Laura Kaminsky

Cadenza Variations (2004)

I. Prelude
II. Clarinet
III. Bassoon
IV. Flute
V. French horn
VI. Oboe
VII. Postlude

Quintet of the Americas premiered this work at Merkin Hall, NYC on April 19, 2005

It was performed again at Sarah Lawrence College in 2005 and on April 16, 2013 on the Women’s Work Second Concert of 2013 Series at the Players Theatre, NYC.

Ms. Kaminsky writes:

Cadenza Variations is the result of a conversation with my dear friend Matt Sullivan, oboist of the Quintet of the Americas.  Matt was telling me about the first woodwind institute that his group was going to present at NYU, and spoke about his desire for a piece that could serve as a teaching piece, but hold up as music in its own right.  That gave me the idea for a piece that would “show off” each instrument in the woodwind quintet in a solo capacity and would also have coherence as a whole work.  When I suggested this to Matt he said, “compose it.”  And so I did.  Cadenza Variations is in seven short movements, an opening prelude and a closing postlude that are motivically related, with five inner movements. Each inner movement features a different member of the quintet as soloist.  Hence, the notion of “cadenza,” where each soloist has the opportunity to explore and exploit the potential of his/her instrument.  While there is no theme that is varied, as in a typical Theme and Variations, there are motivic elements that are varied from movement to movement so as to create an organic whole.  I am indebted to Centrum Artist Colony in Pt. Townsend, WA  for the time and space it provided me to compose the work, and to the Quintet for commissioning it.  This project challenged me to compose for bassoon and French horn, two instruments I had not yet written for, and for this I am particularly grateful.

Laura Kaminsky has had her works performed across the U.S. and abroad, including West Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. She has been a guest composer at Boston Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Sarah Lawrence College, Vernon Center for International Affairs at NYU, Synthesis International Festival of New Music in Skopje, Macedonia, the National Music Academy in Bratislava, Slovakia, and at the Union of Composers and Musicologists at the National Conservatory of Music in Yerevan, Armenia, among others.  Ms. Kaminsky has received commissions, fellowships, and awards as a composer and presenter, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Council on the Arts, PONCHO, Jordan Foundation, Jack Straw Productions, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Allen Foundation, King County Arts Commission, Serage Foundation, Meet The Composer, and others, and has held residencies in a number of artist communities.  She received her B.A. from Oberlin College, and her master’s in Music from the City College of New York.

Currently, Kaminsky is Director of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY.  From 1999‑2004 she served as Chair of the Department of Music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. She is also Co‑founder and Artistic Director of Musicians Accord, a new music collective based in New York and dedicated to 20th and 21st century chamber music.  Musicians Accord has commissioned and/or premiered over 100 new works, has recorded for the Mode, CRI and North/South labels, and has been ensemble‑in‑residence at the City College of New York since 1984. Prior positions included Vice President for Programs at Meet the Composer, Director of the European Mozart Academy in Poland, an international post‑graduate chamber music program; and in New York, Director of Music and Theater Programs at The New School, Artistic Director of The Town Hall, and Associate Director of Education at the 92nd Street Y.

For more information about the composer visit: