Dan Welcher

  • In 2012, the American Academy of Arts and Letters presented to Dan Welcher an Arts and Letters Award in Music. The citation reads, in part, “As intense as it is elegant, Dan Welcher’s music takes his listeners on a surprising yet inevitable path….Every work in his wide-ranging catalogue is written with the strongest musical signature”. That catalogue now numbers well over 100 works in every conceivable genre, including three operas, seven concertos, six symphonies; plus vocal literature, piano solos, and various kinds of chamber music. Born in 1948 in Rochester, New York, Dan Welcher is now one of the most-played composers of his generation.

    Dan Welcher has won numerous awards and prizes from institutions such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Reader’s Digest/Lila Wallace foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Meet The Composer, The MacDowell Colony, The Camargo Foundation, The Corporation at Yaddo, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, the American Music Center, and ASCAP. From 1990 to 1993, he was Composer in Residence with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (Donald Johanos, Music Director). His orchestral music has been performed by more than sixty orchestras, including the BBC Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony. His SYMPHONY #5, commissioned for the Austin Symphony Orchestra to inaugurate its new concert hall, premiered on May 1 and 2 of 2009, and his SYMPHONY #6 for wind ensemble, commissioned by a consortium of fourteen institutions, premiered in 2017. His third opera, THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, premiered in December of 2018.

    A much sought-after speaker who is known for making contemporary music intelligible to lay listeners, Welcher hosted a weekly radio program called “Knowing The Score” on KMFA-FM in Austin from 1999 to 2009. This program won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Classical Broadcasting. He now hosts the weekly program “From The Butler School of Music” on Saturday evenings at 8:00 on KMFA. Also a noted conductor, Welcher has held conducting positions with the Austin Symphony and the Honolulu Symphony; and has guest conducted a number of orchestras and wind ensembles in the USA. Dan Welcher holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Professorship in Fine Arts at the Butler School of Music (The University of Texas at Austin), where he directs the New Music Ensemble.

