July 2017 – Dorian Receives a CMA Classical Commissioning Program Grant
Dorian is honored to be the recipient of a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program Grant, for the composition of a new work by Billy Childs. We worked with Billy back in the late ’90s when he wrote us ‘A Day in the Forest of Dreams’ for piano and wind quintet, and we couldn’t be more pleased about being given the opportunity to have him write for us again! The new work will be for the standard quintet configuration, and we can’t wait to see what Billy creates for us this time around. Many, many thanks to the CMA Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund, for making this collaboration a reality!
Spring/Summer 2017 – A World Premiere and Mexico visit
Our Spring season kicked off with the World Premiere of Amanda Harberg’s ‘Suite for Wind Quintet’ at Bargemusic. We are absolutely thrilled by Amanda’s craftsmanship and lyrical writing for winds: she has made a wonderful addition to the wind repertoire with this piece, and we will be showcasing it throughout our 17-18 season with hopes to record it in the near future. A link to the second performance of the piece can be found Here.
In June, we gave the Mexican premiere of ‘Suite for Wind Quintet’ at the Chamber Music Festival of Aguascalientes. This festival is a true cultural gem in a lovely city booming with arts development, and we were very pleased to return there for our second summer in a row, and our third visit in 5 years.
January 2017 – Recording Bach
Our Bach Transcription recording project is in full swing! We’ve been dying to get into Princeton’s revered Richardson Auditorium to record Bach ever since the quintet recorded all of George Perle’s quintets there back in the ’80s! It has the perfect acoustic and we’re very excited about collaborating with Ryan Streber from Oktaven Audio. These are Mordechai Rechtman’s arrangements, written specifically for Dorian over the years, and include several chorale preludes, the Little Fuge, the Concerto after Vivaldi and the Fiddle Fugue. We’ll be giving further updates about the progress of this project soon!
2016 – Re-visiting historic commissions
2016 proved to be a good year for reviving some fabulous works commissioned by Dorian, as well as continuing our tradition of ongoing commissioning. We performed Billy Childs’ charming ‘A 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.
2016 – 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.
2014-2015: 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!