Cole Griscom, composition and theory student of Roberto Pace, Robert Capanna Musicianship Distinguished Faculty Chair.

Cole Griscom, composition and theory student of Roberto Pace, Robert Capanna Musicianship Distinguished Faculty Chair.

Cole Griscom Performs in Gold Award Recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall

Cole Griscom, composition and theory student of Roberto Pace, Robert Capanna Musicianship Distinguished Faculty Chair.

Cole Griscom, composition and theory student of Roberto Pace, Robert Capanna Musicianship Distinguished Faculty Chair.

Settlement composition student and pianist Cole Griscom was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall for the second time in his budding career at the Gold Award Recital of the recent Golden Key Music Festival. Cole distinguished himself from the rest of the pack by choosing to play, instead of the more traditional late-Romantic fare of piano competitions, an original composition, his Theme and Variations in E-flat Minor.

Under the skilled tutelage of Settlement’s Roberto Pace, Robert Capanna Musicianship Distinguished Faculty Chair, Cole’s Theme and Variations turned out to be a new kind of artistic endeavor for the high school sophomore. It became an exercise in gleaning as much musical material out of a single idea as possible, or as Cole puts it, “maximum output by minimum content input”—a kind of artistic reverse engineering. For Roberto, who believes “Cole has always had an intuitive sense of melody and harmony,” the composition was “a very fruitful step in his development as a composer.”

As Cole and his teacher continue to push to new artistic levels, he is considering applying to music conservatories as the end of high school begins to loom on the horizon. Deeply inspired by the music of classic movies, film scoring may be an avenue he wishes to pursue—but there is plenty of time for the young pianist and composer to figure that out.