Displaying items by tag: The University of Utah Wind Ensemble

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