    For further information about Dan Welcher, please visit www.danwelcher.com.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    160-00209 Dance Variations
    For Piano
    20:00 Piano
    160-00221 Nocturne for Dani
    “Falling Fifths”
    7:00 Piano
    160-00215 Pachel’s Bells
    For Piano
    6:00 Piano
    160-00195 Sonatina for Piano
    1020 Piano
    160-00219 The Birth Of Shiva (Adapted From Concerto for Piano and Orchestra “Shiva’s Drum”)
    Fantasy for Solo Piano
    10:00 Piano
    164-00288 The Cowboy And The Rattlesnake
    Fantasy For Solo Violin On Traditional Cowboy Songs
    6:30 Violin
    164-00291 Variations And Romp
    For Solo Marimba
    9:30 Marimba
    Chamber Ensemble
    164-00229 All The Words To All The Songs
    For Flute and Piano
    6:30 Flute, Piano
    164-00289 Another Rag For Rags
    For Violin And Piano
    4:30 Violin, Piano
    164-00295 As Light as Bird from Brier
    Fantasy after Mendelssohn
    10:00 Soprano Saxophone in Bb, Piano
    164-00215 Concerto
    For Clarinet and Orchestra
    19:00 Clarinet with Piano
    164-00151 Concerto
    For Flute and Orchestra
    25:00 Flute with Piano
    460-00095 Concerto
    For Piano and Orchestra (“Shiva’s Drum”)
    34:00 2 Pianos 4 Hands
    164-00223 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    25:00 Violin, Piano
    164-00129 Concerto Da Camera
    For Solo Bassoon and Small Orchestra
    20:00 Bassoon with Piano
    164-00256 Dante Dances
    (Danzi D’Inferno)
    13:00 Clarinet, Piano
    164-00283 Firewing
    (The Flame and The Moth)
    11:30 Mixed Duet
    164-00260 Florestan’s Falcon
    (A Fantasy After Schumann)
    7:00 Flute, Piano
    164-00222 Harbor Music
    (String Quartet No. 2)
    11:00 String Quartet
    164-00240 Listen Up!
    A Guide to Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Tonecolor, and Counterpoint
    15:00 Woodwind Quintet
    164-00241 Mill Songs
    Four Metamorphoses After Schubert
    14:00 Woodwind Duet
    164-00284 Museon Polemos
    For Double String Quartet
    25:00 Double String Quartet
    164-00201 Partita
    For Horn, Violin, and Piano
    19:00 Horn Trio
    164-00239 Phaedrus
    14:00 Clarinet, Violin, Piano
    164-00196 Quartet No. 1
    26:00 String Quartet
    164-00167 Quintet
    For Clarinet and Strings
    30:00 Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello
    164-00234 Reversible Jackets
    Exercises In Conjugal Counterpoint
    Woodwind Duet
    164-00248 Spirit Realms
    14:00 Flute/Piccolo/Alto Flute, Percussion
    164-00272 String Quartet No. 3
    24:00 String Quartet
    161-00082 The Need To See
    A Musical Fable for Children
    20:00 Chamber Ensemble
    164-00261 The Wind Won’t Listen
    Fantasy for Bassoon and String Quartet
    15:00 Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello
    164-00213 Tsunami
    11:00 Cello, Piano, Percussion
    164-00178 White Mares Of The Moon
    For Flute and Harp
    7:00 Flute, Harp
    164-00142 Woodwind Quintet No. 1
    12:00 Woodwind Quintet
    164-00232 Woodwind Quintet No. 2
    20:00 Woodwind Quintet
    164-00212 Zephyrus
    16:00 Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello
    Vocal / Choral
    161-00070 Abeja Blanca
    For Mezzo-Soprano, English Horn, and Piano
    13:00 Voice and Instrument
    362-03416 Canticle Of The Sun
    For Solo Mezzo-Soprano, S.A.T.B. Chorus, and Organ
    8:00 Mezzo-Soprano, S.A.T.B. Chorus, Organ
    15881 Evening Scenes
    for Voice and 6 Instruments
    16:00 Fl. Cl. Vln. Vcl. Pno. Perc.
    362-03419 I Dream a World
    From “JFK: The Voice of Peace”
    6:00 SATB Chorus, Cello, Piano
    16300 JFK: The Voice of Peace
    An Oratorio for Chorus and Orchestra with Narrator and Solo Violoncello
    54:00 SATB Chorus, 1 Male & 1 Female Speaker, Mezzo-Soprano or Boy Soprano; Solo Cello; 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    362-03417 Leaves of Grass
    9:00 SATB
    11315 Remembrance in Black and White
    for Solo Voice and Ensemble
    14:00 Solo Voice; Fl.(dbl. Picc) Cl. Perc. Pno. Vln. Vla. Vcl.
    161-00077 Seven Songs
    On Poems By E.E. Cummings
    24:00 Voice and Piano
    161-00076 The Bequest
    For Voice and Flute
    6:00 Voice, Flute
    161-00083 Three Songs on Poems by James Hoggard
    For Voice and Piano
    10:00 Voice with Piano
    161-00078 Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
    For Baritone and Viola
    13:30 Baritone, Viola
    15891 Vox Femina
    25:00 Soprano; Picc. Fl. Cl. Pno. Vln. Vcl.
    362-03423 Without Form And Void
    (A Prologue to “The Creation” by Franz Joseph Haydn)
    6:00 SATB with Piano
    16199 Beyond Sight
    Tone Poem after Plato for Orchestra
    13:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(dbl. B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(dbl.Cel.) Hp. Str.; opt. spoken introduction
    15871 Bridges
    5 Pieces for String Orchestra
    13:00 Str.
    15872 Bright Wings
    Valediction for Large Orchestra
    14:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    15873 Castle Creek
    Fanfare*/Overture for Large Orchestra
    5:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 0; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str. / *Fanfare may be performed separately (Brass and Percussion only)…1’30”
    15880 Dervishes
    Ritual Dance Scene for Orchestra
    11:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    15882 Haleakalā: How Maui Snared the Sun
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    21:00 Narrator; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    16976 Jackpot
    A Celebratory Overture for Full Orchestra
    6:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(dbl. B.Cl) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    23555 KMFA: A Celebratory Overture
    (“Klassical Music For Austin”)
    6:00 2(2 dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Str.
    15883 Nightwatchers
