June 6 – Parable XII by Vincent Persichetti

Vincent Persichetti was born on this day in 1915. A major figure in 20th century American music composition, Persichetti was a prolific composer and taught many notable students at Juilliard. He wrote 25 Parables spanning a range of instrumentations of which this is the twelfth. Dr. Kristen Stoner, Professor of Flute at the University of Florida, dedicated this performance to the memory of Jack Wellbaum, beloved piccolo teacher at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

June 9 – Concerto for Flute by Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen was born on this day in 1865. Originally a violinist, Nielsen studied violin and composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where he later became a professor and ultimately the academy director. He worked there until his death in 1931. The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra was written in 1926 for Holger Gilbert-Jespersen, the flutist for the Copenhagen Wind Quintet.

Performed by Brianna Futch, flute and Claudio Olivera, piano

June 18 – Run in a Graveyard by Du Yun

Du Yun, born on this day in 1977, is one of the most successful composers of our time having won the Pulitzer Prize as well as many other awards and fellowships. Her piece Run in a Graveyard asks the flutist to interpret a score filled with both standard notation and graphic instructions in response to an electronic track carrying out a texture sweep from pointillistic bleeps to overexposed clipping. Kenneth (UofSC ’14) worked with Du Yun in his version of this piece and finds the mix of specific notes and graphic score rewarding to perform. The process of learning the piece showed Du Yun’s affinity for collaboration as she explored possible realizations with Kenneth.

November 11 – A Tale of Four Dragons by Fang Man

A Tale of Four Dragons by Fang Man

To celebrate Chinese New Year, today we share a work by Fang Man, a Chinese-born composer. Fang is a prolific composer of both large- and small-scale works, including electro-acoustic music and opera, and she is currently a professor of composition at USC. Her music has been performed by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Her piece A Tale of Four Dragons, commissioned by Mimi Stillman, is written for a solo flutist who also provides narration of the titular story, an ancient Chinese folktale, between sections of the music. The composition is excerpted for this video.

Performed by Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute and Mike Harley, narrator

August 15 – Pièce by Jacques Ibert

Jacques Ibert, born on this day in 1890, was a successful French composer. Pièce, according to an oft-told legend, was supposedly written over the course of a dinner party celebrating the premiere of Ibert’s flute concerto and was sight-read by Marcel Moyse on the same night. Regardless of the legend, this charming solo is a perfect reflection of Ibert’s neo-classical style and represents a large body of work inspired by the master flutist, Moyse.

Brianna Futch received her MM degree from USC in 2018.

July 25 – Barcarola et Scherzo by Alfredo Casella

Today we celebrate the birthday of Alfredo Casella, born in 1883 in Italy. Casella was an avid promoter of Vivaldi’s compositions and is sometimes credited with the 20th-century resurrection of this master composer’s works. Despite being a composer at the turn of the century, many of Casella’s works invoke older styles including the dance forms that inspire the Barcarola and Scherzo forms of this piece.

Emily Stumpf received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from USC and now lives and teaches in Columbia, SC.

July 27 – Aria by Ernst von Dohnanyi

Ernst Dohnanyi, born on this day in 1877, was a Hungarian composer whose career was modulated significantly by the two World Wars and the political upheaval surrounding them. His compositions are often neoromantic and their extensive use of chromaticism couples intriguing harmonies with high technical demands. Many flutists are familiar with his Passacaglia but this piece adds a more lyrical item to his flute output offering a taste of his lush harmonic language.

Jenny Davis is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at USC.