Monday, December 29, 2014

Upping the stakes

Diego Carillo Soler, Director of the Bigastro Symphonic Band, moved their performance up several rungs last night.

You may have noticed the inclusion of Thomas Doss’ Sidus in the programme. I had never heard of either him or it until last night.


Thomas Doss was born 1966, in Linz, Austria, into a musical family (both parents were active orchestral musicians). His undergraduate degree was in music education at the Brucknerkonservatorium Linz, with an emphasis in trombone, composition, conducting, and piano. Subsequent studies took place in Salzburg, Vienna, Los Angeles, and Maastricht (Limburg). Doss made his début with the Wiener Kammerorchester in 1988. He held residencies with various opera houses and festivals, working as both conductor and composer with, amongst others: the Brucknerorchester Linz, Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt, Wiener Kammersinfoniker, Westfälisches Sinfonieorchester, Philharmonisches Orchester Budweis, Südböhmische Kammerphilharmonie, Wiener Kammerchor, Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, and the Österreichisches Ensemble für neue Musik. Doss is known for collaborating with artists from many different genres, such as Harri Stojka, Chris de Burgh, Thomas Gansch, John Williams, Steven Mead, Christian Maurer, as well as many others. His passion for wind and brass ensembles has taken his expertise and talent around the world. He has maintained a close relationship with Mitropa Music (distributed by De Haske Hal Leonard) since 2001 and has published numerous scores and CDs with them. Teaching and coaching have also become an increasingly important part of Doss’s work. Many of his students are award-winners at international competitions. He also leads workshops and master-classes at institutes across Europe, such as the Konservatorium Groningen (Netherlands), Lemmensinstitut (Belgium), Konservatorium Gent (Belgium), Universität Mainz (Germany), Musikuniversität Wien, and Anton Bruckneruniversität Linz (Austria). Doss has been the coordinator for the “Ensembleleitung des Oberösterreichischen Landesmusikschulwerk” since 2006. He is professor of conducting at the Vienna University Conservatory and at the Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, Italy and has been a consultant for institutes looking to improve and further their conducting programmes. Numerous sound storage media, prizes and awards line his musical way.

Among his many works, Sidus is categorized as a “difficult to very difficult” piece for symphonic woodwind. I think the musicians in the band would agree with that. I believe that they intend to include it in their programme for a forthcoming competition. If it wows the judges as much as it did the audience last night, then they are sure to win a coveted prize.

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