site analytics


a composer with a story to tell

a composer with a story to tell

Salon Music

Sanitas Quartet
World premiere performance
Fauré Centennial Festival • University of Colorado Boulder




Fauré Centennial Festival, Boulder, Colorado

Saxophone quartet (sat)
Woodwind quartet (fl, ob, cl, bn)

Inkjar Publishing Company
$45 full score & parts • PDFs with digital license
To purchase, email Inkjar Publishing Company
Specify saxophone quartet or wind quartet

Imagine that you are an artist living in Paris in the year 1885. You are invited to the mansion of a wealthy patroness of the arts. You are ushered into an ornately decorated music room, replete with gilded mirrors, glowing chandeliers, and luxuriously crafted sitting chairs. The ladies are wearing the latest trends in evening gowns, and the men are dressed in tuxedos. The focal point of the room is a young violinist in a resplendent silk gown who is about to commence a musical concert for the delight and amusement of the well-to-do guests. 
Above is a description of a painting by James Tissot called Hush! (The Concert). While the painting dates from 1875 and depicts a music salon in London, it represents a scenario that was also happening in France throughout the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, most notably in the mansion of Winnaretta Singer, also known as Princesse Edmond de Polignac (1865-1943) and heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Winnaretta was a major benefactor of the arts who, over the course of forty-five years, gave regular music salons that championed living composers through a range of commissions for new works. Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky were among the many recipients of her generosity.

In tribute to this invigorating atmosphere of music-making, I crafted Salon Music. My piece is lighthearted in tone, with an occasional escapade into a darker realm. As a tip of the hat to Fauré, with whom Winnaretta had a lifelong friendship, I worked in melodic and harmonic snippets from a few of his chamber works. You will hear fluttering butterflies from his art song Le papillon et la fleur (Op. 1) and the weeping cello melody from his Elegie (Op. 24). I was also inspired by a four-measure passage from the first movement of his Violin Sonata No. 1 (Op. 13); this passage became the basis of two tension-building sections within my own piece.
Salon Music was commissioned by the Fauré Centennial Festival for premiere at the University of Colorado – Boulder in February 2024.

  • HELIOS • 4’30” • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba

    In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses (in some tales, the horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire) across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.