“…Passenger Pigeon is particularly moving…[a portion of] the text [by Holly J. Hughes] features Martha, a carefully preserved specimen, whose glass eyes appear to be on an eternal, but futile, search for her mate.”

Full review

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs; Onstage NTX

bursting with life

“Hughes begins with a beautifully detailed description of John James Audubon’s artistic rendering of a pair of passenger pigeons (below) from his avian portraits collection, The Birds of America. The couple is perched on a pair of lichen-laden branches, reaching out with their beaks in a courtship offering of food. Hill’s setting of this is bursting with life, color, intention, detail, romance.”

Zachary Kurzenberger, Baritone and Finance Manager; Stare at the Sun

a lyrical dance

“Singing [We Bloomed In Spring] was a beautiful Stare at the Sun memory, as the piece infuses its singers with joy. With the rise and fall of the melody and sweeping harmonies, the composition encapsulates the essence of renewal and rebirth that spring symbolizes. Hill’s use of vocal textures and dynamic contrasts within the piece creates a sense of growth and blossoming, mirroring the awakening of nature after the long winter. We Bloomed in Spring stands as a testament to Hill’s skillful craftsmanship. Edie weaves the lines of St. Teresa of Avila’s text like a lyrical dance, as if the listener is a dragonfly twisting across the sky, marveling at the ground beneath.”

Lauren Kelly, Singer and Vice President, Stare at the Sun

Text to the forefront

“Both [Claudio Monteverdi and Edie Hill] place the text at the forefront of their musical expression…Edie Hill skillfully selects rhythms for singers to use. Her rhythmic choices are always based on the natural spoken rhythm of the words. Both composers create masterpieces by uniting music which represents the text, as well as giving the poetry the rhythmic integrity and clarity to be expressively sung.”

Laura Gillett, conductor


“Hill’s [This Floating World, for solo flute] delicately captured wondrous scenes from nature…with serenity…clarity…intensity. Turbulent…outside the box.”

Danbury News-Times

Bloomed harmonically

“Edie Hill, one of the Twin Cities’ best known creators, has been named [the Rose Ensemble’s] composer-in-residence, and the first of two works intended for the ensemble was given its world premiere… Her ‘Alma Beata et Bella,’ a delicate setting of words by a 15th Century Italian poet, grew softly in slow and patient scales, and at its end, bloomed harmonically into a gentle kind of ecstasy, one that many saints have surely known.”

Saint Paul Pioneer Press

A joy to perform

“… a joy to [perform]… with maximum capacity for expression. Delicate, but strong. A surprisingly athletic task.”

-on A Little Lovely Dream, SATTB a cappella

J. David Moore, conductor

with just a single line…

“Her three-movement piece of airborne tone painting shows how much can be done with a single line…”

-on Flights of Fancy, for solo cello

The Danbury News-Times

An Exquisite Bit

“…an exquisite bit of musical impressionism that conjured visions of snowdrifts and moonlight and tinkling icicles and howling wind across the Minnesota tundra.”

-on Cold Blue Night, for solo flute

Sherman Sentinel

A sense of drama…

“… wonderful leaps, tempo contrasts, and sense of drama pervade [Hill’s] work.”

-on Between the Limbs,Music

NATS Journal

Evocation of Magic

“The overall effect of [Hill’s] music is an evocation of magic.”

-on Invocation

Classical New Jersey

Creativity and Strong Craftsmanship (Poem for 2084)

“Edie Hill’s work reveals both exciting creativity and strong craftsmanship. She has an obvious kinship with the choral medium and a sensitivity to the potential of the human voice.”

-on Poem for 2084

Dale Warland, conductor

Delicate and Sprightly (a Birthday)

“… delicate and sprightly with a foundation of dignified solemnity… [A Birthday] drew the loudest and most enthusiastic ovation of the event…”

Muskegon Chronicle

on Invocation, flute concerto

“Ms. Hill’s composition was astoundingly beautiful… an impressionistic masterpiece.”

-on Invocation, flute concerto

The Cape May Star and Wave


“Few are creating more varied or distinctive works than Hill.”

Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Masterful facility…

“Hill’s masterful facility for setting words and exploiting the emotional richness of texts keeps her in demand.”

William Randall Beard

Flat-out beautiful (A True Heart is Waiting)

“A True Heart is Waiting is flat-out beautiful—deep and tuneful and full of mystery that resists your knowing it too well.”

