A study of selected contemporary compositions for bassoon by composers Margi Griebling-Haigh, Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich and Libby Larsen

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In my final DMA recital, I performed Sortilège by Margi Griebling-Haigh (1960), Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich (1939), and Concert Piece by Libby Larsen (1950). For each of these works, I give a brief biography of the composer and history of the piece. I contacted each of these composers and asked if they would provide further information on their compositional process that was not already available online. I received responses from Margie Griebling-Haigh and Libby Larsen and had to research information for Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich. I assess the contribution of these works to the body of bassoon literature, summarize the history of the literature, discuss the first compositions for bassoon by women, and discuss perceptions of the instrument today. I provide a brief analysis of these works to demonstrate how they contribute to the literature. I also offer comments from Nicolasa Kuster, one of the founders of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition. Her thoughts as an expert in this field offer insight into why these works require our ardent advocacy.

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