Displaying items by tag: David Maslanka

Unparalleled in energy, emotion, and excitement, David Maslanka's compositions are amongst the most popular for wind ensemble. Having written over 150 works ranging from wind symphonies to wind quintets, Maslanka's music has had an enormous impact on the wind ensemble repertoire. Championing the music of Maslanka is the The University of Utah Wind Ensemble who, under the direction of Scott Hagen, recorded and released an album featuring Maslanka's final composition, Symphony No. 10: The River of Time. 

In 2017, Maslanka was commissioned by a consortium that included the University of Utah to write Symphony No. 10. Unfortunately, he passed away before being able to complete the work. He left the unfinished project to his son Matthew Maslanka. Left with an unfinished score and some notes from his father, Matthew set out to complete the project. "He left me an astonishing gift and challenge with this symphony," stated Matthew, "working with his music granted me a direct way of processing my grief. It invited me to enter his dream-space and see through his eyes. It required me to engage my sorrow and loss head on, to look at my love for him and allow the truth of the music to emerge." After only a few short months, the symphony was completed. The result was a magnificent and deeply emotional piece expressing the musical voices of both father and son. 

The University of Utah Wind Ensemble had the great privilege of performing the world premiere of Symphony No. 10 on April 3, 2018. The ensemble then worked to produce the first recording of the new piece. In addition to the symphony, the recording includes two other David Maslanka compositions, The Seeker and First Light. The Seeker is inspired by the Buddhist tradition and their belief in seekers of enlightenment. The music guides the audience through the ideas of self-understanding, compassion, and caring. First Light has two characters “unforgettable wounds - darkness,” and “perseverance - first light.” The music is a journey from a time of darkness into "the light" through human resilience. Combined, these three pieces are an excellent representation of Maslanka's genius and diversity as a composer.

Celebrating the release of the new CD, the Wind Ensemble will perform a concert featuring the music of Maslanka as well as the music of his composition students. The performance will take place on 9/20 at 7:30P in Libby Gardner Concert Hall with a pre-concert lecture at 6:30P.

Published in Finer Points Blog

David Maslanka is one of the most prominent composers of wind band repertoire. Prior to his passing in August 2017, he began work on Symphony No. 10, which was completed by his son Matthew, and will be premiered by the University of Utah Wind Ensemble on their April 3rd concert. The work will be conducted under the baton of University of Utah director of bands, Professor Scott Hagen. David Maslanka worked closely with Professor Hagen and the U of U Wind Ensemble, and was consistently impressed with the students' investment and dedication to their craft.

Symphony No. 10 is an expansive piece that moves through a range of emotions from pain and tragedy, to peace and reconciliation. Hagen describes Maslanka's music as heartfelt and reflective. Hagen said, "all of his music requires a level of emotional investment and the musicians who play his music become better musicians as a result of it." This work will be recorded and will release around November of this year. This will be the second album of his music recorded by the U of U Wind Ensemble.

Piano performance major Carson Malen expressed his excitement in premiering a new work like this. "Some of Maslanka's writing is not typical, but when everything comes together, it's incredible." Malen will be tasked with executing some difficult passages of intense dissonance and quick triplet figures.

The world premiere of this work has drawn national and international attention. Professor Hagen has said he's received messages on the group's social media sites from as far away as Japan expressing their excitement and anticipation for the work to be premiered. Hagen says this is one of the most important concerts that he will have produced at the University of Utah.

Join the Wind Ensemble in this historic premiere at Libby Gardner Hall on 4/3 at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert lecture at 6:45PM, with David's son, Matthew Maslanka. Matthew will be in residence for rehearsals, the concert, and recording sessions. Ticket prices and additional information can be found here.

Published in Finer Points Blog