The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
James Bergin


James Bergin is the executive director of the Boston Microtonal Society and the conductor of its permanent chamber ensemble NotaRiotous. His compositions include tonal and microtonal works for solo instruments, voice and chamber ensemble, chorus, piano and organ. Seufzer, for solo flute, and Kyrie, for baritone, viola, and cello, were performed on the debut NotaRiotous concert in November of 2006. His fugue for voices, “Surely, He Hath Borne Our Griefs,” was performed in March of 2007 by the Cantilena Chamber Choir at their Berkshire Composers Concert in Williamstown, MA. Other works include Langmusik, for solo trombone, De profundis, for baritone and chamber ensemble, and Noli me tangere, for saxophone, percussion and string trio. Bergin began studying harmony with Joseph Maneri at the New England Conservatory in 1971. After leaving NEC to pursue music study on a private basis, he continued to work with Maneri for more than a decade, studying harmony, species counterpoint, fugue, and composition, using Arnold Schoenberg’s pedagogical texts. In 1991 he returned to NEC to complete a degree in music theory with Maneri as his principal teacher. He concentrated on the study of microtones, began composing in 72-note equal temperament, and studied theory, orchestration, and ethnomusicology with Daniel Pinkham, Robert Cogan, Lee Hyla, and Robert Labaree.  He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works for the music publishing firm of Broude Brothers Limited, composes, and teaches violin and viola on a private basis. He has served as a consultant to the string program of the Williamstown Public Elementary Schools, and this past January taught a winter study course in microtonal ear training, performance, and composition at Williams College.