The New York Times critic Allan Kozinn writes Mostel "has created a repertory of entrancing works."
Eleven CDs of Mr. Mostel's compositions have been released on the Toshiba/EMI, Angel/EMI. Point, Infinity Series and digital fossils labels. He has received commissions from Toshiba/EMI, Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC), WNYC Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Commissioning Program, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts New Century Commission.
Most recently Raphael Mostel is the composer and director of THE TRAVELS OF BABAR, for audiences of all ages, based on the classic 1932 book and art of Jean de Brunhoff, the "father of the modern picturebook." Updating this much-loved classic, the 65-minute production includes a digital slideshow of the famous original Babar art and a major 46-episode score for narrator(s), conductor, eight-piece orchestra and theatrical lighting. The New York City premiere of the full production, with celebrity guest narrators ANNE JACKSON and ELI WALLACH was featured in the select list of events of the year in the 2001 annual Musical America.
Almost 50 performances of the full production of THE TRAVELS OF BABAR have been given so far in New York City. Narrators of performances at Florence Gould Hall have included PHYLICIA RASHAD, BOBBY SHORT, WQXR's GREGG WHITESIDE, DONNA HANOVER . JERRY STILLER & ANNE MEARA, CLAIRE BLOOM, WNYC's JOHN SCHAEFER & MARGARET JUNTWAIT in English. FLORENCIA LOZANO narrated the World Premiere in Spanish. Babar author LAURENT DE BRUNHOFF, JEAN-CLAUDE BAKER and ROSAMOND BERNIER narrated performances in the original French. The Florence Gould Hall performances were made possible by generous funding from the Florence Gould Foundation.
The NEW YORK CITY OPERA EDUCATION presented THE TRAVELS OF BABAR as its sole offering for schools in 2002, in its Opera Is Elementary program. This was the first time New York City Opera Education has presented a work by a living composer.
The METROPOLITAN OPERA GUILD, for the first time in its history, has collaborated with New York City Opera Education to create a 76-page Guide for Teachers and Students devoted to Mr. Mostel's work. These major institutions place this one-of-a-kind show in the grand tradition of opera even though it contains no singing. (The New York Times described it as "a new kind of digital video opera....the 21st century's answer to Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf....its charms [are] difficult to resist.'") To read the Metropolitan Opera Guild interview with Raphael Mostel, click here.
Raphael Mostel's THE TRAVELS OF BABAR is now available on a Mostel.com CD 99001-2 (UPC # is 8 2135-9 9001-2 0, and the ISBN # is 0-9716751-0-4)
In 1996 the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center mounted a multimedia retrospective exhibition on Mr. Mostel's compositions. Another retrospective was mounted by New York City's Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1997.
Raphael Mostel is well known also for his ritualistic and ceremonial works for ancient instruments of the world frequently performed by the Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble: New Music for Old Instrumentssm, which he founded in 1983 and has been conducting and directing ever since. The New York Times describes these innovative works as "worlds away from any popular, classical or even Asian tradition."
Many of his Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble: New Music for Old Instruments concerts have been nationally broadcast live on radio and New York's WNYC-FM commissioned Mr. Mostel to write for the radio station's 50th anniversary gala at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in 1994. He has also conducted California's Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (Kent Nagano, Music Director).
He was the first American given the solemn honor to compose music for the commemorations of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1987. These compositions (Swiftly, How Swiftly... and The River) are dedicated to the victims of the bombs, have been released on the CD Blood on the Moon (digital fossils CD 10009-2). The performances, recorded live in performance at WNYC-FM for broadcast on John Schaefer's New Sounds program, has consistently been one of the most frequently requested programs wherever it has been broadcast.
His Ceremonial for the Equinox: An Acoustic Music Ritual, a spatially-conceived program-length work for 40 musicians, commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City was recorded live at the premiere in 1985. Critic Greg Sandow hailed this live CD recording (digital fossils CD 10010-2) as "one of the most dramatic musical works you'll ever hear."
Raphael Mostel has lectured at numerous universities including Brown, Princeton, the New School, New York University, Vassar College and the American Center of Tokyo. A recipient of fellowships and grants from the Japan Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, In 1990, in appreciation of Mostel's iconoclastic music, John Cage wrote a mesostic on Raphael Mostel's name.
He has written for The New York Times, NPR and CD liner notes for several recording labels, for artists ranging from Peter Serkin to Aki Takahashi.
He lives in New York City. Inquiries and comments can be sent to email@example.com