call of the sirens: new work for flute and harp!

I have a new work for flute and harp: call of the sirens commissioned by Jonathan Keeble and Ann Yeung (the Alethea Duo and also professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Music). The world premiere will be at the 10th International Harp Competition on June 17, 2016 at Indiana University with a subsequent performance at the National Convention of the American Harp Association held at Emory University in Atlanta, GA on July 2nd.

Flute Concerto announced!


Thrilled to announce a commission/premiere date for a flute concerto with flutist Jonathan Keeble! An extraordinary musician, educator and advocate for new music, you can read about Jonathan at Premiere is September 27, 2016 with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.

LaGrange Symphony Orchestra

Delighted to announce that – in addition to my position at Emory University – I am now the new Music Director and Conductor of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, effective July 1st! The LSO is an extremely impressive orchestra with an equally outstanding administration and artistic vision; a history of highly successful fundraising, Georgia Council of the Arts grants, a matching grant from the Callaway Foundation, notable educational outreach, the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, a beautiful hall with acoustical design by Kierkegaard and Associates who also did Emerson Concert Hall at Emory… Cannot wait to start 2015-2016!

Roads leading away from Rome…

As has now been announced by the RSO, I will be stepping down at the end of the season as conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra.

It has been a privilege to make music with the many fine musicians of the RSO over the past six years, as well as collaborate with a range of soloists from David Kim (concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra), pianist William Ransom, soprano Indra Thomas, members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Vega String Quartet in addition to members of the orchestra (Sinisa Ciric, Annie Camp and Rebecca Collins to name a few). Some of my favorite moments would certainly include the choral collaborations with the choirs of Berry College, Rome High School and the Darlington School as well working with soprano Deborah Popham in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “Bon Appetite”!

As the RSO continues to evolve to reflect the esthetics, artistry and demographics of the diverse community that supports it, I am thrilled that the baton passes – literally! – to the more than capable hands of Rome musician and professor, Sam Baltzer.

No – I’m not leaving Atlanta! I’m very happy with all things Emory and also my association with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I will be signing as Music Director and Principal Conductor of another orchestra in the region. More to follow in due course…

Critical acclaim for Symphony No. 3

Richard wrote us a fantastic piece last season, and, as with many of our family of composers, we wanted to follow up this season with more of his music. His music is so powerful, dramatic and colorful, that it has an immediate impact. But living with it over time, it grows deeper and richer.”
Robert Spano, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

“A major new symphony”, “always engaging and the soundscape is constantly changing”  “…it’s the best new work I’ve heard here. Prior is rapidly becoming Atlanta’s preeminent composer”.
Long-time Atlanta Journal Constitution critic, James Paulk.

This is a major work that is a triumph of integration, flow, emotion and orchestration. It should be heard and the ASO should record it.
William Ford, Atlanta music critic.

Atlanta Symphony/Spano: Symphony No. 3

A whirlwind of rehearsals and three terrific performances of my Symphony No. 3 with Robert Spano here with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra! The rehearsal process was quite extraordinary – and inspiring. My thanks to the wonderful musicians of the ASO and Robert Spano who (after several months of acrimonious lockout) returned to the stage with passion and fire. After a delayed opening to the season and Week 1 with Beethoven 9, to have my symphony preserved in its original spot of Week 2 and so stunningly delivered to the public three times was beyond my greatest hopes during the dark days of the lockout.

Premiere with Matt Haimovitz!

So happy to have launched the Cello Concerto into the world with the phenomenal Matt Haimovitz and the musicians of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra! We’ll be cleaning up the sound files of the live premiere performance but I couldn’t resist posting at least the second movement on my media page.

Symphony No. 3 in Cairo!

After several years of delays due to some reorganization in Egypt…. we are a GO for Cairo. We get to close the 55th season of the Cairo Symphony, June 28, 2014: Finzi, Clarinet Concerto with the redoubtable Ashraf Attalla and Symphony No. 3. Sand, sun, pyramids and sand. Lots of sand…