“HAUNTED AMERICA” CD

                              Featuring works by

                       JEROME KITZKE, MICHAEL TORKE

                                       & KIMMO HAKOLA


(Milwaukee, WI)  Present Music, Milwaukee’s nationally acclaimed new music ensemble, has released its eighth recording entitled HAUNTED AMERICA on the innova label (#590).  The CD’s featured works include Jerome Kitzke’s Haunted America, Michael Torke’s Song of Isaiah, and Kimmo Hakola’s Chamber Concerto. The disc can be purchased directly from innova recordings, or from Present Music by e-mailing


Tom Strini, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comments “Present Music brings to Milwaukee and the wider world an abundance of smart and passionate new work filtered through the open mind and discerning taste of artistic director Kevin Stalheim.  Present Music plays a broad spectrum of contemporary styles, but the focus has been on the generation that came of age since 1980.  The composers Stalheim favors often have common influences and philosophies, but no two of them sound alike.  The selections on this disc, all commissioned for the group’s 20th season, attest to the high quality and dizzying variety of Present Music.”


Haunted America by Milwaukee-born Jerome Kitzke is a response to the atrocities of September 11th. Kitzke describes his piece as “being basically about going on and living, but also asking questions about how we live and how we think of ourselves.” Song of Isaiah, by another Milwaukee-born composer Michael Torke, was written in honor of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland O.S.B. for his 25 years of service to the Milwaukee community.  Finnish composer Kimmo Hakola’s Chamber Concerto grew into a substantial concerto-for-mini-orchestra that assumes virtuoso skill on the part of every player. 


Present Music is one of the leading ensembles that commission, record and perform the music of today’s composers and has firmly established a large audience for new music in Milwaukee that is nationally recognized.  Programs include concert series in Milwaukee and Madison, education programs for K-12 children, and regular broadcast opportunities.  Present Music has toured extensively throughout the United States and has participated in major international music festivals in Japan and Turkey, and plans to tour to China in May of 2004.


The innova label under the direction of Philip Blackburn is a program of the American Composer Forum based in St. Paul, Minnesota.   The innova label catalog currently has of 95 titles, representing over 250 composers.


The HAUNTED AMERICA disc can be purchased at, or from Present Music ( or 414-271-0711).  The HAUNTED AMERICA disc will also be available at all Present Music concerts and at its office at 1840 N. Farwell Ave, Suite #301, Milwaukee, WI  53202.  There is a $2.50 charge per disc for mail orders from Present Music


Direct funding for this recording has been provided by the A McKnight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the American Composers Forum, Richard & Suzanne Pieper, Arthur and Nancy Laskin, Robert & Denise Jacquart, Ronald and Bett Jacquart, the Present Music Board of Directors, and individual Present Music audience members.


Other funding for this project came from The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Wisconsin Arts Board, Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and the Milwaukee’s United Performing Arts Fund.