Husa & Stucky Commissioning Projects

The Cornell Wind Symphony paid tribute to the late Karel Husa and Steven Stucky in a series of concerts featuring new works commissioned and performed in their honor and memory.  

Karel Husa, the Kappa Alpha Professor of Music Emeritus, died December 14, 2016.  The Pulitzer Prize winner taught generations of composers, including Stucky, and taught at Cornell for 38 years.  

Steven Stucky, the Kappa Alpha Professor of Music Emeritus, died February 14, 2016.  The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was an important mentor to emerging composers and a prominent advocate for new music, and taught at Cornell for 34 years.  Christopher Rouse has enriched the wind ensemble repertoire with a substantial piece in honor of Steven Stucky titled Berceuse Infinie.

Fanfare for Karel
Dana Wilson

90 seconds; premiered May 7, 2017

As this piece was written in honor of Karel Husa on the occasion of his passing, its material is derived from his classic work Music for Prague 1968.  Interestingly, the opening motive of that piece, and of this fanfare, is related to Karel’s last name as follows: H–is the German letter for our note B; U–does not translate to a musical note; S–is the German letter for Es, or our E-flat; A–the musical note. That relationship, B-Eb-A, is transposed in the opening solo of Music for Prague to D-F#-C, and that same motive begins this fanfare. – DW

Berceuse Infinie
Christopher Rouse, arr. James Spinazzola

14 minutes; premiered May 7, 2017

Berceuse Infinie (“Infinite Lullaby”) was originally conceived for orchestra.  The wind ensemble version…is dedicated to the memory of Steven Stucky, the dearest of friends, whose death came as a tragic and unexpected shock to so many.  The work is cast as a single movement lasting approximately fourteen minutes.  Notwithstanding a few more dramatic moments, the piece is largely contemplative and, I hope, consoling in tone.  The harmonic language is tonally based. – CR

David Maslanka

5 minutes; premiered March 18, 2017

This brief piece in honor of Karel Husa embodies two statements of a chorale melody (“Christ lag in Todesbauden”), and a short responsive instrumental song. The chorale statements are made by a small group of solo players and the song is presented by the full ensemble. – DM

Janice Macaulay

7.5 minutes; premiered November 17, 2017

The title Kaleidoscope refers to the structural idea of small colorful shapes that are combined and recombined into symmetrical patterns (kalos, beautiful; eidos, shapes; skopein, to examine).  The piece is in three large sections, and each section employs one of the three different octatonic scales (symmetrical scales alternating half and whole steps).  The title also refers to the wonderfully varied colors of the wind symphony.

As a personal tribute to Karel Husa, I have quoted a phrase from the Hussite hymn “Ye Warriors of God,” which is so prominent in both Smetana’s Má vlast and Husa’s Music for Prague 1968. My piece ends with a quiet coda in remembrance of the dignity and integrity exhibited by Karel Husa throughout his distinguished life in music. – JM 


A Solemn Fanfare
Byron Adams

2 minutes; premiered November 17, 2017

My Solemn Fanfare for brass and percussion was composed at the request of Dr. James Spinazzola and is dedicated to the memory of my beloved teacher, Karel Husa. – BA