    (Symphony No. 2)
    29:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EbCl./B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    15884 Prairie Light: Three Texas Water Colors of Georgia O’Keeffe
    14:00 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
    15885 Spumante
    A Festive Overture for Orchestra
    6:30 3 3 3 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    15888 Symphony No. 1
    38:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(EbCl./B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    17311 Symphony No. 5
    38:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(E-flat Cl./B.Cl.-1plyr.) 3(Cbsn.), A.Sax. – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(dbl. Cel.) Hp. Str.
    15890 The Visions of Merlin
    for Orchestra
    21:00 2 2 2 2 – 3 2 0 0; Timp. Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.
    15893 Zion
    for Orchestra
    10:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.
    Orchestra with Soloist(s)
    15874 Concerto da camera
    for Bassoon and Small Orchestra
    20:00 Solo Bsn.; 1 1 1 0 – 1 1(in C) 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
    15876 Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    19:00 Solo Cl.; 3(Picc.) 1 1 1 – 2 2 1 0; 5Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    15877 Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
    25:00 Solo Fl.; 2 1 2 1 – 2 2 1 0; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    15878 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    (“Shiva’s Drum”)
    34:00 Solo Pno.; 3(Picc.) 2 2 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 4 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str.
    16926 Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra
    17:00 Solo Timp.; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; 4Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    15879 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    25:00 Solo Vln.; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 0; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    23502 Dante Dances
    (Danzi d’Inferno)
    13:00 Solo Cl.; 1 1 0 1 – 1 0 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str. (
    15889 Venti di Mare (Sea Winds)
    Fantasy-Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra
    23:00 Solo Ob.; 2(Picc.) 0 1 1 – 2 1Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    15870 Arches
    An Impression for Concert Band
    165-00099 Castle Creek Overture
    For Concert Band
    5:00 Concert Band
    16882 Circular Marches
    Movement II, From Symphony No. 3, “Shaker Life”
    9:00 5(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 5(Eb Cl., B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) Sop.Sax. AltoSax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 4 4 4 1 Euph.; Timp. Pno.
    165-00097 Downshifting
    For Concert Band
    7:00 Concert Band
    165-00100 For the Mystic Harmony
    Hymns for Wind Ensemble
    1041 Wind Ensemble
    16959 Glacier
    for Large Wind Ensemble
    10:00 4(2.Picc.) 3(E.H.) 5(E-fl.Cl., B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1 Euph.; Timp. 5Perc. Pno. Cb.
    16889 Laboring Songs
    Movement I, From Symphony No. 3, “Shaker Life”
    10:00 5(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 5(Eb Cl., B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) Sop.Sax. AltoSax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 4 4 4 1 Euph.; Timp. 5Perc. Pno. Cb.
    16891 Minstrels of the Kells
    for Large Wind Ensemble
    15:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 5(Eb Cl., B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) Sop.Sax. AltoSax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 4 3 4 1 Euph.; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Cb.
    16892 Perpetual Song
    for Wind Ensemble
    8:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(Eb Cl., B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) Sop.Sax. AltoSax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 4 4 4 1 Euph.; Timp. 4Perc. Cb.
    16893 Songs Without Words
    Five Mood Pieces for Large Wind Ensemble
    15:00 3(Picc.) 2 4(b.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) 2AltoSax. 1Ten.Sax. 1Bar.Sax. – 4 3 3 1 Euph.; Timp. 4Perc. Pno.(dbl. Cel.) Cb.
    15887 Spumante
    A Festive Overture for Large Wind Ensemble
    6:30 Picc. 2Fl. 2Ob. E.H. EbCl. 3Cl. B.Cl. 2Bsn. Cbsn. S.Sax. A.Sax. T.Sax. B.Sax. – 4Hn. 4Tpt. 3Tbn. B.Tbn. Euph. Tba.; Pn. Timp. 5Perc. Cb.
    16910 Symphony No. 3, “Shaker Life”
    for Concert Band
    19:00 see individual listings for: “Circular Marches” and “Laboring Songs”(Movements may be performed separately).
    16956 Symphony No. 4, “American Visionary”
    for Large Wind Ensemble
    20:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 7(1B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) Sop.Sax. A.Sax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. – 4 4 3(B.Tbn.) 1 Euph.; Timp. 5Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Cb.
    15892 The Yellowstone Fires
    for Wind Ensemble
    9:00 6 3 8 3 4Sax. – 6 4 4 2 Euph.; 5Perc. Pno. Cb. Timp.
    17451 Upriver
    for Wind Ensemble
    14:00 Solo Fiddle; 2Picc. 2Fl. 2Ob. E.H. EbCl. 3BbCl. B.Cl. 2Bsn. Cbsn. SATBSax. – 4Hn. 3Tpt. 3Tbn. Euph. Tu.; Timp. 5Perc. Hp. Str.Bass
    165-00092 Zion
    For Wind Ensemble
    10:00 Wind Ensemble
    Stage Works
    16691 Della’s Gift
    Opera in One Act
    Based on “The Gift of the Magi” by O Henry
    1:09:00 1(Picc.) 1 2 1 – 2 2 1 0; Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.(min. 6 5 4 3 2)
    16988 Holy Night
    Opera in Three Scenes and an Epilogue
    1:10:00 1 1 2 1 – 2 2 1 0; Perc. Pno./Cel. Hp. Str.
    17428 The Yellow Wallpaper
    Opera in One Act after “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    1:15:00 Fl./Picc. Ob./E.H. Cl. Bsn. Hn. Tpt. Per. Pno./Synth. Hp. Str.

