T H E

L I S T E N I N G

R O O M

A fresh, ever-evolving palette of colors

A lyrical voice unafraid of rich melody

An exciting multi-metered rhythmic soundscape

A bridge between ancient and future

AUDIO RENDITIONS

Some of these are live recordings & some from notation software using quality sound libraries.

Lyrics in choral works available upon request.

LAMENT

ALIAS Chamber Ensemble with pianist Jerome Reed

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LAMENT for Piano Quintet & Empty Chair is dedicated to my dear friend, Laura Flax, the first female clarinetist of the NYC Opera Orchestra and member of the Da Capo Chamber Players. 

Lament travels through an octatonic soundscape with undulations of numbness, anger, denial, and ends with a final surrender to acceptance. Though the empty chair represents my own friend’s absence, performers are free to use the empty chair to represent any loss of their own. It features a violin cadenza as well as the piano.

World Premiere, March 28, 2023, Grammy-nominated Alias Chamber Ensemble. Pianist, Jerome Reed.

Read about the history of suppressed musical women who triumphed & a short chat about LAMENT before you listen.

Reviews

Always an honor to get to play a meaningful work from a wonderful composer, who also happens to be a beautiful soul!  Sari Reist, cellist, TN

Absolute in meaning, the most beautiful lament ever.  Brian McDonald, composer

I was in attendance last night at the Alias Concert. I wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful premiere of your beautiful music. Your commentary was inspiring and a beam of hope in these unprecedented times. I especially loved your rhythmic and percussive treatment of the strings in the middle section. Thank you for your beautiful music and hope to connect further in the near future!  Andre Madatian, composer/guitarist

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WHEN WORDS FAIL for viola and harp was specifically commissioned by the renowned harpist Rachel Talitman from Tel Aviv. This mesmerizing composition will be on a 2024 album that showcases the remarkable talents of women composers and is set to premiere in December 2023. The inspiration behind this beautiful masterpiece comes from a poignant Jewish poem that is delicately inscribed on the walls of a CA asylum, adding a profound layer of depth and emotion to the music.

Score and audio not available to hear or purchase until after the December premiere.

Reviews

“Woa… It is so beautiful!” Rachel Talitman, harpist

Audio

Score and audio not available to hear or purchase until after the December premiere.

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ICE & FURY: Passacaglia for solo violin was commissioned by violinist Christina McGann. The ostinato came from a dream, and the title from an article about major storms and challenges by David Callis, who said, “I’ve always been captivated by how something so beautiful could become treacherous.”

As I worked with the ground bass in light of the title, I imagined an Olympic figure skater as her blade cuts through the ice. I could hear the ice dancer glide, quicken steps, spin and twirl, well-prepared for the difficulty of a triple axle that can upend the best of skaters. The intensity in this piece progresses, ever-increasing to an elaborate fury of activity but ends with the sublime peace of a sunlit, quiet world covered in sparkling ice. “Be prepared. It is not “if” but “when” the challenge will come.”

Reviews

Premiered on August 19, 2023 by Christina McGann, sponsored by Nashville’s INTERSECTION/Kidsville event at the Parthenon.

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DEEP WITHIN, dedicated to and premiered by Allison Brewster Franzetti, is a short five-minute contemporary piano solo for professionals and students alike. This piece helps fill the gap in piano literature caused by a lack of simpler pieces with contemporary sounds. It will help develop the ear of younger students while giving professionals a short mediative work or encore to balance their programs.

Reviews

Premiered by Allison Brewster Franzetti along with works by Victoria Bond and Amanda Harberg at an LSU presentation sponsored by pianist Michael Gurt.

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RESTING PLACE for classical guitar, commissioned by Argentine guitarist Sergio Puccini for his album, Masterworks (2024), is a meditation based on the tune, “O Sacred Head.” Originally, this tune was written as a secular love song, “My Mind Is Confused” by Hans Leo Hassler, and reimagined by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Some may be confused that someone destined to save us surrendered and was killed, but His surrender sung the deepest love song of all. It is the place of ultimate rest.

World Premiere: September 15, 2023, Sergio Puccini, guitar, Argentina

 

Reviews

“Quote” Person, Place

Audio

Not available until after premiere on September 15, 2023.

Cello Solo
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VOICES LONG KEPT SILENT for solo cello was commissioned and premiered by Diane Chaplin to bring short cello pieces by women composers to YouTube videos. It begins with the soul’s cry after generations of oppression. The performer uses a delay pedal at specific points in the piece to signify the echo of time. The cry gets stronger and stronger until about a quarter of the way through it breaks out into: “I’m….. angry!” The rhythm of these words–long-short short–will give this away. It is repeated twice more, each time stronger, clearer. The voice then breaks out in a flood of righteous anger until it has emptied itself. From the dust rises a happy little tune free of an established foot-tapping rhythm, a dance of sorts that expresses its newfound freedom. As that settles down, there is a moment of thoughtfulness in which the voice realized there are many still bound. At that point, the beginning melody will return as a cry for those still in chains. As it is in life, once we are freed, we turn to free others.

