Louis Karchin was born in Philadelphia in 1951. His advanced musical training at Eastman and Harvard University included composition studies with Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, Earl Kim, Fred Lerdahl, Arthur Berger and Leon Kirchner. He is a recipient of the Tanglewood Koussevitsky Award, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. This new release exemplifies two complementary trends in Louis Karchinís recent vocal output: an ever-increasing comfort with and mastery of large-scale vocal and dramatic forms, powerfully represented here by Orpheus, and a concomitant reawakening of interest in the more intimate medium of voice and piano, illustrated by a choice and varied selection of his latest songs, which run the gamut from the most simple and restrained in texture and gesture to the most intricate, mercurial and virtuosic. Listeners whose taste in American music (particularly vocal) of a more advanced style will greatly appreciate this new release. If Karchinís style can summed up easily, one could say it exhibits the intensity of Kirchner (such as his vocal/chamber work Lily) combined with the spacious, impressionistic colors found in Schwantnerís music.