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Dorian News

Commissions, old and new

2016 is proving to be a good year for reviving some fabulous works commissioned by Dorian, as well as continuing our tradition of ongoing commissioning. We will be performing Billy Childs’ charming ‘Day in the Forest of Dreams’ with pianist Spencer Myer, as well as Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s ‘Sonata for Wind Quintet and Piano’ and George Perle’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 4th quintet. Not to mention Luciano Berio’s ‘Opus No. Zoo’ – which holds a special place in our history, since Berio worked with the Quintet during its formative year at Tanglewood in 1961 and the version of the piece every quintet plays today was written especially for us. His second quintet, ‘Ricorrenze’ was also a Dorian commission.

We are especially pleased to announce that composer Amanda Harberg has been commissioned to write a piece that will be premiered in late 2017. Amanda is an internationally-recognized composer of true depth, lyricism and versatility and we are very excited to see what she will create for us.

Remembering Charles Kuskin

We are saddened to hear that former Dorian oboist Charles Kuskin has passed away. He was a member of the Quintet from 1963-1980 and played an enormously important role in establishing the group and cementing its prominence in the chamber music world. An extraordinary player and person, he will be sorely missed and we extend our condolences to Charlie’s family.

Celebrating the music of George Perle

The 2014-2015 season marked an important period for the Dorian Quintet: composer George Perle’s centenary. Born on May 6th, 1915, he contributed much to the musical landscape of the 20th century, going so far as to develop his own system of composition – “12-tone tonality”. In addition to his varied output for mixed chamber ensemble and orchestra, he wrote four woodwind quintets, each of them brilliantly original and perfectly crafted for the ensemble. The Dorian has our own unique history with this great composer: his 4th woodwind quintet, commissioned by us, won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for music. He also wrote one of our ‘Anniversary Variations’ on a theme of Reicha – a tiny gem of a piece that holds the whole set of variations together.

We honored Perle’s legacy by performing all four of his quintets during the 14-15 season, and we are hoping to continue celebrating George in collaboration with other established ensembles in future seasons to present a broader scope of his compositions. Stay tuned!

NYSCA The Dorian Wind Quintet is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.