Penn’s Landing (2020)

For solo piano

Written for the Curtis Young Artist Program Composers Performer Collective


Premiered by Benjamin Tufte on July 29, 2020


Purchase score here


four minutes

Program Note

Penn’s Landing was written for the 2020 Curtis Young Artist Summer Programs Composers Performer Collective. The inspiration for this piece comes from a very specific memory that I had in May 2019 of me and a friend visiting an empty Penn’s Landing at night. The skyline of Philadelphia was so vibrant as well as the lights coming from different booths and restaurants that were open. Experiencing Penn’s Landing without any people allowed us to witness the beautiful qualities that night brings to Philadelphia.

The beginning of this piece starts with a reflective and peaceful feeling. The piano plays a descending two-note figure that resonates on the second note. It then mirrors itself with similar figures that represent the city lights reflecting on the water. The music transforms into something more lively, and playful while still using motifs and figures from the beginning. We then move to darker, slightly slower music when the piano’s low register is introduced. The left hand plays a dark chorale while the right hand hits high endless, resonant notes that remind us of the colors from the beginning. These feelings of elation, admiration, peacefulness, coldness, and melancholia were all emotions that I hoped to evoke.