  • …a prolific and versatile Texas-based composer who’s particularly known for his colorful scorings…[his] works show off his considerable contrapuntal ingenuity…well-made, idiomatically written, and canny in its use of unusual instrumental textures.
    –Lehman , American Record Guide

    …one of the cleverest composers writing, and certainly one of our master colorists.
    –Piano & Keyboard

    …suave competence… he writes attractive music with a rich palette of colors, commanding technique — and a edge.
    –James Roos, Miami Herald

    A bright voice to listen to amid America’s gray compositional landscape. He has something to say, and he says it directly and in a way very much his own.
    –John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News

    …refers to Arches National Park in Utah, a place I’ve never visited, but would like to after hearing this work.
    –David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine

    It was a pleasure to encounter Mr. Welcher’s music again, and his new piece, “Bright Wings,” is subtitled “Valediction for Large Orchestra.”… The “Valediction” of the subtitle is a farewell to someone in his life who recently died. Yet there is nothing mournful in any sense in the music. Indeed, it seems, on the whole, downright celebratory, and perhaps it was meant as a paean for living. It is crafted for a very large orchestra, yet Mr. Welcher’s forces are deployed with transparency and often great delicacy… I can easily imagine it being a boon to orchestras in need of a new, upbeat piece to open a concert… easily absorbable for orchestra and audience alike.
    –John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News

    Bassoonists are also lucky to have a new work as beautifully crafted as Welcher’s as an addition to their limited solo repertory. Like his recent Flute Concerto, it is a pensive piece that expertly exploits its solo instrument to evoke atmosphere and emotion-drenched landscapes. More conservative than the Flute Concerto, and frequently elegiac in mood, it is also crafty in the ways it deploys a small group of players to create a wide range of instrumental color.
    –William Mootz, Louisville Courier-Journal

    In the glinting middle scherzo the music skips and skims along yet is by no means carefree. There’s a moving finale – dark and moody – that fades down into a quite magical epilogue.
    –Rob Barnett, Musicweb-international.com

    …vividly coloured despite the modest orchestral forces. Well-managed changes of mood, encompassing jazz, dances, even rock and ragtime within a formal context, show Welcher as a master tactician capable of writing music of striking and sustained interest.
    –Bret Johnson, Tempo

    Welcher has fashioned a winning two-movement piece that cleverly wanders from ‘serious’ contemporary vistas into the well-traveled land of orchestral jazz… Welcher’s concerto brims with freshness, rhythmic verve and more than its share of memorable tunes.
    –Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News

    If there’s a better Clarinet Concerto by a living composer, I don’t know of it. The work is almost a catalogue of the clarinet’s musical possibilities, but it is far too well constructed to come across as a mere display of clarinet timbres.
    –Richard Halley, On The Air Magazine

    On the basis of this work I would say that Welcher is one of the most promising American composers I have ever heard…
    –R.S. Brown, High Fidelity

    …a showy, colorful, relatively dissonant work… the piece is well-constructed, serious in tone and is highlighted by quasi-oriental scales in its somber slow movement and suggestions of exuberant dance music in the closing fast movement.
    –Carl Cunningham, Houston Post

    It is a big, ambitious piece, some 35 minutes in length. Though its content is not romantic, its design is, for this is a concerto conceived in a full-scale, virtuoso style… what I heard was a first movement that was a riot of exotic color and bristling rhythms, a shimmering and introspective second movement and a dashing, pulsating finale.
    –John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News

    Dan Welcher’s “Piano Concerto” was received with thunderous enthusiasm… the concerto is a highly demanding virtuoso vehicle for both soloist and orchestra. The harmonic idiom is a stretched tonality — exotic but not alienating.
    –Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express-News

    Stylistically, Welcher’s musical language has great character. It is assertively contemporary in its dissonance, but it has a good foundation of tonality.
    –Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle

    Concertos for timpani are decidedly a rarity, owing in part to the challenge of writing a work for an instrument of limited possibilities. However, Welcher overcame these difficulties and created a work that casts the timpani in a new light. From the rhythmic vitality of the opening movement to the mellow tenderness of the second and the lilting flow of the finale, Welcher’s concerto is a study in lyricism.
    –Edward Reichel, Deseret Morning News

    It would be hard to name a more appealing new concerto for any instrument than this one… The concerto lets the soloist show off an amazing tonal and dynamic range.
    –Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune

    It looks to me like a concerto a lot of other people will want to play.
    –Keith Lockhart, quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune

    …the fingerprints of the neo-classic Stravinsky are all over the opening bars, from the angularity of the solo lines to the piquant harmonies and motoric rhythmic underpinnings in the orchestra. …the craftsmanship is impeccable, especially the interweaving and dovetailing of melodic strands between the various instrumental groups. …charming work…
    –Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune

    …it is the music’s clarity, conclusion and uncluttered Stravinskian directness that leave the strongest impression. Welcher set out to write a piece that was ‘ebullent, sometimes playful, and more charming than profound’: judging by this superbly played and recorded performance, he certainly succeeded.
    –Julian Haylock, The Strad

    Welcher’s music was full of novel twists of direction and phrase, and brushed with wit.
    –James Roos, Miami Herald

    “Dante Dances” is great fun, but seriously crafted and tightly disciplined…
    –Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express-News

    Two become one – that’s the image that we hold of true love, isn’t it? Beautiful to imagine, but oh so difficult to achieve in the world…The two operas “Della’s Gift” and “Holy Night” offer us intimate examinations of that difficulty from either side of a century’s divide. Ultimately, both show us a way to forgiveness and the shedding of self that allows lovers to unite. In this expression of the meaning of true love, these lovely new operas merge together; two become one.
    –Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

