Warren Benson

  • Photo by Louis Ouzer

    As composer, conductor, performer, writer, and humorist, Warren Benson (1924-2005) was perhaps best known for his dynamic music for wind ensemble, acclaimed as “among the most important of this century” (United States Marine Band, Bicentennial Collection), along with percussion and chamber works, and moving song cycles. Benson wrote over 150 works, including pieces which have been heralded as masterpieces of the twentieth century. His music has been played and recorded worldwide by the Kronos Quartet, New York Choral Society, International Horn Society, and the United States Marine Band. Benson’s teaching career spanned over 50 years and culminated with honors including the Kilbourn Professorship for Distinguished Teaching, and appointment as University Mentor and Professor Emeritus at the Eastman School of Music.

    Benson played timpani in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Ormandy, Reiner, Goosens, and Bernstein while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. He later received Fulbright Teaching Fellowships, a John Simon Guggenheim Composer Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts composer commissions, and the Diploma de Honor from the Republic of Argentina. He also held residencies at the McDowell Colony. He was elected to the National Band Association Academy of Excellence and the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, and was a founding member of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.

    Benson was Professor of Percussion and Composition for fourteen years at Ithaca College, which included seminal work on music education for the Ford Foundation’s Contemporary Music Project. From 1967-93, he was Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music. He also served as Distinguished Meadows Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist University from 1986-88.

    Benson was largely self-taught in composition, found great inspiration in jazz and poetry, and was highly influenced by nature, languages, literature, and travel. His archive is located at the Eastman School of Music and his bio-bibliography by Alan D. Wagner is published by Edwin Mellen Press.

