Commissions and Premieres

New Music Rules!  Support It!

Art Music lives today only by its constant reinvention by contemporary composers.  As an advocate of new music and supporter of living composers, I try to stay active in at least one new work at all times.  Below is a list of pieces I have either directly commissioned, premiered or played an active role in creating.  Feel free to contact me if you have an idea for a new composition featuring the bassoon!

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New York Nocturne for Bassoon and Piano

Richard Cionco (2014)

Premiered April 2014 at New York University.

This piece was written for pianist Natsuki Fukasawa and myself especially for the IDRS conference in New York 2014.  It is a passionate one-movement work with echoes of Romanticism in a fully modern tonal language.

Performance history:

     IDRS New York City (August 2014)

     Orfeo Music Festival (July 2014)

     Talis Music Festival (July 2014)

     New York University (April 2014)


The Busking Bassoonist for Bassoon and Piano

Sunny Knable (2013)

Premiered October 2013 in Queens, NY.

A WILD ride!  I approached Sunny to write a piece with New York themes, and WOW, did he deliver!  This piece is the result of a commission consortium I led with 10 other wonderful bassoonists to create a serious bassoon sonata.  In its three movements, Knable has connected the bassoon and piano to the people of New York in settings like the subway, the park bench and the busy street.  It's one of the most engaging pieces I have ever had the pleasure of performing!

Performance history:

New York City (October 2015)

IDRS New York City (August 2014)

New York University (April 2014)

The Festival of New American Music Sacramento, CA (November 2013)

     New York City (3 performances) (October 2013)


Song of the Redwood Tree for Voice, Bassoon and Piano

Sunny Knable (2013)

Song of the Redwood Tree was a joint commission from myself and pianist Natsuki Fukasawa after collaborating on pieces with like instrumentation. Knable's resulting piece uses the poetry of Walt Whitman to portray the grand beauty of his native Northern California. It is constructed in three movements: "A California Song", "Death-Chant" and "Golden Pageant". The premiere in California featured vocalist Robin Fisher, and the composer revised the piece for flute, bassoon and piano for a performance at the Orfeo International Music Festival.


A recording of the St. Mary's performance can be found here:  Song of the Redwood Tree

The National Opera Center (April 2015)

IDRS New York City (August 2014)

New York University (April 2014)

Festival of New American Music, Sacramento, CA (November 2013)

New York City (October 2013)

Orfeo Music Festival, Italy (flute version; July 2013)

St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA (April 2013)

Sacramento State University (April 2013)

Concerto for Oboe, Bassoon and Wind Band

Jenni Brandon (2013)

Jenni Brandon's Concerto for Oboe, Bassoon and Wind Symphony was the result of a Research Enhancement Grant from the University of Texas at Arlington. As the recipient of this grant, I joined with UTA colleagues Rogene Russell (oboe) and Douglass Stotter (director of bands) to commission this welcome addition to the double reed repertoire. In searching for works featuring both oboe and bassoon with band, I found the list to be very short. This new work brings a fresh new addition to the canon.


Brandon's concerto is written in six interconnected movements, with each section depicting an element of the universe. A detailed description of the piece can be found from Brandon's own web site along with a recording of the UTA premiere: Concerto for Oboe, Bassoon and Wind Band


After the premiere performance, the composer completed a reduction for piano, making the piece playable in a chamber setting. She also added a percussion part for the premiere at the International Double Reed Society's conference in 2013. All three versions are available from the composer.

IDRS Conference, Redlands, CA (piano/percussion version; June 2013)

Sacramento State University (piano version; April 2013)

University of Nevada Las Vegas (piano version; April 2013)

University of Texas at Arlington (February 2013)

The Jack Set for Solo Bassoon

Daniel Asia (2012)

The Jack Set is the result of a commission led by bassoonist Will Dietz and composer Daniel Asia, both on faculty at the University of Arizona. Asia’s piece presents itself as playful and lighthearted within the realm of often atonal and sometimes even serial textures. The complexity of the piece is shown not only in its avoidance of a clear tonality, but also in its rhythmic intricacies, all the while retaining a mood of innocence and simplicity.

University of Texas at Arlington (February 2013)

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Journey for Bassoon and Piano

Katherine Hoover (2011)

Journey for Bassoon and Piano was the result of a commission consortium led by Peter Kolkay, then bassoon professor at the University of South Carolina. It is a fascinatineg work in 4 movements. After an introduction in the first movement, the bassoonist presents a theme that represents the journey, which takes place over the following three movements.


Though rhythmically complex, the work is very audience friendly and accessible. When I performed the Texas premiere in March of 2011, many audience members commented positively after the recital. It requires a good pianist and ample rehearsal time, but the payoff is certainly worth the effort.


This fine new work was featured as a competition piece for the 2014 Meg Quigley Symposium.