Reviews

Featured in an interview with Sascha Groschang on Classical KC Sound Currents, July 5, 2022.

Premiered by Diane Chaplin in Sienna, Italy, September 6, 2022

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I THINK ABOUT THE STAR for soprano, oboe, and piano was commissioned by Mary Ann Robinson, Beth Wheeler, and David Glaze for a premiere,December 23, 2021. The text is based on a poem by Lois Duncan called “The First Christmas Without Her.” This poem captures the emotions of the poet on the first Christmas after the mysterious murder of her daughter, Kaitlyn Arquette, six months earlier. The words bring hope and comfort to all who have grieved a tragic loss, especially around Christmas when all else is joyful. The poem can be found in Lois Duncan’s book Seasons of the Heart.

Reviews

“Wow, Judith, this piece is outstanding. I think my heart skipped a beat reading it. I would be SO honored to sing this. My God. I love this song….” Alysha Hinton, Nashville soprano

Audio
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CAME A DROP GENTLY for mezzo-soprano, tenor, English horn, and piano is a tender one-movement work about eternal love based on a poem by Walt Whitman.

Reviews

“Sensitive text setting, awareness of the voice’s most natural moves up and down, intervals spelled intelligently, great harmonic support. Suitable for a professional or younger singers…I say, brava! This is wonderful!” Lisa Neher, soprano

 “Wow, this is gorgeous! The English horn sounds very vocal and I really love it.” Beth Wheeler, principal English horn, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

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Cornerstone Sonata
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CORNERSTONE SONATA for viola & piano was commissioned and dedicated to viola virtuoso, Brett Deubner in 2020. It is a programmatic piece based on a poem called “The Bully and The Cornerstone.” Throughout the piece, you will hear the stone cutters chipping away, spewing mockery and anger or pleading for mercy. You will feel the sadness and rejection of the destined cornerstone and the power of the Master Builder who steps in to choose the rejected stone as the best. This piece is the “little sister” of CORNERSTONE CONCERTO.

A clarinet version is available.

Reviews

“Allison (Brewster Franzetti) and I had a very thorough multi-hour rehearsal. It was wonderful. The bottom line is that we both love the piece.” violist Brett Deubner, NJ

Audio
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REMEMBER for viola, piano & chimes suspends sound and time to create a place where memory can move from treasured moment to moment. This quiet piece is part of a larger work called “Lost Daughters.” Virtuoso violist Brett Deubner requested an arrangement for viola, premiered it in 2020 with pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti,, and recorded it with Parma Records (release date June 25, 2021.)

“Remember” for clarinet or EH, piano, and chimes was arranged by the composer from the original version for piano.

Suitable for high school, college, regional, or professional chamber ensemble.

Reviews

“Deubner and Franzetti triumph and we are all the better for it. The album gives much to explore and quite happily so. Very recommended.” Gapplegate Music Review

I really appreciate your ear for gesture!” Stanley Grill, composer

Looking forward to doing this wonderful piece.” James Musto, III, NJ Symphony percussionist

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THE DABBLING DUCK was commissioned by Roger Wiesmeyer, English hornist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. It was written in April of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. A rhapsody or whimsical piece was initially discussed, but a week later, what burst out was a piece of rollicking fun. When Markovich approached Wiesmeyer with the change, his response was: “The world could use that right about now!” The world premiere was April 13, 2021 on the Arkansas Symphony (ASO) River Rhapsodies Series V–Beth Wheeler (English horn); Jacob Wunsch (cello).

Suitable for high school, college, regional, or professional chamber duo.

Reviews

I have two things on my stand–The Dabbling Duck and Sibelius. Roger Wiesmeyer, principal EH, Nashville Symphony Orchestra

I love this piece! Judith Markovich is a great composer. I didn’t feel like I was listening to a duet, but a full chamber ensemble, if you know what I mean.” Lorraine Kitts, ASO oboe

The end made me laugh out loud!Susan Leon, ASO principal bassoon

That was a fun piece…it sounded like a lot of fun to play. Leanna Renfro, ASO principal oboe

…a wonderful addition to the chamber music repertoire for English horn. It is beautifully written for the instrument, is tons of fun to play, and audience members have enjoyed it so much! Beth Wheeler, principal English horn, ASO

I could hear this as a cello duet 🙂 although I’m tempted to just learn the English Horn!Professional cellist, Philadelphia

Movement I

Movement II

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THREE MINIATURES for solo viola was premiered worldwide in Paris by Brett Deubner on June 6, 2020. It is an unaccompanied solo chock full of spirited fun and challenge. A soft touch of romance is sandwiched between two energetic, multi-metered movements with a node to Stravinsky. For violists longing for a short, showy contemporary piece to balance a program, this may very well compliment your selections.

