David Maslanka

David Maslanka

About David Maslanka

See full bio here.

Maslanka in China

David Maslanka shakes the hand of Li Fangfang after a powerful performance of Symphony No. 4 by the Beijing Wind Orchestra at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Li invited David to participate in the 2016 Asia Pacific Band Directors Association Conference.

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:00 6 August 2016|Featured, Travel|

How many players should perform a piece?

The division between "wind ensemble" and "band" is not clearly defined. A wind ensemble can be anywhere from one player on a part up to a total of 60 or even a few more in the ensemble, meaning multiples of flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, and others. For my wind ensemble scores I have consistently indicated [...]

By | 2014-03-09T12:36:10+00:00 5 February 2014|Reference|

About difficulty

Most of my wind music has been written beyond the grade system. For the pieces that I have written for younger bands (now a fair number), I have composed them paying careful attention to the specific band for which I was writing, rather than the generalization of a grade number. The grading system can offer [...]

By | 2014-03-09T12:36:18+00:00 5 February 2014|Reference|

What young composers need

This is an email message sent 13 April 2013 to Roger Briggs, composition chair, and Chris Bianco, director of bands, at Western Washington University. David had just returned from working with the wind ensemble and student composers. Hi Roger, I am very glad that we had some time together, and thanks again for sharing your [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:00 13 April 2013|Correspondence|

Remarks before the premiere of A Child’s Garden of Dreams, Book 2

Remarks made 7 December 2008 in Boone, NC before the premiere of A Child's Garden of Dreams, Book 2, by the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, James Allen Anderson, conductor. I'm not going to say too much about the music here, but I do want to comment on how things go. The original Child's Garden [...]

Remarks before the Trombone Concerto Premiere

Remarks given at the premiere performance of the Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble, October 2007; Miami, Florida In the words of the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, “We are life, we are inextinguishable.” The reasons for living or dying, especially dying, and especially when someone close to us passes, are all too often inscrutable. [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:00 30 October 2007|Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble|

Further notes on Music Performance

Two quotes from the scientist and philosopher Rene Dubos in his 1962 book The Torch of Life: “A fully developed human being cannot be thought of as an isolated creature. His or her potential attributes become fully realized only when he or she functions within a social matrix, on which he or she [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:00 10 April 1999|Chamber Music, Philosophy|

Music and Healing

Remarks given before a performance of Montana Music: Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano. Music is specifically healing. I know that I am alive today, and essentially well, because of it. Healing through music is not always miraculous in the instantaneous sense, although a powerful musical experience can change a life in an instant. I [...]

Some things that are true: Reflections on being an artist at the end of the 20th century

Society of Composers Incorporated Region VIII Conference, University of Montana at Missoula. Keynote address by David Maslanka – November 20, 1998 As soon as one speaks about “truth” there will be objections. Since we live in time and with change, it can be argued that all values and conditions are relative, and that “true” is [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:00 20 November 1998|A Child's Garden of Dreams, Chamber Music, Philosophy|

Dangerous Times

Remarks given on 29 March 1994 at Michigan State University before a performance of Symphony No. 4 It goes without saying that we live in dangerous times, and that the human family is threatened by forces within itself that it does not understand. Community is shattered, individuals are alienated, hunger, slaughter, and oppression continue and [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:47+00:00 29 March 1994|Philosophy, Symphony No. 4|

Composing and its relationship to the community

I want to talk a bit about the composing process and its relationship to community. I have recently been reading Gerard Manley Hopkins, the great nineteenth-century English poet. Hopkins speaks of the “particularity” of each object and experience. That is, each thing and each experience is unique. Even that one rose, that blade of grass, [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:47+00:00 16 March 1993|Composing|

The roots and purpose of music

Remarks given at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Nov.15.1992, before a performance of Symphony No.3. I want to give a few thoughts on the roots of music and its purpose in human life. Music comes supposedly from the human heart and mind. These are but two of the vibratory receiving centers of the human organism. The [...]

By | 2016-12-09T23:08:47+00:00 15 November 1992|Chamber Music, Philosophy, Symphony No. 3|