John D. Gottsch
Ocklawaha, by Composer-in Residence John D. Gottsch, has its world premiere during Masterworks II from January 24-28, 2023.
Described as “cinematic,” “surging,” and “lush,” John D. Gottsch’s musical language has been compared to “John Williams, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and the orchestral showpieces of Ottorino Respighi” (The Classical Review).
Gottsch, Composer-in-Residence for the South Florida Symphony Orchestra – and composer of a work premiering this evening, Ocklawaha — was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and shortly afterwards his family moved to Florida. He spent his youth in the lake country of Florida on the watch for alligators while swimming and always looking down in woods and swamps to avoid rattlesnakes and water moccasins. He traveled many of the rivers of the state which would begin in the back country and eventually empty into the Gulf or the Atlantic. These explorations of Florida gave him an enduring love for the beauty and wildlife of the state.
Mr. Gottsch now splits his time between Baltimore and Key West. He has been a lifelong composer and a number of his compositions reflect his deep appreciation of the outdoors. His piano suite, Homosassa was premiered in Palm Beach (2020). His piano quintet, Maryland Hunt, was premiered at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C (2018) and has been performed in Philadelphia, Vienna, Rotterdam, and Baltimore. The work is dedicated to his daughter, Clare Brooks Gottsch. His Paris Trio (flute, viola, and double bass) premiered at the Institut Pasteur, Paris (2019) and was performed in Boston on May 15, 2020.
In January of 2022, South Florida Symphony premiered Gottsch’s original orchestral poem, Princess Yurievskaya, and in March of 2020, SFSO premiered Sunset (dedicated to Maestra Sebrina Alfonso for her devotion to music and her love for the island where she was born and raised, Key West). Both works were featured on Gottsch’s 2020 debut album released by Naxos Records, the world’s leading classical music label. SFSO also performed Gottsch’s Bagatelles for Violin & Piano as part of its Summer With the Symphony Series in June 2021.