Reviews

In writing “Three Miniatures,” Markovich was inspired by the rapidly changing metres of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for solo clarinet. The opening movement engages immediately for Deubner’s commanding execution of its acrobatic dance moves, and the third likewise impresses for its freewheeling energy and abandon. It’s the eloquent lyricism of the solemn central part that registers most powerfully—the kind of mournful material for which the viola is perfectly suited.  ~Textura Review

Movement III

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Single is available on all major social platforms. CLICK HERE.

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A CALL FROM THE WOODS for solo viola was commissioned, recorded and performed by violist Amaro Dubois for a future album. Unique to this genre is a freely-improvised central section combined with lyrical contemporary sections and a nod to Memphis, TN, where Dubois was living at the time. Brutal NewMusic describes it this way: "Like many composers, Markovich is heavily inspired by the calmness of nature, which shows itself in this piece. Her writing for the viola is natural and intuitive, allowing Dubois to create a wide range of timbres in his playing. The work builds on the articulative motif of a thrown ricochet bow, with the inconsistences later mimicked in Dubois' pizzicato playing." 

World Premiere, August 28, 2022, Amaro Dubois

Reviews

"A Call from the Woods is serene picture of dark greens emerging from the forest. Judith Markovich's new work for solo viola...is a touching combination of lyrical melodies and traditional folksy fiddling. In his interpretation, Dubois seems to magically be able to transition between styles, from avant-garde to country to improvisation, always retaining the nuances of each...Markovich's musical cohesion and Dubois' superior stylistic interpretation combine into an easy listening of a great new work for viola."  Brutal NewMusic Review

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EMERGENCE for full orchestra arrives n a timely season where women are emerging into higher purposes traditionally frowned upon. EMERGENCE is a celebration of emerging women. It was commissioned for the Spring Hill Orchestra by conductor, Rebecca Vendemo, and written by composer, Judith Markovich. SHO was joined by a women’s Brazilian orchestra for the world premiere on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, TN.

Each motif in this tone poem is a short, extracted note pattern from Markovich’s favorite childhood hymn tune, “Purpose,” by Martin Fallas Shaw, who was a staunch supporter of women. As the tone poem builds, more of the melody emerge until there is a full explosion of the weighty, majestic hymn. Thus, the name EMERGENCE.

The soundscape uses a novel instrument, a fire drum in D minor, custom-created for the performance by Jonathan Rose at www.HandsOnFire.com

Reviews

“Wow! The music is beautiful, delightful, and majestic. I am honoured that you have created this…absolutely the fullest admiration for your work. If I had been a composer, this is just the sort of thing I would have composed. So delicate and full of joy.”

Isobel Platings, granddaughter of

Martin F. Shaw, London

“Inspired to create having been at the concert last weekend. It was a treat to experience especially your composition.”

Nick Coetzee, international worship leader/composer

“I loved your piece…got so inspired by you that I’m going to study composition!” Maira Honorio Fernandes, cellist, lawyer, Brazil

Audio

THE DABBLING DUCK INTRODUCTION

Available in other versions

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BEYOND THE NOBLE WAY

A warm drink of comfort and hope

for brass quintet

“Beyond the Noble Way” is a new addition to the brass repertoire. It portrays married romance, which begins with a trumpet call for two to become one. It weaves between two lovers and ends with a Father’s assurance that, through it all, He is with them beyond the noble way. It is dedicated to the late Patricia Zadrozny (d. 2018), the wife of a dear trombonist friend and colleague. The horn represents Pat and the trombone is her husband, Ed. The title came from her married name. Patricia means “noble.” Zadrozny is a Polish name that means “beyond the way.”

Reviews

“Beautiful, Judith! Such deep, thoughtful writing.” Rebecca Vendemo, trumpeter

“Marvelous! I love it!” Ed Zadrozny, trombonist

“Nice piece!…with a bright theme and small surprises…I like it.” Lars Karge, composer

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HALLELUJAH IN THE DARKNESS

A Praise Suite 

Exciting mixed-metered rhythms,

spoken voices, and colorful harmonies

for SATB choir and orchestra

Markovich’s work, HALLELUJAH IN THE DARKNESS, was written for her husband, Richard, during his struggle with an aggressive cancer.

