David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did masters and doctoral study in composition at Michigan State University where his principal teacher was H. Owen Reed.
Maslanka’s music for winds has become especially well known. Among his more than 150 works are over 50 pieces for wind ensemble, including eight symphonies, seventeen concertos, a Mass, and many concert pieces. His chamber music includes four wind quintets, five saxophone quartets, and many works for solo instrument and piano. In addition, he has written a variety of orchestral and choral pieces.
David Maslanka’s compositions are published by Maslanka Press, Carl Fischer, Kjos Music, Marimba Productions, and OU Percussion Press. They have been recorded on Albany, Reference Recordings, BIS (Sweden), Naxos, Cambria, CRI, Mark, Novisse, AUR, Cafua (Japan), Brain Music (Japan), Barking Dog, and Klavier labels. He served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York, and was a freelance composer in Missoula, Montana from 1990 until his death in 2017.
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Phonetically, it should sound like “Mass-‘lang-kuh”.
In IPA, it is /mæs’ləŋkʌ/.
Matthew is David Maslanka’s second son and the primary caretaker of David’s music. Born in New York City in 1982, he grew up listening to his father composing at the piano. From the age of 10, Matthew started helping out by making photocopies of scores and dubbing cassette tapes for David to send to conductors interested in the music. At 12, Matthew discovered the delights of computer engraving music and studied the craft from David. By 14, Matthew was skilled enough to handle the preparation of his father’s music and proceeded to engrave virtually every work from that point forward. In this way, he built up a deep understanding of the underpinnings of David’s writing and long-term development as a composer. He frequently accompanied David on his trips to work with ensembles and observed his working process closely. Matthew enjoyed a particularly close personal and professional relationship with David.
In 2012, Matthew founded Maslanka Press to publish his father’s works. Dedicated to producing beautiful, affordable new editions, promoting David’s music, and supporting performers, educators, and enthusiasts, Maslanka Press now publishes more than 70 works worldwide. Following David’s passing in 2017, he started the David Maslanka Foundation with his brother Stephen and sister Kathryn to preserve and promote David’s music and life.