performer while maintaining his collaborations in the United States with two to three visits each year.
In development is another major composition titled The Awakening of Humanity, an oratorio in collaboration with American novelist and librettist St. Leger “Monty” Joynes. Begun in 2007, the first two movements of the work were performed three times in 2015. The Awakening of Humanity honors Native American metaphysical values that hold all creation to be sacred, and all humanity to be connected. See a premiere performance of the first two movements by the Ensemble Vocal Unité under the artistic direction of Christian Nadalet.