Anthony Rispo is hitting the ground running with some exhilarating endeavors, ranging from regaining his passion for organ performance to launching a songwriting project and social movement.
As a songwriter, composer, organist, and pianist, Anthony has worked and performed in various musical settings ranging from a concert hall and churches to rock venues and outdoor events. He was commissioned by the Salomé Chamber Orchestra of NYC to write a work for organ and strings, “Suite for Organ and Strings, Op. 2”, which was premiered at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (a Lincoln Center Venue) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His original composition, “Daydream”, was featured on America Public Radio’s “Pipedreams”. Other cherished and notable performances that Rispo has been afforded the opportunity to deliver include a solo organ performance at West Point Military Academy’s Cadet Chapel, a venue which he will revisit in May of this year, and a solo organ performance for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. In his first semester at The Cleveland Institute of Music, Anthony was invited to be the soloist for Samuel Barber’s “Toccata Festiva" for Organ and Orchestra”. Prior to Anthony’s studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Todd Wilson, he attended the Pre-College Division at The Juilliard School in NYC. Anthony received certification in The Lister-Sink Method (Injury-Preventative Keyboard Technique) with Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink of Salem College, NC. Anthony is currently Music Director and Organist at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville, NY where he overseas a growing and vibrant musical community.
Anthony has written dozens of original songs but only three of them have been produced. “Your Truth”, his first single, was released in 2015 and premiered on a local NY radio station; “Lightning” was produced in Los Angeles by one of Anthony’s good friends and producers, Lee Curreri (Bruno Martelli of the 1980’s movie and TV series, “Fame”); the third single, “The Same”, was also produced by Curreri and invited a completely different sound palate to Rispo’s musical language. Anthony continues to maintain his bicoastal New York City and Los Angeles relationship. In the fall of 2015, Anthony played his first non-classical concert. The venue was a winery but as irony would have it, it used to be a church! At this event, Anthony performed a set of his original songs with his band and a string quartet. Deviating from the “appropriate biography form”: Songwriting is the heart of my soul, and the thoughts and experiences of others are the fuel that drives me forward in this confusing world. I believe that we are here to connect: to let go of our biases in order to uncover the foundation of our humanity, which is to reconcile with the fact that we all want to be heard, understood, cared for, and acknowledged. Songwriting, like any other form of art, depicts those desires as well as our feelings and emotions and allows us to view our experiences in a different, more observational light. There is an intrinsic quality to art, and the best art transcends subjectivity, allowing us to connect on a common plane; it is the manifestation of the human spirit; it makes life easier for us to understand and accept. On that note:
Anthony has launched a songwriting project entitled, “Stories To Songs”. This project gives individuals an opportunity to have their stories and experiences transformed into songs as well as forming connections with one another through the sharing of these experiences. Anthony interviews each individual and engages them in a free-writing exercise through which they discover the power of the subconscious mind. Stories To Songs is a social movement in a sense that its sole objective is to connect people with one another. It will be an ongoing project in Anthony’s career as a musician and activist.