(for TTBB voices, premiered by Cantus)

Wes Phillips, Stereophile Magazine

I just about jumped out of my skin! (A Sound Like This)

“…When Edie Hill’s ‘A Sound Like This‘ began, with its urgent exhortation to “Listen!,” I just about jumped out of my skin…You’d think that triggering my fight or flight response might have been an unpleasant experience, but I just sat there grinning…Then Cantus began singing harmonies that chased around the soundstage before blooming into a major chord – all interspersed with more whispered exclamations…and my grin stretched to rival Heath Ledger’s.”

Wes Phillips, Stereophile Magazine

A masterpiece

A “masterpiece” 
Regarding the world premiere of Cancion de el alma by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Chicago Tribune

A revelation

Cancion de el alma hailed as “a revelation.”

NRC Handelsblad

Fine vocal writing (An Illuminated Transience)

“Such fine vocal writing allows the singer and conductor to simply follow the score in letting the sound of the composition speak for itself”

Paul Laprade, The Choral Journal (2008-05)

Mesmerizing Choral Music

“Mesmerizing Choral Music”

“The different solo instrument colors weave intricately through the choral texture with an at times almost mesmerizing vibraphone idea adding a magical sense to the gorgeous harmonic writing in the central movement. An ancient quality appears in the final “Paleolithic Flute” with an intriguing solo line seeming to pull as back in time. The end result is an often intriguing blend of harmony and pure choral quality that is a sort of American parallel to some of the more familiar English choral music at the end of the 20th Century.”
-for From the Wingbone of a Swan

“Each of the smaller works explores different languages exhibiting Hill’s deftness and crafting fascinating sounds out of these texts whether from Anglo-Saxon (The Phoenix), Spanish (Cancion De El Alma), or Latin (Alma Beata Et Bella).”

full review

Steven A. Kennedy,

Especially adept

“She is especially adept at setting several different languages in very attractive ways…Hill is very skilled at selecting rich and ‘music ready’ texts as well…There is a fascinating sound that permeates her work with moments of clear “modernity” alongside timbres, voicings and mood that owe a lot to the Renaissance and the ars antiqua of Spain among others.”

Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition

Clay Jug

“Edie Hill offers a diverse collection of works on Clay Jug. She manages to shift the listener’s perspective of the choir from to track to track…For me, choir music can elate my soul, or leave me cold, depending on how its performed. Here, on every track, I found something beautiful to get excited about; something to touch the soul… and to me, that’s what classical music should be all about.”

Darren Rae, Review Graveyard

Thanks for sharing your art with us (The Crossing)

“Last July we had a glorious week immersed in the lush, thoughtful music of Edie Hill. We took great care in setting down a full CD of her works, with Edie in the room – works like Cancion de el Alma, a work that leaps, tumbles, reaches for the sky, and settles in undulating waves and rich harmonic clouds. The result is another new release from The Crossing, out today on Navona Records, in which we get to do what we love most: sing beautiful music.
Thanks Edie for sharing your art with us.”

Donald Nally, The Crossing

A very compelling listening experience (Poem for 2084 and Marvelous Error!)

“The creativity of another contemporary artist, Edie Hill, has a similar meaning – her music is often called ‘an evocation of magic’. Two of her compositions presented here, Poem for 2084 and Marvellous Error!, are both distinctive of its mysticism of the unclear draw of harmonic structures.

The solo soprano line in Poem for 2084 creates tough dynamic effects. Thus the effective bright and the hidden/unclear take place in the piece as the contrasting forces that manage the world of sound. This distinctive power in Edie Hill’s music and The Crossing’s strength of performance create a very compelling listening experience.”

Ona Jarmalavičiūtė, Classical Music Daily

Evolutionary Spirits

“[Edie Hill: Clay Jug] was among the finest choral releases in Navona’s catalogue.”

“[Evolutionary Spirits] opens with Hill’s Poem for 2084 which features gorgeous lines with ancient modes and settings reminiscent of the late Middle Ages.  The harmonies move from these more ethereal open sounds to closer dissonant clusters.  A similar approach occurs in the penultimate track, Marvelous Error!.

