2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Soaring: The Life and Compositional Style of Joan Tower
Erin H. Miesner
Dr. Jesse D. Krebs, Faculty Mentor

No word could be used to describe the 20th-century composer, Joan Tower (b. 1938), better than her own name. In the competitive world of musical composition, she has been a tower of strength, energy, and creativity, creating lasting works of art in a time when few are played after the first hearing. The compositions of Joan Tower are often characterized by a feeling of organicism and the use of a central image throughout each piece. Her works are inspired by the unique qualities of an instrument and she strives to create music which is both aurally pleasing and emotionally stimulating. She has a special affinity for the clarinet; she considers it to be a "flexible, virtuosic instrument that...can be powerful and soft at the same time." Tower exploits these characteristics in addition to using organicism and imagery in Wings, a work for solo clarinet. In this presentation, I will discuss the life and compositional practices of Joan Tower and how they are used in Wings and play excerpts from it on my clarinet.

Keywords: Joan Tower, organicism, imagery, clarinet, Wings


Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 16-2
Location: OP Performance Hall
Time: 10:00

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