“The Virgil Thomson Award Committee was struck by the strong personality and profile of the moving vocal work by Anna Weesner in My Mother in Love and Mother Tongues. Her originality set her apart.” —William Bolcom on Anna Weesner winning the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ 2018 Virgil Thomson Award in Vocal Music
“How often in today’s vocal music do we find ourselves surprised, truly touched by simple, unpredictably expressive music? In My Mother in Love . . . Anna Weesner reaches the listener uninsistently and indelibly from a fresh musical source as natural as it is mysterious.”
—May 23, 2018 Citation from American Academy of Arts and Letters
“In Lift High, Reckon . . . A conversation between the two factions becomes dark and violent, with stabbing bursts in the strings, before returning to a reflective mood reminiscent of the opening. Violinist Yvonne Lam, cellist Nicholas Photinos, and pianist Lisa Kaplan—half of eighth blackbird—gave a tightly controlled performance that exposed the intricate textures of Weesner’s writing.” —Chicago Classical Review, Feb. 5, 2014, Elliot Mandel
“She subscribes to no ‘-ism’, and there is no ready label for her music. The elements that make up her language – some of which include hints of pop, or Stravinsky, or Lutoslawski, for example – are thoroughly digested . . . Anna’s sense of timing and pacing is exquisite – she can effect gradual changes, or make jump cuts that startle before revealing their logic a moment later.” —James Primosch on Anna Weesner’s music
“Of the four previously unrecorded works, Anna Weesner’s Flexible Parts is the most entrancing: six shapely vignettes exploring every viola/piano sound possibility with Kimberly Russ’ keyboard accompaniments a nimble pleasure throughout.” —June 27, 2012 Review of Melia Watras’s Short Stories CD in The Seattle Times
“Flexible Parts seemed the most spontaneous with the composer’s use of fairly simple melodic material, seven digestible parts, and the purposeful interruptions in the piece.” —The Gathering Note, Nov. 1, 2008
“Anna Weesner’s Still Things Move (2002), in its New York premiere, thrived on the ground between the Wuorinen and the Hovhaness. It drew on the inherent beauty of massed strings, but in its best moments it was animated and full of surprising turns.” —New York Times, Oct. 10, 2003
“A very attractive essay in three interconnected movements, the work opens with a hymn-like section (“Wish”) in enriched triadic harmonies that go in surprising directions . . . Along the way are some ravishing solos for violin and cello that must make Still Things Move as gratifying to play as it is to hear.” —Boston Globe, September 30, 2002
“She was especially communicative in the first song, “Forgetting,” in which the singer wakes one Saturday morning intending to make a call to someone, forgetting momentarily that the person is no longer around to call. Weesner wrote the poem to which it is set, and perhaps for this reason was able to create a haunting conspiracy of pulsing words and unsettled, yet not unhappy, music.” —Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 2001.
“It was a pleasure to encounter Weesner, that rare contemporary composer who manifests an unshakable appreciation for the quartet format.” —San Francisco Chronicle, March 29, 2001.
“Weesner shares with Mendelssohn an ability to make complex textures out of simple devices. Lightness ripples through the second part when Weesner deftly dissolves unity into a rich tapestry of soloists.” —San Francisco Classical Voice, March 27, 2001
“Weesner’s music superimposes two and three time schemes into interesting contrapuntal designs. She sets them against a hard, clear background, offering a spiritual vision that prefers hard truths to warm reassurance.” —March, 16, 1996, The New York Times