Reviews

For more reviews, please refer to the individual pages of each work


"Composer Margaret Brouwer is that rarity, a contemporary composer whose music is accessible and engaging for a wide range of audiences, but whose work doesn't sound like movie music. She's not afraid to be spiky when spikiness is indicted, but there's never a sense in any of these works that she's using atonality for its own sake. And often her sonic world is utterly luminous in its beauty."   - Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 2004


 "Ms. Brouwer has one of the most delicate ears and inventive imaginations among contemporary American composers. Compare her percussion concerto, "Aurolucent Circles," to another recent one by Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, "Rituals." Ms. Brouwer not only gets more seductive sounds out of the instruments, she also creates a dramatic through line that keeps the attention riveted for 27 minutes. The music is laid out spatially, so that phrases and motifs jump or flow across the soundstage..."   - Lawson Taitte, The Dallas Morning News, February 11, 2006


"(Brouwer) has a talent for taking the simplest melody and through her expansive array of compositional techniques, develop it into a polished musical gem. And even when employing a twelve-tone row, Brouwer never ventures into the realm of compositional gimmickry. Every note she writes has musical purpose."  - Mike Telin, ClevelandClassical, July 2014


"For those of us who, years ago, were wondering where music might turn after the challenges of the atonalists, this is it. [Brouwer] is not afraid of the modern idiom, and uses whatever techniques are called for at the moment, but at the same time never loses sense of that fundamental and essential musical ingredient called melody."  --Steven E. Ritter, Fanfare: The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors, June 2008


"Brouwer finds a keen balance between contemporary and tonal language."  - Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer


 "I was particularly impressed with the Brouwer, Bond and Little pieces - all had excellent craft and every gesture was audible...Margaret Brouwer's music was very rich and satisfying." - Mark Greenfest, SoundWordSight, May 2014


"Brouwer has a gift for both lyricism and humor."  -  Moore, The American Record Guide, November/December 1999


"The most haunting aspect of Brouwer's "Diary of an Alien" comes in the final movement, in which the solo flute's lines are echoed electronically to evoke bells. Every moment in this serene work reveals the gifts of a composer whose music blends superb craftsmanship with a poetic sensibility." - Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer, 2001


"She has written skillfully and imaginatively for both viola and orchestra, and the music engages start to finish" (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra)  -Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, January 8, 2010


"Brouwer's music does have a sense of stylistic independence and an openness of spirit that must be very hard won, given the pressures at work in the US during the era when she learned her craft. The melodies are memorable; the instrumental writing is unique, sharp, and always expressive...Brouwer combines classical order and determination in her work, but also loves to make candy for a discerning ear. The result is not detachment, but a kind of energetic hopefulness, suggesting a strong emotional core we've yet to hear rise to the music's surface." -  Paul Ingram, Fanfare: The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors, May/June 2004


"Music's power to unite is one of the key messages in Margaret Brouwer's "Daniel and Snakeman," a disarming piece for listeners of all ages...Brouwer's score pays tribute to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" in assigning instruments and themes to each character. And like the Russian composer's popular piece, "Daniel" abounds in charming tunes that help catapult Brouwer's story about the eponymous hero who faces nasty, intolerant Snakeman and releases the villain's underground population of people of many cultures."   -Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland: The Plain Dealer, May 10, 2011


"...a compositional voice refreshingly detached from schools and trends."  - Julian Cowley, The Wire, 1999


"In terms of sheer enjoyment, Margaret Brouwer's "Crosswinds" towered over everything else on the program. The piece is a nostalgic evocation of country landscapes and sounds, replete with open hearted gestures, poetic sighs a la Mahler and hoe-down activity taking Copland to frisky extremes. The score's energy and tenderness were embraced to rapturous degree by the Cavani String Quartet..."  - Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer, November 19, 1998