Auburn University (March 2013)

Valdosta State University (March 2013)

Henderson State University (February 2013)

University of Texas at Arlington (March 2011)

Of Flowers and Thorns for Voice, Bassoon and Piano

Daniel Baldwin (2010)

Though not completed until 2010, this work was one of the first Daniel Baldwin and I discussed soon after we first met. It is presented in seven movements and based on the poetry of Josh Pierce. Vocalist Wanda Brister, pianist John Solomons and I recorded this for Baldwin’s CD, Landscapes in the spring of 2010. The work was one of Baldwin’s most personal works to date and it was a pleasure to work with him on the recording.  In November 2011, we recorded the piece again with pianist Natsuki Fukasawa as an addition to my CD, Vocalise.

University of Texas at Arlington (November 2011)

IDRS Conference, Tempe, AZ (June 2011)

Scherzo for Flute, Bassoon and Strings

George Chave (2009)

Scherzo by George Chave was a wonderful gift of “welcome” by UTA’s composition professor. It was specifically written for the arrival of myself and my colleague, Dr. Sarah Frisof at the University of Texas at Arlington. The piece is intended to be performed with orchestra, but a piano reduction was also included by the composer.


It is a great little piece in one movement where the flute and bassoon have interchanging lines that bounce around the string accompaniment. Both solo instruments have cadenzas in the middle of the piece before the orchestra comes back in for a grand finale to the work. Audiences have been very favorable so far, and Chave’s piece is a welcome addition to our repertoire.


The original version with strings is placed first and the piano version is directly below.

University of Southern Mississippi (March 2010)

Louisiana State University (March 2010)

Society of Composers, Inc. Conference, Manhattan, KS (March 2010)

University of Texas at Arlington (April 2010)

Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon and Piano

Bill Douglass (2009)

In 2009 I participated in a consortium led by Richard Ramey at the University of Arkansas to commission a new work by composer Bill Douglas. In much the same style as his earlier Trio, the composer wrote a piece influenced by various jazz styles. Each of the four movements is like “written out jazz” as the composer notes. Each instrument gets the opportunity to “solo” in sections surrounded by others where the instruments play collectively. It is a very nice work and quite accessible to all audiences. I premiered this in February of 2010 in my first faculty recital at UTA.

University of Texas at Arlington (February 2010)

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Maverick Fanfare for Bassoon Quartet

Daniel Baldwin (2009)

When I started my tenure at the University of Texas Arlington in 2009, I sent a request to my composer friends for a new work to feature the bassoon studio. Daniel Baldwin responded with this wonderful fanfare that has now become one of our signature pieces. Using the mascot for UTA in his title, the Mavericks, Baldwin created a sound palette of Southwestern culture with syncopated rhythms and lively harmonies, almost representative of a Hollywood Western film score. The piece takes about three minutes to perform and is a great opener to any concert. The Becerro Bassoon ensemble premiered it in November of 2009 and performed it for an international audience at the IDRS conference of 2010. The piece was also included on Daniel Baldwin’s CD Landscapes. The performance history is left off of this page since we play it so often. It is our anthem! A recording is located on our Becerro Bassoon Enemble page.

Songs and Dances for Flute, Bassoon and Piano

Bill Douglass (2008)

As a member of a commission group led by Richard Ramey at the University of Arkansas, I was happy to welcome this new piece to the literature of bassoon chamber music. The performance at Valdosta State University in January of 2009 was the Southeastern premiere of the work.


The piece is comprised of five separate movements, each featuring a distinct element of American rhythm: Swing Jazz, Latin, Rock and Be-Bop Jazz.  In his performance notes, Douglas mentions the possibility of extracting movements, playing them in a different order or leaving movements out for various performing venues. This is a nice way to use the work for many different settings, such as encores, limited performance times or last-minute additions to programs.


Songs and Dances is very accessible to both performers and audience members. Although the bassoon has the option to play a few high Ds and E-flats, the piece would work very well in an amateur or student ensemble.

University of Southern Mississippi (March 2010)

Louisiana State University (March 2010)

Valdosta State University (January 2009)

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River of Light for Bassoon and Piano

Daniel Baldwin (2008)

River of Light was written in June of 2008 and received its premiere at the International Double Reed Conference in July of the same year. Inspired by the painting above by Frederic Edwin Church, the piece is written in a modern Post-Romantic style representative of the era of the painting. It is a short (4 minutes), programmatic piece accessible to most any audience and is ideal as an opening work to a recital or even as an encore piece. It is highly expressive in its melodic phrasing and captures the images of the sunshine rising over the water in great detail.


We recorded this for Daniel's Landscapes CD.

Grand Valley State University (October 2012)

Western Michigan University (October 2012)

Central Michigan University (October 2012)

Wichita State University (September 2012)

Valdosta State University (August 2008)

IDRS Conference, Brigham Young University (July 2008)

Blur for Solo Bassoon

Chris Arrell (2006)

One of my first serious commissions has remained one of my favorite pieces to perform.  Blur for Solo Bassoon utilizes most every contemporary technique for bassoon, but in a way that completely serves the compositional form of the piece.  Blur begins as a literal "blur" of sound from the bassoon, and what emerges over the course of 13 minutes is an unraveling of a melody based on an older D minor melody of Bach.  Intense, powerful and deeply moving, I have peformed this more than any other piece written for me, and yet it is uniquely fresh each time.  Look for a professional recording in the near future as it will be featured on my next CD of solo bassoon music.


