Gingko Biloba

2020 | baritone/piano.

Poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Translation by John Whaley, Peter Lang, Berne, 1998.

Used by permission of Peter Lang Ltd.

Gingko Biloba was written as a gift for Mina Miller and Music of Remembrance, to premiere on their virtual Gala December 6, 2020 with baritone Erich Parce and pianist Jessica Choe.

MOR’s 2020-21 season was titled “The Endurance of Hope,” so Mina suggested I reference the gingko tree in my song, as its deep roots and resilience enabled the species to survive even the atomic blast at Hiroshima. I found this Goethe poem, written for the actress Marianne von Willemer, to be perfect for song, due to its simple language combined with a complexity of thought.

The PDF for the score is available below. Hard copies are available from

A film interpretation by students at Peabody (made during my March 2021 residency) is available below.