Richard Amromin (b.1946) attended the Berklee College of Music as an undergraduate student, where he majored in composition and played in bands that included some of today's leading jazz players and studio musicians.
After moving to Los Angeles he co-founded (with Lois V Vierk, Carl Stone and David Ocker) the Independent Composers Association, of which he was president for some time. His compositions were performed at Monday Evening Concerts, the L.A. Festival, and ICA events. He also had performances in Europe, including the 1976 Gaudeamus Festival. He received the first prize at the Zaragoza International Composers Festival for his untitled concerto for piano, chamber orchestra and percussion. Unfortunately, they liked the work and sent the prize money but found it either too difficult or too expensive to perform. Like some of his other "major" works, it remains to this day a paper virgin..
Tiring of the chamber music scene, he continued his education at the California Institute of the Arts in the composition seminar of Morton Subotnick. His classmates there included Arthur Jarvinen and Rand Steiger, with whom he collaborated on several projects.
During this time Amromin became increasingly concerned with issues such as the social responsibility of the artist and the role of contemporary music in society (or if it can even be said to have one). He was also developing a serious interest in food preparation and presentation, especially in the continental styles (this while living in a van in the school parking lot out of financial necessity!) The combination of this volatile mixture resulted in his most ambitious work of that period, the infamous EAT, a six-course dinner prepared with volunteer labor and presented along with live music, readings, and theatrics to anyone who happened to be around and was willing to stand in line.
Since his CalArts days Amromin has all but ceased composition as we know it, although special requests from close friends or family members will usally prevail. Instead he prefers to concentrate his creative vision and efforts on presenting the works of others. He founded and is currently Executive Director of the NewTown Pasadena Foundation (now simply NewTown) which has presented four full seasons of multi-media events to date.
He continues to explore the possibilites for creative expression and social improvement that the enjoyment of food has to offer. The Newtown Pasadena Foundation has presented several unique events which include art and food, in the belief that both nourish humanity. Lately he has been researching oranges as a social phenomenon and is threatening to actually produce a composition built on that theme.
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