    I’d be willing to risk money that “Della’s Gift” will survive long after its opening night. The reasons are good and much deserved. The music is disarming in its charm and eminently singable. And as theater, “Della’s Gift” is uncomplicated and affecting… around the ‘magical children’ of O. Henry’s familiar story, Welcher has constructed a musical aura that evokes a bygone American era in a gently, loving way.
    –John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News

    Dervishes is cannily written so the discerning listener can have lots of fun without mystification. Welcher combines ready wit and a sense of drama in the way he plots a score.
    –F. W. Woolsey, Louisville Times

    …the piece has the kind of swirling vitality the name implies; it is superbly orchestrated (with a notable but not overdone part for the bassoons) and it demonstrates conclusively for those who still may doubt it that atonal music can be downright pretty.
    –Joseph McLellan, Washington Post

    …mystical and haunting… Pecking bird calls, brooding and ominous piano textures, two double-cadenzas, and incessant pitch repetitions combine to create a dramatic composition.
    –John Barcellona, Flute Talk

    [Haleakala] needn’t be confined either to the Pacific or to young audiences. The piece, in fact, achieves a smooth blend of naïveté and sophistication…
    –Ken Smith, Gramophone

    …a cornucopia of color-inflected sonorities that achieve a breathtaking celebratory grandeur.
    –Lehman , American Record Guide

    … [a] fun story set on a Pacific island where Maui captures the sun, only letting go when it has promised to regularly return with its warmth. The story is ideal for childeren, its music adult enough to find a place in the symphonic repertiore.
    –David’s Review Corner

    Welcher’s music has a cinematic sweep, with Hawaiian chant-tunes, Polynesian scales, and a battery of native percussion instruments lending an exotic vibrancy to his rich-textured score. All this makes for some pretty weird and wonderful effects, a veritable cornucopia of color-inflected sonorities.
    –Tiedman, American Record Guide

    The orchestral colors are as spectacular as a Hawaiian volcano, the musical structure is exceptionally tight, and the piece as a whole is a delight to surrender to.
    –Richard Halley, On The Air Magazine

    The composer has had to juggle a lot of elements, and he has done his work skillfully. He has a keen response to the emotional and pictorial qualities of the text… he knows how to write vividly and gratifyingly for the orchestra. The setting of Frost’s “Riders” was galvanizing… rich in both virtuoso display and expressive content.
    –Ellen Pfeifer, Boston Herald

    The 45-minute oratorio arouses as much patriotic spirit as a Sousa march at a Fourth of July fireworks display… Through the words of seven authors and poets, two Peace Corps volunteers, the Protestant Council, and Kennedy himself, Welcher has woven a musical tapestry that is rich in orchestral color and rife with musical invention.
    –Michael Huebner, Austin American-Statesman

    In its four movements the new symphony is pensive, filled with joy and delight, occasionally frightening, huge and always fascinating… It is a 20th-century piece that is the herald of the 21st century.
    –Paul Sweitzer, Arizona Daily Sun

    What Welcher has done is…to create a surreal fantasy in which aural landmarks come and go… a study in bell sounds on the piano that is fully the equal of such famous bell pieces as Ravel’s “La vallée des cloches” or Debussy’s “Cloches à travers les feuilles”…
    –Piano & Keyboard

    …an essay in Apollonian-Dionysian contrasts … Love-intoxicated … brims with an interior poetry and fiery lyricism that you somehow don’t expect from violin, clarinet and piano.
    –James Roos, Miami Herald

    …[a] highly romantic sense of color pervades “Prairie Light,” though the music soon transcends its initial inspiration and takes on an expressive and bubbly life of its own.
    –Ken Smith, Gramophone

    … three highly inventive and atmospheric music pictures…
    –David’s Review Corner

    …an evocative piece, lushly tonal and nearly impressionistic in its orchestration and effect.
    –Edward Reichel, Deseret Morning News

    …an appealingly moody work that weaves a spell with its ever-changing washes of sound and deeply etched effects.
    –John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News

    …a succinct, impressionistic piece inspired by three watercolors by Southwestern artist Georgia O’Keeffe… the music moved in gentle, almost pastel progressions, much in keeping with the watercolors done in 1917 in Canyon, Texas by the artist. Eastern elements and non-linear melodic ideas appears, but the work was easily accessible to hard-core fans of strict classical repertoire.
    –Michael Pointe, Austin American-Statesman

    …full of interesting appealing ideas, voiced with great ingenuity and skill in the five instruments and it also demonstrates that diatonic music is still a through street… The clarinet is unquestionably the leading actor, but the strings have a lot of interesting things to say. The course of the action has great variety and is enjoyably unpredictable.
    –William Glackin, Sacramento Bee Final

