From the Maslanka Archive – No. 37, Conor Bell’s New Dissertation on David’s Bassoon Music

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David’s life and work. Did you work with David? Please consider contributing material.

It’s time for another edition of From the Maslanka Archive. We are actively building the Archive, but it won’t be ready for public viewing for a while. In the meantime, we wanted to show off some great items we’ve already collected.

We also wanted to inspire YOU to help grow the collection. We would love to feature you in an upcoming edition! Simply provide us with photos, video, audio, or stories of your time together and you may find them on the front page. 

This week, we are excited to feature Conor Bell’s new dissertation on David’s Bassoon Music. In the dissertation Conor discusses David’s life, his compositional process, and provides a Performer’s Guide to Orpheus, Music for Doctor Who, and Sonata for Bassoon and Piano.

“Maslanka considered himself above all a melodically focused composer who, especially in his later career, emphasized the beauty of simple gestures.” – Conor Bell

Click below to watch Conor present his dissertation.

From Conor Bell’s Official Website:

Conor Bell teaches applied bassoon lessons, reedmaking, music theory and aural skills at Auburn University.  Conor particularly enjoys finding pieces that haven’t been previously recorded, and expanding the bassoon’s repertoire by arranging other instrument’s works for bassoon. 

Dr. Bell studied at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees.  His dissertation, titled “David Maslanka and His Works for the Bassoon,”  explores the life, compositional process, and the works of American composer David Maslanka.  Conor also holds doctoral minors in both Music Theory and Arts Administration.  

Conor is passionate about tailoring his instruction to each students’ needs and interests, and using fundamentals to address underlying problems while using music theory and history to unlock meaningful artistic expression. He has experience teaching all levels of experience, including beginners through advanced students and adult hobbyists. 

As an orchestral musician, Conor has been principal bassoon of the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky since 2016. He is also a frequent substitute with various orchestras in Indiana.

A very special thanks to Conor for sharing this special interview with the David Maslanka Foundation.

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming edition of From the Maslanka Archive? It’s easy! Please send us anything you have (picture, audio, video, concert poster, concert program, correspondence with David, etc.) and we will feature you!