Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
Randall Ellis, oboe
Alan R. Kay, clarinet
Frank Morelli, bassoon
David Jolley, horn
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Created in 1994 by five eminent woodwind 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 North America. 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 the Manhattan School of Music, the members of Windscape are master teachers, imparting not only the craft 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 that have emerged from this process in recent seasons include "The Roaring 20s," "The Fabulous 50s," "The Young Titan: Beethoven comes to Vienna," "East Meets West: The Music of Japan and the Impressionists," and "All-American." Windscape launched its first Manhattan School-wide Composer Commission Competition in 2009 and has since presented the premieres of works written specifically for the group by winning composers Kyle Werner, Qin Ding, Xinyang Wang and David Sepulveda.
Recent tours have taken Windscape to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and throughout New York State. Extended residencies including collaborative performances with students or faculty have taken the group's sparkling performances and highly regarded teaching skills to SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, Penn State University, Baylor University in Texas, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, Skidmore College and the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland in addition to several programs throughout New York City. Performances at The Kennedy Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra, and the Tisch Center at the 92nd Street Y, Town Hall in New York City , The Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY, Wolftrap in Vienna, VA, Bach Festival Society in Winter Park, FL, Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and the Mainly Mozart Festival Series in San Diego, CA are also highlights.
Windscape's performances and residencies throughout the United States also include regular collaborations with the Orion String Quartet on the late flutist Samuel Barron's brilliant transcription of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. This collaboration originally appeared on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center series in New York City and was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for digital release. Performances at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Tuesday Evening Concert Series in Charlottesville, VA, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Duke University in North Carolina, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and Yale University are highlights of the last few seasons. Esteemed chamber musicians with whom they have also collaborated include the late Eugene Istomin, André-Michel Schub, John Kimura Parker, Jeremy Denk, and Anne-Marie McDermott.
Windscape can be heard in the acclaimed recordings of Fred Lerdahl's "Episodes and Refrains" as well as Ursula Mamlok's "Quintet", and a forthcoming release of Paul Lansky's Quintet, all for Bridge Records. Other critically acclaimed releases include Bach’s The Art of Fugue recorded with the Orion String Quartet for Deutsche Grammophon, The Music of Maurice Ravel, and an All-Dvorak CD with guest artists Jeremy Denk and Daniel Phillips, both on the MSR Classics label. A broadcast of their complete “Roaring 20s” performance at The Festival International Cervantino in Mexico was selected to air on Mexican television. The group's residency with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit culminated in a family concert based on their "East Meets West: A Floating World - Japan and the Impressionists" which was webcast live, and has been accessed by thousands of K-12 students in southeast Michigan. For more information, visit windscape5.com or facebook.com/windscape.
The members of Windscape:
TARA HELEN O’CONNOR, flute
Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a two-time Grammy nominee and the first wind player chosen to participate in The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she is now a Season Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Tara regularly participates in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Tara is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, the legendary Bach Aria Group and is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and Emerson Quartet. Tara has appeared on A&E's Breakfast for the Arts, Live from Lincoln Center and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Bridge Records. Tara is Associate Professor of Flute, Head of the Woodwinds Department and the Coordinator of Classical Music Studies at Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatory of Music. Additionally, Tara is on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Contemporary Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music and is a visiting artist, teacher and coach at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She lives with her husband, violinist Daniel Phillips and their and two miniature dachshunds, Chloé and Ava on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
RANDALL ELLIS, oboe
Randall Ellis attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He served as principal oboist of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra from 1988 until 2016. He is principal oboist of the Little Orchestra Society and the Mozart Orchestra of New York and is solo English horn in the New York Pops Orchestra. He is a member of Windscape Woodwind Quintet, artists in residence at the Manhattan School of Music. Randall is a member of the Emmy award-winning All-Star Orchestra under the music directorship of Gerard Schwarz. Mr. Ellis is principal oboist and faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival. He was principal oboist of the New York Chamber Symphony and received two Grammy nominations, including one for his recording of Howard Hanson’s Pastorale. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Ellis has appeared as a guest artist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has concertized and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a soloist with the New England Bach Festival, the International Bach Festival of Madeira, the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, and Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y. Mr. Ellis has freelanced with the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Philomusica and the Orchestras of the Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and the American Ballet Theatre dance companies. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Sunday Morning, and many times on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center. His performances have been heard on National Public Radio, European radio, and NHK Radio and TV in Japan. Mr. Ellis has recorded for EMI/Angel, Columbia, Sony, RCA, Vox, Nonesuch, CRI, Pro Arte, Delos, and Deutsche Grammophon. He has performed with Winton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center and on Broadway in the orchestra for the musical Wicked. He teaches oboe and chamber music at Skidmore College and coaches in the graduate orchestral performance program at the Manhattan School of Music.
