September 5 – Three Pieces for Two Flutes by John Cage

Today we celebrate the birthday of the iconic American composer, John Cage who was born on September 5, 1912. These three early pieces of the composer were written in 1935 while Cage was studying with Arnold Schoenberg. The pieces can be seen as studies in chromatic counterpoint and the Grave movement, recorded here, tricks the listener’s ear as the two flutists swap registers and parts of the beat to create striking composite rhythms and harmonies. This recording features Jennifer Parker-Harley, professor of flute at the University of South Carolina and Philip Snyder who received his DMA from USC in 2018.

September 6 – Concerto for Flute by Joan Tower

Joan Tower, born on this day in 1938, is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Kenneth Cox graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2014 and currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University.
Performed by Kenneth Cox and the Bowling Green State University Philharmonia

September 11 – Duo Op. 39 by Friedrich Kuhlau

Friedrich Kuhlau was born on this day in 1786 in Germany. Although he is best known for his piano music, flutists love him for his duets, trios and Grand Quartet. There are few things that are more fun than playing music with friends – thanks to UofSC alumnus Zach Warren (BM 2017) for joining me for this recording of the Rondo from Duo I, Op. 39. Zach is now the second flutist with the Tucson Symphony.

September 17 – O tu suavissima virga by Hildegard von Bingen

Today we celebrate the birthday of Hildegard of Bingen who was born in 1098. She was a Saint and a Benedictine abbess who wrote many liturgical songs among other compositions and scholarly writings. This version for two flutes was arranged by Samantha Marshall. Samantha Marshall and Zach Warren are both graduates of the University of South Carolina and are now pursuing graduate studies at Mannes School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin respectively.

Performed by Samantha Marshall and Zach Warren

September 22 – Sprite by Michael Torke

Today we celebrate the birthday of the contemporary American composer, Michael Torke. Torke’s music has been described as “optimistic, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting” (Gramophone) and his piece, Sprite, falls easily into all three categories. The piece was written for and premiered by Carol Wincenc who, according to the composer’s program note, asked for “a valentine, for flute and piano.”

Performed by Jenny Davis, flute, who is a DMA student at the University of South Carolina, and Claudio Olivera, piano, who received a DMA from USC.

Recorded by Jeff Francis.