February 23, 2015

Chamber Music Concert Evokes the Colors of Tyrol


Sonoma State University’s annual Wind Power faculty recital on March 8 will feature three bold works for winds and piano representing Romantic, American neo-classic and British compositional styles. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 8 in Schroeder Hall.

Wind Power, now in its fifth year, brings together studio instructors Kathleen Reynolds, flute; Laura Reynolds, oboe; Rufus Olivier, bassoon; Ruth Wilson, horn; with guest clarinetist Mark Wardlaw and pianist Richard Riccardi to perform Tyrolean composer Ludwig Thuille’s Sextet, Op. 6 for piano and woodwind quintet.

Thuille was born in 1861 in Bozen, now Bolzano, Italy. A lifelong friend of the German romantic Richard Strauss, Thuille received Strauss’s dedication for the tone poem Don Juan. Thuille’s 1888 Sextet for piano and woodwind quintet plays on the strengths and tone colors of each instrument to convey a plethora of emotions from humor, warmth and excitement to contentment.

The program also includes the post-World War II Partita for Woodwind Quintet by American composer Irving Fine and the Trio for flute, oboe and piano by Madeline Dring, whose rhythmically vibrant writing has been compared to Francis Poulenc and George Gershwin.

Tickets are $8. Click on the ticket link below or call the box office at 707-664-4246. Schroeder Hall is located at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, near the intersection of Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road.


Irving Fine: Partita for Woodwind Quintet (1948)
Madeleine Dring: Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano (1968)
Thuille: Sextet for Piano and Woodwind Quintet, Op. 6 (1889)




Partita for Woodwind Quintet
The Partita for Wind Quintet is an example of neoclassic style, to which American composer Irving Fine (1914-1962) was deeply committed—neoclassicism is perhaps most regularly associated with Igor Stravinsky's Classical Symphony. The Partita, written in 1948, is a set of free variations. Mr. Fine wrote the following program notes about the various movements:
The first has the character of a classical theme to be varied in the classical manner. The second movement is clearly a variation of its predecessor.  The short meditative Interlude presents the basic material in its simplest form, but accompanied by warmer harmonies. The Gigue occupies the central position in the entire work and is, at the same time, the most extended movement. It is in sonata form, but has an abridged recapitulation, which ends abruptly in a foreign key. The movement entitled Coda has the character of an epilogue and solemn processional.
Composed the year after the Toccata Concertante for orchestra, the Partita shares with that work crispness, buoyancy and a neo-Baroque clarity of form. Fine's inventiveness, sense of proportion and attention to detail yield a delightfully imaginative work, widely hailed as one of the best American contributions to the genre.

Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano
British composer Madeline Dring's (1923-1977) music is often described as light and unpretentious. Dring composed several of her chamber works, including the Trio for flute, oboe, and piano (1968) for her husband Roger Lord, a professional oboist who played with the London Symphony Orchestra. Flutist Peter Lloyd, Lord, and André Previn premiered the Trio in the United States. Dring admired the idiomatic and rhythmically vibrant writing of Francis Poulenc and this is most noticeable in the last movement of the Trio. The first movement consists of mainly homorhythmic lines between the flute and oboe, though cheeky mixed meter passages elude a strong rhythmic pulse. The beautiful melodic simplicity of the second movement is reminiscent of the second movement of the Poulenc Flute Sonata, containing solo passages for both the flute and the oboe as well as melodic lines that interact conversationally. The similarities to the Poulenc Flute Sonata continue in the third movement of Dring’s Trio as both exhibit an energetic brilliance. The piece concludes with a double cadenza and an exuberant ensemble finish.

Sextet for Piano and Woodwind Quintet, Op. 6
Austrian composer and teacher Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907) was among the leading operatic composers of the New Munich School. His operas, Theuerdank and Lobetanz, were well received in their day. Thuille was born in 1861 in Bozen, located in the hotly contested territory of Tyrol. Formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bozen became Bolzano, Italy, after World War I. A lifelong friend of the German romantic Richard Strauss, Thuille received Strauss’s dedication for the tone poem Don Juan. The Sextet, composed in 1888 is Thuille’s best-known work. Strauss was instrumental in arranging for the premiere performance and held a high opinion of the work. In four movements, it begins with an atmospheric and engaging Allegro moderato. The huge movement begins softly with a horn solo bringing forth a melody of nobility, of almost heroic quality. But the music is genial and relaxed, creating no sense of urgency, but rather of well-being. The Larghetto which follows also begins with a horn solo. The main theme is somber and dignified. The very effective third movement, entitled Gavotte, Andante-quasi allegretto, in no way harks back to the baroque dance. Instead we have a charming and somewhat haunting dance that brings to mind puppets! The middle section is much livelier. The finale, Vivace, is an exciting romp, full of high spirits and lovely melodies.



Richard Riccardi received his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and his Master of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from Yale University School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut. A native New Yorker, Richard moved to California in 1974, and has been here every since. He has been a pianist for the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and The Lamplighters. He was the co-founder and music director for 12 years of Sonoma City Opera, and music director at Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland for 2 seasons. He was the Assistant Conductor for the national tour of the Broadway show "Annie" from 1981 to 1982. Notable people that Richard has accompanied include Joel Grey, Martha Raye, Tom Jones, Mel Torme, Diahanne Carroll, Janet Baker, Seiji Ozawa, Pinchas Zuckerman, Clark Terry, and John Dalley of the Guarneri Quartet. Richard was also the conductor of the spring musicals at Napa Valley College from 1993 to 2008, collaborating with his future wife Sandy on several occasions there while continuing to teach public school music. He taught music theory at NVC as well, but most notably he taught in the Ross Valley School District in Marin County, where he was the music coordinator for the district, and in 2006 won the Mister Holland’s Opus Award, one of six teachers in the country to receive this honor for excellence in music teaching. In addition to performing a children’s show wherein they play over 30 instruments between them, Richard really loves creating original music and performing in cabaret with his beautiful wife, Sandy.