Full Review

Steven Kennedy, Cinemusical,

Glorious Harmony (Poem for 2084)

[Evolutionary Spirits] takes its title from a line in Hill’s opening Poem for 2084, a prototypically splendid example of The Crossing’s artistry. For six minutes, the male and female singers swell in glorious harmony; clarity of intonation and diction is omnipresent regardless of whether the voices loudly declaim or drop to a whisper. With the vocals soaring, Hill’s piece (with text by Joan Wolf Prefontaine) exudes an ethereal mysticism as it muses on the state of the world.”


bold…radiant, deftly crafted (Spectral Spirits)

“…bold…radiant, deftly crafted…”
“…[Spectral Spirits] quickly establishes its power to touch both heart and mind with its rich, polychordal harmonies.”
“…[Hill’s writing] displayed a madrigalist’s ear for sonic detail and word setting…”

Clive Paget, Musical America

Smoothly unfolding harmonic language (Spectral Spirits)

“Edie Hill’s choral writing in “Spectral Spirits” is expert. She employs a smoothly unfolding harmonic language that is beautifully voiced between the highest and lowest ranges of the choristers, evoking the feel of the skies against which the flocks of birds fly and the trees upon which they sing their threatened songs.”

Micahel Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local

Rife with quiet (Saint Paul Pioneer Press)

“Hill allows lines and themes to develop and evolve almost below a listener’s ear. She doesn’t hike the dynamic and tempo to build intensity. Her music is rife with quiet, and some of the quietest passages are the most intense.”

Matt Peiken, Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Arresting (A Sound Like This)

“In ‘A Sound Like This,’ she seizes six Bly paraphrases of the Indian mystic Kabir by the scruff of the neck and never lets go. Sung in near-darkness, her opening movement, with its whispered entreaties to ‘Listen’ and ‘Wake up,’ is arresting, and her invention never flags.”

Larry Fuchsberg, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Vibrant music-making (Blue Jewel)

“[The program] also includes Edie Hill’s startling but beautiful work ‘Blue Jewel,’ which is part of the ‘Glass Works Collection’ heard on ‘Of and Between.'”

“’Blue Jewel‘ …exemplifies the vibrant music-making of Rochester’s preeminent professional avant-classical ensemble.”


Full Review

Daniel J. Kushner, Rochester City Newspaper

Stunning depth of awe (Passenger Pigeon)

“When [PassengerPigeon] takes off, Edie taps the stunning depth of her awe for flying creatures in music of intense motion and speed. She grabs hold of the notes and commands them to capture – to be – the energy and spectacle of millions of birds covering the sky.”
Full Rising w/The Crossing write-up 

About Rising w/The Crossing

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing

Engaging (Spectral Spirits)

“…the overall effect is haunting.”

“…Spectral Spirits is one of the most interesting and engaging new compositions that I have heard in quite some time. Brava, Ms. Hill!”

Full Review

Karl W. Nehring, Classical Candor

-an almost Wes Andersonian cabinet of wonders (Spectral Spirits)

“—an almost Wes Andersonian cabinet of wonders.”

“Species rise and fall again, with little sentimentality. As much as Hill may have grieved each loss, we’re given a slightly blanker canvas to project whatever hue of grief we ourselves feel in the moment.”

-for Spectral Spirits as it appears on “Born”

Full Review

Olivia Giovetti, Van Magazine

Ear-ravishing music (Spectral Spirits)

“Hill’s Spectral Spirits…addresses the plight of endangered or recently extinct birds in a 30-minute meditation on nature and loss, shot through with flashes of humor and an occasional dash of hope.” 

“It’s ear-ravishing music, full of bare harmonies and melismatic solo lines, and the poetry is to die for…”

Clive Paget, Musical America

We Bloomed in Spring

“We love to sing We Bloomed In Spring because of Edie’s command of – no, her accord with – rhetoric; how conversations shift, how our inner dialogue has its own story. Her music makes rhetorical detours that feel exactly like what our brains do: we lunge forward with urgency…then stop and rethink, tempered.”

Full Rising w/The Crossing write-up

About Rising w/The Crossing

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing

Wonderfully inventive (Poem for 2084)

“There are so many reasons we love to sing Poem for 2084…there is Edie’s extraordinary understanding of how contrapuntal voices can make indivisible musical fabrics out of highly individualized melodic lines; everyone has a wonderfully inventive part to sing, and we all love listening to how each individual part interacts with the others!” 
Full Rising w/The Crossing write-up

About Rising w/The Crossing

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing

So much joy and exuberance (Carolina Parakeets)

In Spectral Spirits, Edie finds so much joy and exuberance in describing [the Carolina Parakeets’] motion, their colors, their uniqueness: a composer writing about animals that are close to her.
Full Rising w/The Crossing write-up

