David Temperley

Woodwind Quintet (1992)

Premiered by Quintet of the Americas Society, NYC December,1996.

Davy Temperley grew up in central Illinois. His father was a musicologist and pianist, and classical music and chamber music were part of Temperley’s impressionable childhood environment. Listening to the top 40 radio station in Chicago he found rock music and had a brief stint as a piano player in a rock band. He moved to New York City where he played piano for ballet classes. His imaginative approach led to studying composition at Columbia University. In the realm of “serious composition,” Temperley experienced pushback, causing him to rethink the idea of choosing the career of an academic composer. As a professor of music theory he has been on the faculty of Eastman since 2005. He has written extensively about music theory, language, and cognitive science. Temperley’s primary research area is computational modelling of music cognition; he has explored issues such as meter perception, key perception, harmonic analysis, and melodic expectation. His research still draws on his shared love of classical and pop music. His third and most recent book is “The Musical Language of Rock.” Now, that Temperley is tenured, he has felt free to take more time for composing.
The music he is writing now is in a similar style to what set him apart as a student: tuneful, well-constructed classical chamber music with elements of pop and rock interwoven throughout. Recent compositions include a sonata for clarinet and piano, which he premiered at an “Eastman at Washington Square” concert with clarinetist Andrew Brown last year, and a horn sonata written for W. Peter Kurau. He wrote a 2nd woodwind quintet in 2022.