The premiere was held in Georgia's acclaimed Spivey Hall in 2006.

Brigham Young University (January 2014)

Weber State University (January 2014)

Lawerence Conservatory (November 2013)

Bowling Green State University (November 2013)

University of Akron (November 2013)

Festival of New American Music Sacramento, CA (November 2013)

Comubus State University (October 2013)

University of South Carolina (October 2013)

University of Texas at Arlington (September 2013)

University of North Carolina-Greensboro (September 2013)

IDRS Conference, Norman, OK (June 2010)

New Mexico State University (September 2007)

Valdosta State University (September 2007)

Fairmount State University (March 2007)

Univeristy of Florida (March 2007)

Spivey Hall, Clayton, GA (November 2006)


Hollywood Counterpoint for Clarinet and Bassoon

Robert Fruehwald (2014)

Premiered August 2014 at The International Clarinet Association's Clarinetfest in Baton Rouge, LA

This piece was written for clarinetist Michael Dean and myself as a new work for a wonderful combination of instruments.  The piece is in three movements, and hints at Los Angeles landmarks and the lifestyles of Hollywood.  

Performance history:

Recorded on Woodwind Music of Robert Fruehwald, Vol.2 (2015)

College Music Society, National Conference (November 2014)

     Drake University, IA (October 2014)

     University of Northern Iowa (October 2014)

     Iowa State University (October 2014)

     University of Iowa (October 2014)

     Clarinetfest, Baton Rouge, LA (August 2014)

My current project is with Los Angeles composer Gernot Wolfgang.  Wolfgang is writing a piece to be premiered at the TALIS Music Festival for Woodwind Quartet.  Joining me will be Resident Artists and Academy Fellows from the TALIS festival.  Come to the show if you can!  Summer 2017.

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Cowboy Songs for Bassoon and Piano

George Chave (2015)

Premiered August 2015 at The International Double Reed Society's conference in Tokyo, Japan

"Cowboy Songs" is a one-movement medley of great American folk songs sung "on the range".  Chave explores a variety of styles from sentimental Stephen Foster to Southern Gospel.  It's a great opener or encore piece that captures the American spirit.

Performance history:

University of Texas El Paso (February 2016)

New Mexico State University (February 2016)

IDRS Tokyo, Japan (August 2015)

Melting Pot for Bassoon and Piano

Daniel Cavanagh (2015)

Premiered August 2015 at The International Double Reed Society's conference in Tokyo, Japan

"Melting Pot" was written after discussions with the composer requesting a piece that equally blends jazz and classical traditions without compromising either genre.  Cavanagh's piece requires the bassoonist (and pianist) to dig into the styles of Southern Blues, Jazz Ballads and Contemporary Jazz to perform a truly "out-of-the-box" artistic endeavor.  Audience reaction has been exceedingly enthusiastic.  Look for many more performances of this soulful piece.

Performance history:

University of Texas El Paso (February 2016)

New Mexico State University (February 2016)

Miami Univeristy, Ohio (September 2015)

University of Texas Arlington (September 2015)

IDRS Tokyo, Japan (August 2015)

Malambo for Bassoon and String Quartet

Miguel del Aguila (2016)

Press Play for Bassoon and String Quartet

Till Meyn (2016)

These pieces were simultaneously commissioned from two very different composers, and both were premiered at the TALIS Music Festival in the summer of 2016.

Malambo by Los Angeles composer Miguel del Aguila was the result of a consortium I led with some wonderful bassoonists to help create this vibrant work for bassoon and strings.  Like much of del Aguila's music, it contains the rhythmic excitement of South America; here from an Argentine dance.  Del Aguila made three versions of Malambo so it can be played with the original string quartet, or as a duo with piano, or as a concerto with string orchestra.  The piece is in one large movement (slow introduction with a fast-slow-fast three part form) that creates the imagery of night crickets, gauchos (South American cowboys) and other South American folklore.

Press Play is a very different piece for the same instrumentation (bassoon + string quartet).  Till Meyn has written a four-movement piece in the tradition of the "concept album" of 1970s alt rock.  It's movements are like the tracks on the album, and progress naturally from beginning to end.  The "Hit Single" movement remained in my head long after the premiere performance.  

String parts in both pieces are much more than accompaniment.  They present musically challenging voices that create a sound palette of equal contribution to the ensemble.  I've very much enjoyed performing these works and look forward to future performances.

Performance history:

Encuentro de Fagot, Mexico (November 2016)

TALIS Music Festival and Academy, Switzerland (July 2016)

Performance history:

TALIS Music Festival and Academy, Switzerland (July 2016)