Home » Uncategorized » Michael Reed Krein and “Harmony: Three Adagios for Winds, Strings, and Harp”

Michael Reed Krein and “Harmony: Three Adagios for Winds, Strings, and Harp”


Michael Reed Krein (b. 1956) is an American composer.  He was born in 1956 and has been composing music since the early 1970s. Early on, as a teen living in Las Vegas, he studied clarinet with Jim Sherman and piano with Buddy Hill. He enjoyed leading the clarinet section of various ensembles and was principle clarinet for Dr. Harold Boyce at Valley High School from 1973 to 1975. In May of 1981, Krein received a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and worked in the Defense Industry in California for over 20 years, composing music all the while. In the late 1990s he found himself beset with muscular dystrophy. Within a few years this degenerative condition had ended his career and changed his life.  Returning to Las Vegas to live with family and meet new friends, he still composes music, but his output is not what it used to be.

His first 27 compositions were all for solo piano. In the early 1990s, he began writing for orchestra, and a few years later, vocal ensemble as well. Of late he has begun writing for his instrument, the clarinet, and hopes to have music for it available soon. His compositional interests have spanned many styles—from Renaissance counterpoint of centuries ago, to modern tonal works rooted in lyrical expression; from short pieces of under a minute, to longer works of more than an hour; from simple and easy to complex and challenging. His music is lyrical and emotional, often visual, with some minimalist tendencies.  He says that the dark stuff comes easy for him, but he has endeavored in most of his work to retain an expression of hope.

Harmony was the processional for the wedding of his sister, Karla Krein, to Kevin Kirk on the 26th of June, 1994. A week prior to the wedding, Michael’s mother put him in charge of music for the occasion, and it occurred to him that maybe he should write something for the bride and groom.  Harmony, consisting of three adagios, was written for small orchestra, so that it could conceivably be performed live at ambitious weddings, and includes one each of flute, English horn, clarinet, French horn, and bassoon, along with timpani, harp, and strings.  The piece was premiered April 25th, 2000, by the Dubuque Community String Orchestra, Tracey Rush conducting.

My collection includes the following work by Michael Reed Krein:

Harmony: Three Adagios for Winds, Strings, and Harp (1994).


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