    For more information, please visit www.warrenbenson.com


  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
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    Solo
    3 Macedonian Miniatures 110-40710 Piano Unaccompanied
    If I Could Be?
    Four Daydreams
    110-40708 3:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Not Without Merritt 110-40711 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    Canon FE178 tuba, hand drum
    Capriccio FE91 full score, vln., vla., vlc., pno.
    Concertino
    For Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (Solo Part and Piano Reduction)
    114-40763 12:00 Alto Saxophone with Piano
    The Dream Net
    For Alto Saxophone and String Quartet
    114-40176 Chamber Ensemble
    A Gentle Song
    For B-Flat Clarinet and Piano
    114-40836 1:30 Clarinet with Piano
    Invocation and Dance FE184
    Largo Tah 114-40772
    Quartet One-String Quar FE68
    Quintet-Oboe and String
    Oboe (Or Bb Soprano Saxophone) and String Quartet
    FE226
    Steps 114-40762
    String Quartet #1 FE183
    Wind Rose
    Sax Quartet
    FE92 full score, saxophone quartet
    Vocal / Choral
    The Drums of Summer
    for Small Wind Ensemble (27 players) and SATB Chamber Choir (16 singers)
    21703 22:10 16 Voices, SATB; 2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2(2nd dbl. E.H.) 4(B.Cl., Cb.Cl.) 2(2nd db. Cbsn.) – 2 2 2 1, Euph.; String Bass.; Timp. 5Perc.(Note: Additional percussion instruments played by wind players)
    An Englishman With An Atlas Or America The Unpronounceable
    S.A.B. Chorus, A Cappella
    312-41706 1:30
    Five Lyrics Of Luise Bogan
    For Mezzo-Soprano and Flute
    411-41086
    Nara-Parts FE188 full score, solo soprano voice, fl., pno., perc. (2)
    Psalm 24 19672 12:00 SA chorus; 2Vln., Vla., Vcl.
    Psalm 139: Whither Can I Go From Your Spirit?
    For S.A.T.B. Chorus and Keyboard
    312-41717 3:00 SATB
    Sing and Rejoice
    For S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B. Chorus, A Cappella
    312-41697 1:10 SATB
    The Singers and The Cherry Tree
    For S.A.T.B. Chorus, A Cappella
    312-41744 1:15 SATB
    Song Of The Pop-Bottlers
    For Three-Part Treble Chorus, A Cappella
    312-41705 30:00 Women’s Chorus
    Songs for the End of the World
    for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
    21746 30:00 Solo Sop.; Horn, English Horn, Marimba, and Cello
    Three Solitary Songs FE176 medium voice (treble clef) and Piano
    Three Solitary Songs FE177
    Band
    Adagietto
    for Wind Ensemble
    11843 11: 00
    Danzon-Memory 19667 11:00 picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., cl.(3), b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2), cbsn., a.sax.(2), t.sax., bar. sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(3), tbn.(2), b. tbn., bar.hn., tba.; cb., timp., perc.(5)
    Dawn’s Early Light 19668 18:00 picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., cl.(3), b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2), cbsn., s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(3); tbn.(2), b. tbn., bar.hn., tba.; cb.(3), timp., perc.(5), pno.
    Divertissement
    for Band
    11849 6: 00
    Ginger Marmalade J707 Concert Band
    Grainger and Friends CFD7 Band
    Leaves Are Falling, The
    for Band
    16798
    The Mask of Night 19671 10:30 picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., Eb cl., cl.(12), a.cl.(2), b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2), a.sax.(2), t.sax., b.sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(6), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.; cb., perc.(3), hp.
    A Perfect Union CFD1 51:55 Concert Band
    Polyphonies for Percussion 115-40195 5:30 Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Clarinet in Eb, Clarinet 1 in Bb, Clarinet 2 in Bb, Clarinet 3 in Bb, Alto Clarinet in Eb, Bass Clarinet in Bb, Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Alto Saxophone 1 in Eb, Alto Saxophone 2 in Eb, Tenor Saxophone in Bb, Baritone Saxophone in Eb, Cornet 1 in Bb, Cornet 2 in Bb, Cornet 3 in Bb, Trumpet 1 in Bb, Trumpet 2 in Bb, Horn 1 in F, Horn 2 in F, Horn 3 in F, Horn 4 in F, Trombone 1, Trombone 2, Trombone 3, Euphonium, Euphonium T.C. in Bb, Tuba, String Bass, Percussion 1 (Tambourine, 3 Tom-toms), Percussion 2 (Snare Drum, Field Drum, Wood Block), Percussion 3 (Timpani), Percussion 4 (Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Triangle)
    Remembrance 19673 12:00 picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., bsn.(2), Eb cl., cl.(3), a.cl., b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2), s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax., bass sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(4), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.; cb., timp., perc.(4), pno.
    Shadow Wood:
    Six Poems of Tennessee Williams
    11853 20: 00 2(Picc.) 1 3(B.Cl.) 1 – 1 1 1 0; 4Perc. Hp. Cb.
    The Solitary Dancer J729 Concert Band
    Symphony 2 (“Lost Songs”) 19675 27:00 picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., Eb cl., cl.(3), a.cl., b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2), s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax., bass sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(3), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.(2); cb., timp., perc.(4), pno.
    Vigor CFD4 Concert Band
    Wings 19676 4:30 picc.(2), fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., Eb cl., cl.(3), b.cl.(2), cb.cl.(2), bsn.(2), cbsn., s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(3), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.(2); cb., perc.(5), pno., hp.
    Band with Soloist(s)
    Aeolian Song
    for Alto Saxophone and Band (Second Movement of Concertino)
    11845 5:00
    Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Band 16797
    Helix
    for Solo Tuba and Concert Band
    19670 14:00 Solo tuba; picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), Eb cl., cl.(3), a.cl., b.cl., cb.cl., bsn.(2),s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax.; hn.(4), cor.(3), tpt.(2), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.; cb., perc.(7), pno., hp.
    Recuerdo
    for Oboe/English Horn (1 Player) and Band
    11852 16: 00
    Star Edge
    for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble
    19674 18:00 Solo alto saxophone; picc., fl.(2), ob.(2), eng.hn., Eb cl., cl.(3), bsn.(2), a.cl., b.cl., cb.cl., s.sax., a.sax., t.sax., b.sax., bass sax.; hn.(4), tpt.(3), tbn.(3), bar.hn., tba.; cb., perc.(4), pno.
    Orchestra
    Beyond Winter: Sweet Aftershowers 11847 14: 00 String Orchestra
    The Man With the Blue Guitar 11850 14: 00 2 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Polyphonies
    for Percussion
    11851 5:30:: 00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Str.
    Orchestra with Soloist(s)
    Aeolian Song
    for Alto Saxophone and Small Orchestra (Second Movement of Concertino)
    11844 5: 00 Solo A.Sax.; 1(Picc.) 1 1 1 – 1 0 0 0; Bells, Str.
    Concertino for Alto Saxophone 11848 12: 00 Version for Chamber OrchestraVersion for String OrchestraVersion for Wind Ensemble
    Concertino for Flute, Strings and Percussion 19666 14:00 Solo flute; Perc. Str.

  • Concertino for Eb Alto Saxophone and Band
    Danzon-Memory
    for Concert Band
    Dawn’s Early Light
    for Concert Band
    Divertissment I
    for Band
    Helix
    for Solo Tuba and Concert Band
    Remembrance
    for Concert Band
    Star-Edge
    for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble
    Symphony II – “Lost Songs”
    for Concert Band
    The Mask of Night
    for Concert Band
    Wings
    for Concert Band

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