    …a setting of verses by California poet Christina Hutchins… Mr. Welcher’s 14-mintue setting captures the tenderness of the memories and evokes a child’s playfulness in lyric music descended from Debussy and Samuel Barber.
    –Scott Cantrell, Dallas News

    Welcher…had in mind a symphony of the old school, with the sweep, lush colors, and unfettered musical energy of a Sibelius of Shostakovich. … Welcher managed a score of admirable complexity and splendor, encompassing moments of contemplation and exclamation within a richly textured musical framework that was always pressing forward, growing and deepening in feeling.
    –Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

    …a 21st-century symphony … urbane, expressive, filled with touches of whimsy and expansively American in its artistic references … the past century of American music percolated intelligently and originally throughout: A bluesy riff, syncopated rhythms, bold percussive turns, vigorous melodies and confident brass chorales balanced against moody swirls of woodwinds.
    –Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin360.com

    …these marvelous songs should take their place as staples of the American vocal literature.
    –Lehman , American Record Guide

    Arrangement for Wind Ensemble
    …as full of spirit as the Italian wine after which it is named. How nice it is to hear a brilliant concert opener…
    –Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare

    This engaging piece, commissioned by the Boston Pops, is rather more subtle than its effervescent title might suggest. The arrangement is assured…
    –Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

    …the piece is a fully confident, absorbing, thoroughly musical work in four cleanly wrought, eventually cyclical movements. Technical niceties notwithstanding (and there are lots of them), the piece is filled with exciting virtuosic action, soaring melody, and a committed sense of tonality. This is one of the more impressive pieces of chamber music written in America in the late 80s, and it deserves to be heard and played more regularly.
    –Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide

    Dan Welcher was almost forty before he began work on his first quartet, but, as this disc shows, his slender output in the genre is among the finest from a 20th century American composer. Those who run away as soon as they read about ‘tone-rows’ should forget Welcher ever mentioned them, his “First Quartet” easily accessible to anyone who would like to travel down the road set out by Bartok.
    –David Denton, David’s Review Corner

    …angular and acerbic but never, even in its angry moments, off-putting.
    –Robert R. Reilly, Inside Catholic.com

    This music has a most welcome sense of playfulness…
    –Robert R. Reilly, InsideCatholic.com

    Melodically as well as harmonically lush…
    –Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (review of Naxos American Classics 8.559384)

    …this is music you want to hear again the moment it has finished.
    –David Denton, David’s Review Corner (review of Naxos American Classics 8.559384)

    …has a gracious fluency that suggests a continuity with string quartets by Fauré and Ravel. …hauntingly lovely.
    –Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News (review of Naxos American Classics 8.559384)

    [The Cassatt Quartet played] with passion, extracting considerable affection from Welcher’s complex three-part composition. Welcher based the quartet on three paintings by American impressionist, and ensemble namesake, Mary Cassatt… Welcher’s appropriately very impressionistic piece made delightful use of a recurring theme that wove through the three movements. Yet each movement had a distinct profile thanks to some clever musical quoting and riffing. …Tone and mood rule mightily – and delightfully – in “Quartet No. 3.”
    –Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman

    All three movements are packed with musical ideas that pull the listener’s attention from one orchestral section to the next, but with transitions that are smooth and natural… Welcher displays an ease with beautiful music in gorgeous brass ensembles, rich and consonant string passages and multitudes of solo colors.
    –Richard McKinney, Honolulu Star Bulletin

    A symphony of the old school – sweeping, lush, robust – scored with notable complexity… I’m eager to hear it again.
    –Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle (named #2 of the “Top 9 Dance and Classical Music Treasures of 2009”)

    …fascinating music… I would like to hear it again, perhaps in a recording with extended program notes that would allow repeated exploration of its narrative and philosophical depths.
    –John McLellan, Washington Post

    Welcher’s fantasy-like narrative, suggested by events out of Arthurian legend, is ‘cinematic’ without ever resorting to the clichés of movie music. The orchestration is rich and evocative, its colors so vividly imagined one can almost touch them.
    –John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

    …a rewarding 23-minute tone poem by Dan Welcher… it describes the legendary magician Merlin and some of his exploits in a shimmering, eclectic language that encompasses leitmotifs, free dissonance and singing lyricism, all woven together in a picturesque and fully persuasive way.
    –Allan Kozinn, New York Times

    …a work tingling with a magic of its own… Light never really parts the clouds, but in the dim smoky distance and swirling dark gloom can be seen sparks of power and unnatural forces.
    –David Anthony Richelieu, San Antonio Express

    The haunting work is in two sections. [In] the first,…the music hang in the air suspended, ungrounded, a perfect setup for the long, almost conversational line of the bassoon… in the second part, the bassoon uses all of its range and plenty of its idiomatic turns, including staccato runs. But mainly the bassoon’s line is long and languid… “This piece is a real gift to the instrument,” [soloist Steven] Dibner said…
    –Harvey Steiman, San Francisco Classical Voice

