June 22, 2011

Here is a link to a New York Times' video, "A Wind Among the Reeds". This is a rather interesting video, which focuses on Liang Wang, the principal oboist of the NY Phil. In it, he discusses the unique challenges he has faced as a musician who has emigrated from China, particularly as a wind player (the first of Chinese nationality in the New York Phil.).

Also of interest may be his com...

May 29, 2011

We'll take just a brief pause from Husa, to enjoy John Adam's commencement address to the 2011 Julliard graduates on May 20th. In it, he speaks about the pains and rewards of being an artist in this day and age. Follow the link to the Nonesuch website.

May 26, 2011

Perhaps the most important living composer, Karel Husa has been a true friend to the wind band. His body of works has raised the level of seriousness of music written for winds, in terms of meaningful content and emotional feeling. Throughout his long career his music has been a gift to the wind community, indeed the music community in general. This August marks the composer's 90th bir...

May 19, 2011

As always, UMWO is on the cutting edge of contemporary music! See the article below from the LA Times on Sofia Gubaidulina whose Hour of the Soul we performed earlier this year. Enjoy!

Sofia Gubaidulina's spiritually musical journey


The 79-year-old composer, scheduled to be on hand Thursday when the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs her work Glorious Percussion,...

May 18, 2011

While James Levine battles his health issues and has been forced to resign from the BSO and withdraw from touring with the MET, it seems that New Yorkers are thinking about the New York Music scene- where it has been and where it might go in the future. The below Op-Ed Piece from the New York Times talks about Gustav Mahler’s role in the development of both the NY MET and the NY Phil.


May 15, 2011

Here is some more ukiah (or haiku) from Dr. Votta.

Man with stick wave to and fro

Orchestra baffled

May we have downbeat? they ask


Saxophone hums like hummingbird

Or perhaps like saw

Skill of player is crucial


Weather turns humid: reeds die

Woodwind players weep

Must play Mahler symphony


A Mozart development:

Changing keys, brass rest.

Graveyard for concentration


Bows go up, down, up, down,...

May 15, 2011

Given our recent concert with Pulcinella, today's Composers Datebook seemed appropriate.

Audio for Composers Datebook 5/15/2011

Stravinsky and Rochberg start trends

Today we celebrate two premieres and one three-letter prefix: "neo," meaning "new."

On today's date in 1920, Igor Stravinsky's ballet "Pulcinella" was produced for the first time in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Stravins...

May 13, 2011

Percussion make much banging

Drums, cymbals, toys all sound

Too loud and out of tempo


Second violins slumber

When they should make sound

Dreaming of concerto glory


Flutes: always inaudible

Until they play high

Then they are always too loud


Oboes turn bright red like beets

Playing a short phrase

Beautiful sound but eyes bulge

May 12, 2011

Over the next few days, we will be posting some of Dr. Votta's musical "ukiah" on our blog. We can't really call it haiku since the syllables are 7-5-7 instead of 5-7-5, but they're entertaining all the same.

Trombones sitting in the rear

So loudly annoy

But better than in the front


Violas why can’t you count?

We follow they say

You must cue us for safety


Clarinets’ arpeggios

Flying everyw...

May 9, 2011

Below is the text and the audio link for Composers Datebook from Sunday, May 8. Andrew Boysen Jr.'s Symphony No. 1, a piece for winds, was the featured composition.

Composers Datebook Audio-5/8/2011

On today's date in 1998, a new symphony for winds and percussion had its premiere performance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. It was the first symphony -- and first major co...

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