ALAN R. KAY, clarinet
Praised by the New York Times for his “spellbinding” performances and “infectious enthusiasm and panache,” Alan R. Kay is Principal Clarinetist and an Artistic Director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Kay’s honors include the 2015 Classical Recording Foundation Samuel Sanders Chamber Music Award, the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard’s 1980 Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet. Mr. Kay is a founding member of Hexagon and Windscape Quintet. Summer festivals include Yellow Barn, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society and Holland’s Orlando Festival. His innovative programming for the New York Chamber Ensemble was a regular feature of the Cape May Music Festival. Mr. Kay has recorded with Hexagon, Windscape, the Sylvan Winds, Orpheus and numerous other ensembles. His critically acclaimed recent CD, “Max Reger: Music for Clarinet and Piano”, on Bridge Records, received a feature in the November/December 2016 issue of Fanfare Magazine. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard and Stony Brook University. He has served on the juries of the Orlando Festival International Competition in Rolduc, Holland; the International Chamber Music Competition in Trapani, Italy; Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Concert Artist Guild Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. His wind arrangements are available through Trevco Publications and International Opus.
DAVID JOLLEY, french horn
David Jolley has thrilled audiences throughout the world with his "remarkable virtuosity" (New York Times), and has been hailed as a "soloist second to none" by Grammophone Magazine. A chamber artist of unusual sensitivity and range, Mr. Jolley has collaborated with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts trios, the American, Guarneri and Orion string quartets, Musicians from Marlboro, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among others. Mr. Jolley is currently a member of Windscape, Trio Valtorna, and the New York Brass Art Trio (NYBAT). For five years Mr. Jolley performed as a member of the Fleisher-Jolley-Tree-O with Leon Fleisher and Michael Tree. He also was a founding member, now emeritus, of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured widely and made over two dozen recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label. A frequent soloist with orchestra, Mr. Jolley recently performed Joseph Swenson's horn concerto, The Fire and the Rose, with the Netherlands Symphony. Mr. Jolley's keen interest in enlarging the solo horn literature has led to the composition of many new works for him, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Concerto which he premiered with Orpheus at Carnegie Hall. John Harbison, George Tsontakis, George Perle and Lawrence Dillon are among the composers of memorable works. Summer festival appearances include Aspen, Caramoor, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Music Academy of the West and Sarasota, to name just a few. Mr. Jolley has six solo recordings on Arabesque, including Mozart and Strauss Concerti with the Israel Sinfonietta. He is on the faculties of Mannes College of Music, Queens College, SUNY Stonybrook, and recently was appointed Chair of the Brass department at Manhattan School of Music.
FRANK MORELLI, bassoon
Frank Morelli, graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and the first bassoonist to receive a doctorate at Juilliard, has been soloist at Carnegie Hall on nine occasions, and performed at the White House for the final state dinner of the Clinton Presidency. Co-principal bassoonist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and principal of American Composers Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic, he was principal bassoon of the NYC Opera for 27 years. He teaches at Juilliard, Yale, MSM and SUNY Stony Brook. His more than 175 recordings include MSR Classics solo CDs From the Heart, Romance and Caprice, Bassoon Brasileiro and Baroque Fireworks. The magazine, Gramophone proclaimed: “Morelli’s playing is a joy to behold.” The American Record Guide stated: “the bassoon playing … is as good as it gets.” Of his DG recording of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with Orpheus Fanfare Magazine added that it "reset a reviewer's standards at too high a level for comfort in a world more productive of ordinary music making." The Orpheus CD "Shadow Dances," which features Frank Morelli, won a 2001 Grammy Award. He is also heard in an accompanying role on two Wayne Shorter CDs that won Grammys: Allegria (2004) and Emanon (2019). A prolific chamber musician, he has appeared at the most prestigious national and international festivals and in addition to windscape, he is a member of Festival Chamber Music. He compiled the popular excerpt book, Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon for Boosey and Hawkes and has numerous transcriptions in print. His landmark revision of the widely-used Weissenborn Bassoon Method, commissioned by Carl Fischer Music, has been met with great excitement. He plays a Leitzinger bassoon exclusively. Please visit www.morellibassoon.com.