    A refreshing tonic for winter-weary imaginations. The 24-minute work’s sunny disposition shows through each of its six movements…
    –Sharon McDaniel, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

    The brightest spot came late in the program… “White Mares of the Moon,” a mildly avant-garde work that consists largely of minimalistic rhythmic figures overlaid with highly dramatic and expressive flute gestures.
    –Timothy Vincent Clark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Welcher’s “Zephyrus” is the real treasure here— a serious contribution to the flute and string repertoire. “Zephyrus” makes heavy demands on the flutist without digressing into silly theatrics.
    –Payton MacDonald, American Record Guide

    The concert opened with what would prove to be its highlight, “Zion,” a contemporary work by Texas composer Dan Welcher. The sweeping, majestic piece — performed exceedingly well by the symphony — was reminiscent of the work of Aaron Copland with its brash, all-American sound.
    –Chip Chandler, Amarillo Globe-News

  • Wine Dark Sea WINE DARK SEA
    Reference Recordings (RR-137); February 26, 2016
    Performer(s): University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Jerry Junkin, conductor
    Work(s): Spumante
    Places in the West PLACES IN THE WEST
    Longhorn Music (LHM2013003); December 2, 2014
    Performer(s): University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Jerry Junkin, conductor
    Work(s): Arches
    Symphony No. 4 “American Visionary”
    The Yellowstone Fires
    Currents CURRENTS
    Mark Masters (51262MCD); September 9, 2014
    Performer(s): Oregon State University Wind Ensemble, Christopher Chapman, Director
    Work(s): Upriver
    A Harvest of 20th Century Bassoon Music A HARVEST OF 20TH CENTURY BASSOON MUSIC
    Crystal Records (CD 341); September 17, 2012
    Performer(s): Recorded by Leonard Sharrow, bassoonist, with the Crystal Chamber Orchestra, Ernest Gold, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto de camera
    Dan Welcher: String Quartets Nos. 1-3 DAN WELCHER: STRING QUARTETS NOS. 1-3
    Naxos (7); August 1, 2009
    Performer(s): Cassatt Quartet
    Work(s): String Quartet No. 1
    String Quartet No. 2 “Harbor Music”
    String Quartet No. 3 “Cassatt”
    Erin Hannigan, oboe ERIN HANNIGAN, OBOE
    Crystal Records (CD 820); May 2, 2008
    Performer(s): Erin Hannigan, Oboe; Dan Florio and Drew Lang, Percussion
    Work(s): Firewing: The Flame and The Moth
    Carl Vine: Sonata for Flute & Piano CARL VINE: SONATA FOR FLUTE & PIANO
    Koch International Classics (CD 7658); January 22, 2008
    Performer(s): Alexa Still, flute, Stephen Gosling, piano
    Work(s): All the Words to All the Songs
    Chamber Music of Dan Welcher CHAMBER MUSIC OF DAN WELCHER
    CRI/New World Records (CD 881); February 1, 2007
    Performer(s): Bharat Chandra, clarinet; Deanne van Rooyen, harp; Eric Wise, cello; Jason Horowitz, violin; Joshua Nemith, piano; Kimberly Penrod, horn; Marc Damoulakis, percussion; Mark Griffith, percussion; Michae…
    Work(s): Dante Dances
    White Mares of the Moon
    Symphonic Excursions SYMPHONIC EXCURSIONS
    Klavier Records (11127); September 2, 2002
    Performer(s): North Texas Wind Symphony, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Conductor
    Work(s): Songs Without Words
    Music of William Bolcom and Dan Welcher MUSIC OF WILLIAM BOLCOM AND DAN WELCHER
    Equilibrium Records (EQ60); January 1, 2002
    Performer(s): Symphony II; Larry Rachleff, conductor, Paul Kantor, violin, William Bolcom, piano
    Work(s): Another Rag for Rags
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Piano Music / Timothy Woolsey PIANO MUSIC / TIMOTHY WOOLSEY
    Centaur Records (CRC2525); October 30, 2001
    Performer(s): Timothy Woolsey, piano
    Work(s): High Tech Etudes
    Spirit Realms (Three Meditations)
    Music by Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher & Kent Kennan MUSIC BY DONALD GRANTHAM, DAN WELCHER & KENT KENNAN
    Gasparo Records (GSCD339); January 1, 2001
    Performer(s): Chamber Soloists of Austin
    Work(s): Zephyrus
    Shadings SHADINGS
    Equilibrium Records (EQ38); November 28, 2000
    Performer(s): Kristin Wolfe Jenson, bassoon; John Snow, oboe
    Work(s): Mill Songs (Four Metamorphoses after Schubert)
    Sojourns: Music for Band SOJOURNS: MUSIC FOR BAND
    Klavier Records (11099); January 1, 2000
    Performer(s): North Texas Wind Symphony, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Conductor
    Work(s): Symphony No. 3 “Shaker Life”
    Bending the Light BENDING THE LIGHT
    CRI/New World Records (CD 80559); March 23, 1999
    Performer(s): The Core Ensemble
    Work(s): Tsunami
    Welcher: Vox Femina WELCHER: VOX FEMINA
    Gasparo Records (GSCD314); January 1, 1998
    Performer(s): Judith Kellock, soprano, Martin Amlin, piano, Laura Gilbert, flute, Cavani String Quartet, ISIS Ensemble, Dan Welcher, conductor
    Work(s): Seven Songs on Poems of e.e. cummings
    String Quartet No. 2
    The Bequest
    Vox Femina
    Tributes TRIBUTES
    Klavier Records (11070); October 24, 1995
    Performer(s): North Texas Wind Symphony, Eugene Corporon, conductor
    Work(s): Zion
    American Tribute AMERICAN TRIBUTE
    Summit Records (DCD127); February 8, 1995
    Performer(s): Summit Brass, Carl Topilow, conductor
    Work(s): Castle Creek
    American Images 2 AMERICAN IMAGES 2
    Crystal Records (CD 943); December 29, 1993
    Performer(s): The Verdehr Trio
    Work(s): Partita
    Voices of Change VOICES OF CHANGE
    Crystal Records (CD 740); December 29, 1993
    Performer(s): Paul Sperry, tenor, with Voices of Change ensemble, Dan Welcher, conductor.
    Work(s): Evening Scenes: Three Poems of James Agee
    Welcher: Haleakala / Prairie Light / Clarinet Concerto WELCHER: HALEAKALA / PRAIRIE LIGHT / CLARINET CONCERTO
    Marco Polo (CD 8.223457); December 1, 1992
    Performer(s): Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Donald Johanos, conductor, with Bil Jackson, clarinet
    Work(s): Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    Haleakala: How Maui Snared the Sun
    Prairie Light: Three Texas Water Colors of Georgia O’Keeffe
    The Louisville Orchestra LS-742 THE LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA LS-742
    Louisville First Edition Recordings (LS-742)
    Performer(s): Francis Fuge, flute; Louisville Orchestra, Jorge Mester, conductor
    Work(s): Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
    The Louisville Orchestra LS-763 THE LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA LS-763
    Louisville First Edition Recordings (LS-763)
    Performer(s): Louisville Orchestra, Jorge Mester, conductor
    Work(s): Dervishes
    The Louisville Orchestra LS-793 THE LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA LS-793
    Louisville First Edition Recordings (LS-793)
    Performer(s): Louisville Orchestra, Akira Endo, conductor.
    Work(s): The Visions of Merlin