Modes, textures, and mixed meters embrace a soundscape of Gregorian chant to film score. The riveting third movement, We Will Glorify Him, is a put-your-foot-down commitment to praise, no matter what. He has miraculously recovered through firm faith and undying praise of Jesus Christ, Healer of healers.

Lyrics are available upon request.

Perusal Score
Reviews

Lovely piece …… the arrangement and melodic lines are gorgeous!” Richard John, songwriter, England

This is wonderful!!!” Anthony Maglione, US conductor/composer

Such a peaceful beauty! Great piece of music orchestration, superb and love changes of mood.” Haris Vucans, Ogre, Latvia

Stunning.” Helen Keeling-Marston, UK composer

Audio
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THE LOOKING GLASS

a transformative,

contemporary dance suite

IN FIVE MOVEMENTS

for woodwinds, trumpet, percussion, guitar, bass

THE LOOKING GLASS is a unique, programmatic, five-movement work that grows from a woodwind quintet to thirteen players: woodwind quintet, trumpet, guitars, bass and percussion. Add a dancer with a large mirror and you have an event!

The title was inspired by the poet Dale Wimbrow who challenges us to be true to yourself.

The first movement was selected by the 2022 International Composers Festival in May, Sussek, UK and is published separately as a woodwind quintet called KING FOR A DAY.

The first three movements are published separately as THREE REFELCTIONS with the option of adding a trumpet.

Wimbrow Poem

THE GUY IN THE GLASS

by Dale Wimbrow (1895-1954)

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf (riches),

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgment upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

Copyright 1934. Printed with permission.

Reviews

KING FOR A DAY, selected for performance at the 2022 International Composers Festival, Sussex, UK

“This is fantastic! Amazing! So fun and light and wonderful!” Joan Tower, composer

“I truly see the dance, feel the dance, the motion.” James Jandt, composer/artist

Audio

Three versions for different occasions: first movement only | first three movements | complete work:

1. KING FOR A DAY 3:07

2. THREE REFLECTIONS 8:43

3. “THE LOOKING GLASS” 17:53


“When I perform recitals,

I’m always on the hunt for fresh,

exciting pieces!”

~ J. P. Markovich

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LORD GOD OF HOSTS:

Terrors Rise

BASED ON A THEME BY J. S. BACH

a prophetic, contemporary swirl

of “ancient-future” worship

for angel choir, chorus, and orchestra

LORD GOD OF HOSTS brings hope and comfort to God’s people in times of terrorism. The wild, ancient-future evolution of a soaring theme by J. S. Bach is among the qualities to be regarded. Four solo winds, harp and classical guitar are employed across a foundation of strings, piano and light percussion in this through-composed contemporary work. The antiphonal use of an angel choir in conversation with a full chorus becomes a highly effective implement to convey the timely prophetic message from 2 Chronicles 20:

Though we may feel powerless in times of terror and don’t know what to do, be assured. God is with His children. No enemy can withstand the power of His hand.

Available for large or small ensemble, as well as performance CD (upon request).

Perusal Score
Reviews

“Wonderful! I want to hear anything you compose for choir in the future.” David Diebold, CCC Church

Audio

New, shorter version is in the making. Contact Judith if you are interested.

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WE WILL GLORIFY HIM

from Hallelujah in the Darkness

a quick, powerful, multi-rhythmic work
for choir (spoken/sung), winds, piano, cello, bass

The asymmetrical rhythmic patterns in “We Will Glorify Him” combine the unusual with the familiar in a way that intuitively melds the words with the music. It is fun to perform! The constant interplay between spoken voices and the chamber ensemble captivates your attention in this short contemporary choral piece.

“It doesn’t take much faith to praise God when life goes well, But when the dark clouds lower and the raging storms batter, our trust is tested. Will we praise God in the darkness? Will we?”  J. Markovich

Perusal Score
Reviews

“Interesting and beautiful composition.” Volker Feidel, composer, Germany

“Beautiful work!” Sam Bartee, composer, Australia

Audio

Computerized rendition, so voice cannot be reproduced. However, the spoken vocal part imitates the snare.

Tired of the same ole repertoire?

Want a new composition to bridge your traditional pieces?

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THE LAMB

out of introspection comes

a frolicking celebration of the Lamb

for chamber orchestra

THE LAMB is a short work but not without lasting impact. It begins in an expansive, ethereal realm of rest and ends in a multi-metered frolic across the tonal ranges of the instruments. Whether used as an encore, a short dance, or a film clip, THE LAMB is sure to delight the hearts of its listeners.

Perusal Score
Reviews

“Beautiful sound! Really well done!”  Orpheus Studio Orchestral

“I love the ending!”  Sam Bartee, composer, Australia

“Great sound and playing………fantastic atmosphere….very nice.” Promo Review