Created in 1994 by five eminent wind soloists, Windscape has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, an “unquintet” which has delighted audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Asia. Windscape’s innovative programs and accompanying presentations are created to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour—evoking through music and engaging commentary vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places.
As Artists in Residence at Manhattan School of Music, the members of Windscape are master teachers, imparting not only the secrets of instrumental virtuosity, but also presenting a distinctive concert series, hailed for its creative energy and musical curiosity. The series offers the perfect setting for the ensemble to devise new–sometimes startling–programs and to experiment with new arrangements and repertoire combinations. Popular programs which have emerged from this process in recent seasons include “The Roaring 20’s,” “The Fabulous 50’s,” “The Young Titan: Beethoven Comes to Vienna,” and “East Meets West: The Music of Japan and the Impressionists.”
Last season Windscape collaborated with the Orion String Quartet in the late flutist Samuel Baron’s brilliant transcription for string quartet and wind quintet of Bach’s The Art of Fugue, which was recorded for Deutsche Gramophone. Past seasons include performances at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as recitals in Philadelphia, Madison, Charlottesville, and Reno, in addition to other cities around the U.S. and Mexico. Recent highlights include their Kennedy Center debut, tapings for NPR’s Performance Today and Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday, a performance “Live From Glenn Gould Studio” for CBC-Toronto, and a tour of New Zealand. Windscape has given concerts and master classes in Boston, New York, San Francisco, College Park, Des Moines, Omaha, and Winter Park, Florida, among others. Esteemed chamber musicians with whom they have collaborated include the late Eugene Istomin, Andre Michel Schub, Jon Kimura Parker, Jeremy Denk, and Anne Marie McDermott.
Windscape’s recent CD releases include distinguished former Manhattan School of Music faculty composer Ursula Mamlok’s Quintet on Bridge Records. Other recent critically acclaimed releases include an all-Dvorák CD, with guest artists Jeremy Denk and Daniel Phillips, and The Music of Maurice Ravel, both on the MSR Classics label.
During the summer of 2009 Windscape launched its first Manhattan School-wide Composer Commission Competition and was delighted to present Kyle Werner's Riverside, the winning work, in several concerts. In the group's second Competition, held in 2013, three MSM student composers were chosen: Qin Ding, Xinyang Wang and David Sepulveda. Their works, written especially for Windscape, will be premiered over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.