  • 2009: Austin Critics Table Award 1st Prize for Outstanding Original Composition for Symphony No. 5
    1990-1993: Composer in Residence with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra
    Guggenheim Foundation award
    National Endowment for the Arts award
    The Reader
    Rockefeller Foundation
    Meet the Composer award
    MacDowell Colony Fellowship
    The Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France) award
    Liguria Study Center (Bogliasco, Italy) award
    Bellagio Center (Bellagio, Italy) award
    The Corporation at Yaddo award

  • Arches
    An Impression for Concert Band
    Five Pieces for String Orchestra
    Castle Creek
    Fanfare-Overture for Concert Band
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
    Concerto da camera
    for Bassoon and Small Orchestra
    Della’s Gift
    Opera in Two Acts based on “The Gift of the Magi” by O Henry
    Ritual Dance Scene for Orchestra
    for Concert Band
    For the Mystic Harmony
    Hymns for Wind Ensemble
    for Wind Ensemble
    Holy Night
    Opera in Three Scenes and an Epilogue
    JFK: The Voice of Peace
    An Oratorio for Chorus and Orchestra with Narrator and Solo Violoncello
    KMFA: A Celebratory Overture
    for Orchestra
    Minstrels of the Kells
    for Concert Band
    Museon Polemos (“War of the Muses”)
    for Two Antiphonal String Quartet
    Prairie Light: Three Texas Water Colors of Georgia O’Keeffe
    for Orchestra
    Songs Without Words
    Five Mood Pieces for Wind Ensemble
    A Festive Overture for Large Orchestra
    A Festive Overture for Wind Ensemble
    Symphony No. 3 “Shaker Life”
    for Concert Band
    Symphony No. 4 (“American Visionary”)
    for Large Wind Ensemble
    Symphony No. 5
    for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 6 (“Three Places in the East”)
    for Wind Ensemble
    The Need to See
    A Musical Fable for Children for Narrator/Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
    The Yellow Wallpaper
    Opera in One Act
    The Yellowstone Fires
    for Wind Ensemble
    for Wind Ensemble
    for Orchestra
    for Wind Ensemble