About Rising w/The Crossing

Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing

plethoric and robust (Spectral Spirits)

“[Spectral Spirits] for soloist and chorus, plethoric and robust, is performed by a fully committed choir with rigor and intensity, and by soloists who, in perfect balance, capture the wisdom of Hill’s music and the words of Holly J. Hughes, Henry David Thoreau, Gert Goebel, Christopher Cokinos, Lucien M. Turner, Paul A. Johnsgard, and Alexander Wilson.”
Translated from Catalan

Full Review

Carme Miró, Sonograma Magazine

consistently beguiling (Spectral Spirits)

“…consistently beguiling.”

“Hill’s elegy [Spectral Spirits] is affecting in accentuating the losses that accrue from such habitual modes of thinking and operating. After listening to this mesmerizing construction, we would do well to attend to the words Montalbano and the others deliver in the work’s prelude, ‘Take note. These birds are still singing to us. We must listen.'”

full review: 


Born Review by James Manheim

“…it is the album’s centerpiece [Spectral Spirits] that is the major attraction. … Hill’s music evokes the bird in its particularity, and the overall effect of this is profoundly sad. It probably takes a virtuoso choir like The Crossing to do the work justice, but one may nevertheless hope that it becomes more widely performed on programs devoted to environmental themes. This is an especially strong outing from one of the most distinctive American choral ensembles.” 

The chamber choir, The Crossing, specializes in close readings of texts and unusual musical settings of those texts, often involving lightly extended technique, and Born makes an ideal introduction to the work of this ensemble. As with many of the group’s recordings, this one might be described as mostly spiritual but not religious. The album takes its title from one of its two works by Michael Gilbertson that bookend the program; the second Gilbertson work is based on an imagined conversation between David and Jonathan in the Bible. Both of these are effective, but it is the album’s centerpiece that is the major attraction. Composed by Edie Hill in 2019, Spectral Spirits memorializes four extinct birds: the Carolina parakeet, the passenger pigeon, the Eskimo curlew, and the ivory-billed woodpecker. Three movements are devoted to each bird, a prose account from the bird’s own time, a brief reading of its English and Latin names, and a poem by Holly J. Hughes. Hill‘s music evokes the bird in its particularity, and the overall effect of this is profoundly sad. It probably takes a virtuoso choir like The Crossing to do the work justice, but one may nevertheless hope that it becomes more widely performed on programs devoted to environmental themes. This is an especially strong outing from one of the most distinctive American choral ensembles.

James Manheim, AllMusic

“Edie Hill’s cycle The Giver of Stars: Six Poems of Amy Lowell opens the collection, leading off with “Pyrotechnics,”

“Edie Hill’s cycle The Giver of Stars: Six Poems of Amy Lowell opens the collection, leading off with “Pyrotechnics,” … The song begins with a loud, attention-grabbing cluster in the bass register of piano, followed by a rapid glissando upward. The rest … is delicate and impressionistic. “Vernal Equinox” has a restless, harmonically elusive accompaniment that reflects the poet’s uneasiness on a rainy, hyacinth-scented night… The cycle’s title song has a soaring second stanza (“Let the flickering flame of your soul play all about me”), in which Koriath’s sound pulses opulently with longing.”

-for The Giver of Stars as it appears on “These Distances Between Us”

Full review available to Opera News subscribers on their website

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

A Little Lovely Dream, SATTB a cappella

“… a joy to [perform]… with maximum capacity for expression. Delicate, but strong. A surprisingly athletic task.”

J. David Moore, conductor

Dog from Duluth

There were also two delightful portraits of animals on the program. In Dog from Duluth, Edie Hill’s simple, imaginative setting permitted the singers to luxuriate in misty, nostalgia over fond memories of a treasured companion.

Rick Perdian,

This Floating World

A couple of gems round out the recording. Edie Hill’s This Floating World are musical illustrations of five haiku by the great Japanese poet Basho (translations by Robert Hass are included in the notes). On the strength of Chatterton’s performance – a sketch-pad that includes a sky-lark, the harvest moon, winter solitude, a petal shower, and the Milky Way – the piece instantly takes its place among the staples of the solo flute repertoire.

American Record Guide

"... wonderful leaps, tempo contrasts, and sense of drama pervade [Hill's] work.".

-on Between the Limbs, Music



NATS Journal

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