Bruce Trinkley is Professor Emeritus of Music at Penn State University where he taught composition, orchestration and opera literature and conducted the Penn State Glee Club. He received degrees in composition from Columbia University studying with Otto Luening, Jack Beeson and Charles Wuorinen. His concert works include Santa Rosalia, a cantata inspired by paintings of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero and filmed for PBS; and Mountain Laurels, a choral symphony. His many collaborations with librettist Jason Charnesky include Eve's Odds, a comic chamber opera based on Genesis, which won the NOA’s 1999 Chamber Opera Competition; and Cleo, a chamber opera about making of the epic film Cleopatra, which won the Competition in 2001. YORK: The Voice of Freedom, a full-length opera about the life of the only African American on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was premiered by the Penn State Opera Theatre and filmed by WPSX for broadcast on PBS stations.
Bruce Trinkley is Professor Emeritus at Penn State where he taught composition and orchestration and conducted the Penn State Glee Club from 1970 to 2005, and was music director for Penn State’s Centre Stage from 1970 until 1995. He received degrees in composition from Columbia University where he studied with Otto Luening, Jack Beeson and Charles Wuorinen.
Professor Trinkley's music has been performed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and China. He has composed incidental music, songs and choruses for theatre and dance productions and has written extensively for choral ensembles, including more than 200 arrangements of folk songs, spirituals and popular songs for various ensembles. In 1976 he collaborated on The Wagon Train Show, which played more than 2000 performances during the US Bicentennial. Santa Rosalia, a cantata inspired by paintings of Fernando Botero, was filmed for PBS. Mountain Laurels, a choral symphony using texts by Pennsylvania poets, was written to celebrate the centenary of State College, Pennsylvania, in 1996. Cold Mountain, a piano trio, was commissioned by the Castalia Trio for their concert tour of China in May 1998. His opera Eve's Odds won the National Opera Association’s 1999 Chamber Opera Competition. Cleo, a comic opera about the making of the movie epic Cleopatra, won the competition in 2001.
Major works include The Last Voyage of Captain Meriwether Lewis, a cantata for men’s voices; One Life: The Rachel Carson Project, a multi-media work for women’s chorus, soloists, and instrumental ensemble; and York: The Voice of Freedom, a music drama about the life of the only African American on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. His operas for young people include The Prairie Dog That Met the President and Chicken Little.
Recent premieres include Tennessee Williams Songs for voice and piano or string quartet; and aMUSEment, a cantata based on rural life in America.
He has had composer residencies at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Hambidge Center, the Ucross Foundation, and the Patrick Allan-Fraser Trust in Scotland. His works are published by Alliance, Alfred Music, Oxford, Augsburg Fortress, Lawson-Gould, GIA, Hinshaw and Hal Leonard.
Bruce Trinkley is Professor Emeritus of Music at Penn State University, where he taught composition, orchestration and opera literature, and conducted the Penn State Glee Club. He was also Music Director of Pennsylvania Centre Stage from 1970 to 1995 conducting more than 50 productions of operas and musicals.
He was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in West Virginia and attended high school in Los Angeles. He received his degrees in composition from Columbia University, where he studied with Otto Luening, Jack Beeson and Charles Wuorinen and conducted the Columbia University Glee Club. While at Columbia, he wrote The Bawd’s Opera which won the BMI National Varsity Show Award for the best original student musical in the United States. The award led to membership in the BMI Workshop where he studied with Lehman Engel. Trinkley went on to write the music for the Pennsylvania Bicentennial Wagon Train Show, which played more than 2000 performances throughout the country in 1976. The composer of incidental music, songs and choruses for over twenty theatre and dance productions, Trinkley has also written extensively for choral ensembles. Mountain Laurels: A Choral Symphony based on texts by central Pennsylvania poets, was performed to celebrate the centenary of State College, Pennsylvania, and involved nearly 1000 singers and instrumentalists.
Major works include: Cold Mountain, Seven Shih for piano trio, based on poems by the Tang Dynasty poet Han-shan, commissioned for the Castalia Trio’s concert tour to China; and One Life: The Rachel Carson Project, a cantata for women’s voices about the life of the founder of the environmental movement. With his regular collaborator, librettist Jason Charnesky, Trinkley has twice won the National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera Competition: Eve’s Odds in 1997 and Cleo in 1999. YORK: The Voice of Freedom, a full-length opera based on the life of the only African-American on the Lewis and Clark expedition, was premiered at Penn State and has been seen on PBS stations around the country. The Prairie Dog That Met the President, an opera for young people, is based on a true incident from the Lewis and Clark expedition and was given its Pennsylvania premiere by the Penn State Opera Theatre. Trinkley and Charnesky also collaborated on Santa Rosalia, a cantata for vocal quartet, woodwind quintet, and harpsichord, based on a painting by the Colombian painter Fernando Botero. Collaborative works include another children’s opera, Chicken Little, and CONFESS\CONFUSE, four micro-music-theatre works. CONFESS\CONFUSE premiered at the Cornelia Street Café in New York’s Greenwich Village, and was presented at the Philly Fringe. Recent works include Baby Shower, a comic opera, presented by Fresh Squeezed Opera at the New York Theatre Workshop; Saint Thomas the Carpenter, a sacred drama, at the National Opera Association Convention in San Antonio, Texas with soloists from the San Antonio Opera and instrumentalists from the San Antonio Symphony; and Auld Reikie, choral settings of poems by Robert Fergusson, by the Gregg Smith Singers in New York City. Herricks Lyricks, a choral cantata of settings of poems by Robert Herrick, was premiered by the Chesapeake Chorale. Recent vocal works include Tennessee Williams Songs for voice and piano or string quartet and aMUSEment, a cantata about rural life in America.
Trinkley’s composition awards include composer residencies at The Ucross Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Centrum, The Patrick Allan Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust in Arbroath, Scotland, and Fundaçion Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. His choral works are published by Oxford, Augsburg Fortress, Alfred Music, GIA, Hinshaw, Alliance, Carl Fischer, G. Schirmer, and Yelton Rhodes Music.