elizabeth vercoe composer     

"one of the most inventive composers working in America today" (Washington Post)

Butterfly Effects & other works

"...almost like Georgia O'Keefe paintings set to music" (Midwest Record)

"stunningly beautiful" (Cinemusical)

Butterfly Effects for flute and harp
  This is my letter to the World for mezzo-soprano, flute, and piano 
  Elegy for viola and piano 
  Herstory I for soprano, piano, and vibraphone

"an artful exploration of the instruments and a wonderful addition to the chamber musician's library"   (Flutist Quarterly)

"...a delicate fantasia...her gorgeous music is explored with striking inventiveness."  (ConcertoNet)

Butterfly Effects
for flute and harp originated with a quotation from the Chinese philosopher, Zhuangzi: “Am I a human who dreamt of being a butterfly or am I now a butterfly who dreams of being human?” Like the philosopher’s dream, the piece seeks to explore the sense of oneness with all living beings. While the instrumentation is flute and harp, each of the seven movements is for a different member of the flute family (concert flute, alto, bass, or piccolo).

Written for the Duo “2” (flutist Peter H. Bloom and harpist Mary Jane Rupert), the two musicians have performed the piece on tours of the U.S., Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand.

The score is published by Noteworthy Sheet Music (www.noteworthysheetmusic.com). 

Watch a performance of "Banded Blue Pierrot

Sample track: mp3

"...this composer knows how to make egghead music palatable beyond the genre"   (Midwest Record)

"...contains a certain whimsy in the writing that is truly charming"  (Flutist Quarterly)

This is my letter to the world for mezzo-soprano, flute, and piano is a dramatic cycle of six songs based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. The poems tell of Dickinson's delight in nature, her first losses, her ambivalence about marriage, and finally both the intensity and exhilaration she finds in her writing.

The songs were commissioned by flutist Patricia Harper for premiere at Connecticut College. Residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy and at the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts provided additional support. The music was revised in 2017 for the Duo "2" and mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato who have performed the songs throughout the United States.

Sample track: mp3

..."a moody, somber interesting work with moments of real beauty" (Journal of the American Viola Society)

"poised and soulful" (Boston Globe)

Elegy for viola and piano is the fifth in a series of introspective pieces for solo instruments.

The recording is taken live and unedited from the premiere performance by former BSO violist, Patricia McCarty, and pianist Ellen Weckler. The piece has also been performer by the composer's daughter, Andrea Vercoe, and has appeared on festivals at Connecticut College and the University of Colorado.

In 2014 the Elegy was chosen for a concert to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the American Music Center at Bruno Walter Hall at Lincoln Center.

Sample track: mp3

"[Her] music, while challenging has always seemed challenging as a means to serve both the text and the music." (Soprano Cheryl Cobb, Mt. Holyoke College)

Herstory I for soprano, piano and vibraphone is the first in a series of song cycles by Elizabeth Vercoe on texts by women. The words relate a woman's life experiences and are highly expressive poetry by contemporary Americans who are sometimes known as confessional poets. The fourth song ("The Crib") is for soprano alone, the sixth ("Mirror") is for voice and piano, and the seventh ("Old") for voice and vibraphone. The eigth and final song and all others are for the trio of performers.

Premiered at the Brookline Public Library with the composer at the piano, the cycle won a competition sponsored jointly by WGBH-FM and the renowned new music ensemble, the Boston Musica Viva. Boston Musica Viva founder, Richard Pittman, directed the subsequent recording for WGBH with soprano Cheryl Cobb, pianist Randall Hodgkinson, percussionist Dean Anderson.

Sample track: mp3

Mary Jane Rupert, Elizabeth Vercoe, D'Anna Fortunato, Peter H Bloom


  "Featuring her compositions in a variety of settings, we find this composer knows how to make egghead music palatable beyond the genre. With her music inspired by the texts of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and other high minded types, this is almost like Georgia O'Keefe paintings set to music. Interesting stuff throughout that never goes where you expect it to" (Midwest Record)