Meira Warshauer’s music has been performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe, as well as in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Her works are regularly heard on radio and have recently been featured by Public Radio International’s Living on Earth, and American Public Media’s Performance Today, the most listened-to classical music radio program in the US. Meira’s musical palette is wide, ranging from traditional Jewish prayer modes to minimalist textures with rich melodic contours, and from joyful jazz-influenced rhythms to imaginative orchestrations of the natural world. At its core, it expresses her personal spiritual journey. As Ina Esther Joost, principal cellist with Jerusalem Symphony, observes, “Meira’s music comes from a place which is beyond music. It is like a prayer…from deep within the soul … (and) it always evokes deep responses from the listeners.”
Warshauer has devoted much of her creative output to Jewish themes and their universal message. Streams in the Desert, an all Warshauer CD of music for orchestra and chorus inspired by the Torah, was released by Albany Records (Troy 973) in fall, 2007. Tekeeyah (a call), the first concerto ever written for shofar, trombone, and orchestra, began its premiere season in 2009 with soloist Haim Avitsur and commissioning orchestras Wilmington Symphony (NC), Brevard Philharmonic (NC), and University of South Carolina Symphony. Consortium premieres continued with Western Piedmont Symphony in 2011, and the Dayton Philharmonic in 2013.
Her work also reflects a love and concern for the earth. Symphony No.1: Living, Breathing Earth, commissioned by Dayton Philharmonic, South Carolina Philharmonic, and Western Piedmont Symphony, was profiled by Aileen LeBlanc for PRI’s Living on Earth, which aired it nationwide during the symphony’s premiere season in 2007, and again in 2011. Symphony No. 1 and Tekeeyah were recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic for Navona Records’ acclaimed 2011 release, Living Breathing Earth (NV5842). In addition to her compositions, Meira’s concern for the earth is also demonstrated by her involvement in environmental issues. Her 2014-15 trilogy for piano duo, Ocean Calling, helped lead to her active role in opposing off-shore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic.
Other recordings include YES! recorded by Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic on Perspectives (MMC2162), Bati l’Gani (I entered My Garden) recorded by Paula Robison and Cyro Baptista on Places of the Spirit, (Pucker Gallery), Shevet Achim (Brothers Dwell) for two bass clarinets recorded by Richard Nunemaker on The Louisville Project (AUR3127), Bracha (Blessing) for violin and piano recorded by the Kobayashi-Grey duo on Feminissisimo (Troy1081), In Memoriam recorded by Robert Jesselson on Carolina Cellobration, University of South Carolina, 2012; Revelation recorded by the Silesian State Philharmonic on Robert Black Conducts(MMC2008), and Jerusalem, Open Your Gates (third movement) performed live by Neil Casey and the University of South Carolina Symphony on Musicscapes, Vol 1 (MMC2170D). Other all Warshauer CDs are the soundtrack to the documentary Land of Promise: The Jews of South Carolina (Kol Meira 2002) and Spirals of Light: Chamber Music and Poetry on Themes of Enlightenment (Kol Meira 2001). Videos of performances may be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/meira1949/
Warshauer has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center; and Residency Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Hambidge Center. She was twice awarded the Artist Fellowship in Music by the S.C. Arts Commission, and received the first Art and Cultural Achievement Award from the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina. Her composition Yishakeyni (Sweeter than Wine) received the Miriam Gideon Award from the International Association of Women in Music. She has served on the faculties of University of South Carolina Honors College and Columbia College, where she developed a semester-long course on The Healing Art of Music. Dr. Warshauer was honored as the Nancy A. Smith Distinguished Visitor at Coastal Carolina University.
Meira (Maxine) Warshauer graduated from Harvard University (B.A. magna com laude), New England Conservatory of Music (M.M. with honors), and the University of South Carolina (D.M.A.), and studied composition with Mario Davidovsky, Jacob Druckman, William Thomas McKinley, and Gordon Goodwin. Her music is published by Lauren Keiser Music Publishing, Hildegard Music Publishing, World Music Press, and Kol Meira Publications. A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, she resides in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband, Sam Baker.