KATHLEEN REYNOLDS, flute                                                                   

Kathleen Reynolds has been principal flutist with the Santa Rosa Symphony since 1984, and has appeared as a soloist many times throughout the years. A native of Sonoma County, Ms. Reynolds received her musical training at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Her flute instructors include Samuel Baron, Julius Baker, Harvey Sollberger, Marcel Moyse, Jean Pierre Rampal, and Carol Wincenc. She spent several years in New York performing orchestral and chamber music with such orchestras as the American Philharmonic and the National Orchestra Association, in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center , and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. She received musical fellowships for festivals including Tanglewood, the Grand Teton Festival, the Marlboro Festival, and the Bowdoin Festival in Maine. Presently, Ms. Reynolds is an active orchestral and chamber musician performing on series with the Santa Rosa Symphony Chamber Players, the Sonoma State University Faculty Chamber Music Series, the Russian River Chamber Players, and her own Trio Bella Nova, consisting of flute, cello and piano, which is scheduled on several chamber music series throughout California. She is the studio flute instructor at Sonoma State University and often coaches youth ensembles in the area.


Laura Reynolds has been an active chamber and orchestral performer in Northern California for over 20 years. She is principal oboist with the Santa Rosa and California Symphonies and a member of the Marin Symphony. Ms. Reynolds performs regularly with a number of other regional orchestras and is a recurring substitute with the San Francisco Symphony, where she was acting English Horn for the 2003-2004 season. She has also performed with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Carmel Bach Festival and the Virginia Symphony and has most recently appeared as soloist with Symphony of the Redwoods (2012) the Sault Symphony of Ontario, Canada (2010) and the California Symphony (2010).

Ms. Reynolds is a chamber music enthusiast and is a member of the wind trio Trois Bois and formerly a founding member of Citywinds, a San Francisco based woodwind quintet dedicated to performing music by living composers. Ms. Reynolds received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Harry Sargous, and her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the guidance of Bill Bennett. During her collegiate years, she attended the Music Academy of the West, the National Orchestral Institute, the Sarasota Music Festival and the Bach Aria Festival and Institute at Stonybrook. She won her first orchestral position, as second oboe and English horn with the Santa Rosa Symphony, just after graduation and has twice appeared as a soloist with Maestro Jeffrey Kahane.

MARK WARDLAW, clarinet

Mark Wardlaw has performed as a clarinetist and saxophonist in the Santa Rosa Symphony since 1984. He also plays saxophones and flute in several jazz bands. He earned a Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance and Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle, and studied privately with clarinetist David Glazer in New York City from 1978 through 1979.

This year marks his 25th year as Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa High School. His students have performed in China, Portugal, Spain, New York City, Washington, D.C., Vancouver, B.C., Seattle and Los Angeles. In addition, SRHS ensembles have earned many Unanimous Superior ratings at California Music Educators Festivals.

Mark has performed with musicians and entertainers such as Mel Torme, Steve Allen, Fred Hersch, David Benoit, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Lou Christie, Joan Rivers, Olivia Newton John, Neil Sedaka, Judy Collins, and the rock group Yes. He’s also played lead alto and clarinet in the Gene Krupa Big Band, and with such jazz notables as Pete Christlieb, Don Menza, Ernie Watts, Louie Bellson, Jon Faddis, Bob Sheppard, Bob Berg, Bill Watrous and more.


Rufus Olivier is the principal bassoonist with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet. At 21 years of age he became a bassoonist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra before moving to his current positions with the Opera and Ballet.

Mr. Olivier has been guest soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, Japan, and France, premiered new works for the bassoon and was featured in live radio recitals in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the Anchor Chamber Players, the Midsummer Mozart Orchestra, and the Stanford Wind Quintet. He has recorded many movie, video, CD and TV soundtracks including Disney’s Never Cry Wolf, San Francisco Opera’s Grammy nominated CD Orphee et Euydice and won a Grammy for the soundtrack Elmo in Grouchland.

Prior to arriving in the Bay Area, Mr. Olivier performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner, and the Goldofsky Opera Tours. He studied with David Briedenthal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is on the music faculties of Stanford University, Azusa Pacific University and Mills College. In February 1993 Mayor Frank M. Jordon Awarded Mr. Olivier The Seal of The City and County of San Francisco, in recognition of his “Exemplary Accomplishment On The Occasion of Black History Month.” In February 2005 Rufus was the featured subject of the cover story in the International Musician, a publication that reaches musicians in the United States and Canada as well as Europe. In 2005 Mr. Olivier received the Award of Merit from the United States Postal Service.


Ruth Wilson has taught horn privately and at Sonoma State University since 2003. She holds a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Her horn instructors include Jane Aspnes, Julia Hasbrouck Clay, Pete Nowlen, David Sprung, Darby Hinshaw and Alicia Telford. Wilson is a member of the Sonoma County Philharmonic and performs locally with chamber ensembles, symphony and pit orchestras. She has performed as soloist with the SSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Baroque Sinfonia Orchestra. She currently writes program notes for the Green Music Center. Ruth and her husband Brian are parents of one son, Jerry, who studies studio art and glass making at New York University.


Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

University Box Office 707-664-4246