Night Sky (to Agnes Martin), 2017

Program Notes
The piece is dedicated to Agnes Martin (1912-2004) - one of my favorite painters. Her work has been described as a “luminous distillation of invisible harmonies and mysterious proportions.” She lived alone for most of her adult life in the desert outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I think she must have spent many an evening looking at the stars in the night sky.

Biographical Sketch
Paul Paccione ( is Professor Emeritus in Music at Western Illinois University, Macomb. He holds degrees from the Mannes College of Music, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Iowa, where he received the PhD in 1983. He began teaching at WIU in 1984 and retired from WIU in 2018. He was named Western Illinois University's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2002, the first Music faculty member to do so. In 2012, he received the Outstanding Creativity Award from Western’s College of Fine Arts. His opera “The World is Round,” based on a children’s book by Gertrude Stein, was premiered at WIU in 2014.

He is an active composer whose works are widely and frequently performed, both nationally and internationally. Writing in Fanfare magazine, Michael Cameron has described his music as “consistently compelling, and often extraordinarily moving.”
In 2010, New World Records released a c.d. recording devoted entirely to his music, titled, "Our Beauties Are Not Ours." Additional recordings of his music are available on the Frog Peak and Capstone labels and through CD Baby. Frog Peak Music publishes his music.

He has lectured and written numerous articles on various aspects of modern music and particularly on the interplay of cultural conditions and compositional thought in the 20th and 21st centuries. His writings on music have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, ex tempore, College Music Symposium, American Music, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and liner notes for New World Records. He has been a preconcert lecturer for the Chicago Symphony for the past 10 years.