The recipient of numerous international awards and commissions, Gerard Schurmann composes for a wide variety of media, including orchestral, vocal, and chamber music. Born in the Dutch Indies, Schurmann grew up in England and in his early 20s served as resident orchestral conductor at the Netherlands Radio in Hilversum. He studied composition with Alan Rawsthorne, piano with Kathleen Long, and conducting with Franco Ferrara. Since 1981 he has resided in the United States, primarily Los Angeles. Schurmann states that he is an instinctive composer: “When I write, I listen very intensely, and try to respond emotionally in the most direct way possible.”
From the composer: “Structurally, ‘Romancing the Strings’ (2015) consists of six short variations on a theme of my own, a romantic tune that I previously wrote as part of the score for a Walt Disney lm based on a novel by Russell Thorndike (1915), set in the south of England during the reign of George III around the year 1800. The lm was initially released as a theatrical feature in 1963 and subsequently became somewhat of a cult favorite, repeatedly broadcast in the form of three one-hour episodes on TV in the CBS Disney Hour as ‘Dr. Syn – Alias the Scarecrow.’
“The stately theme represents a warmly romantic aspect of what is otherwise an exciting adventure story involving brandy smuggling from France. It starred Patrick McGoohan in double guise as both the courageously daring Vicar of Dymchurch as well as the leader of a rebel band of citizens trying to save the town of Romney Marsh from the King’s oppression.
“ ‘Romancing the Strings’ aims to convey feelings of ardent and wistfully nostalgic romance.”
Sponsored by: Serene Rein, and by his friends in memory of Richard De Roeck, who loved chamber music and AFCM