Splinter Reeds is hosting a season kick-off party. We would love for you to join us. Our upcoming season is without a doubt our biggest yet, so we’re devoting an evening of our mid-summer rehearsal intensive to share and show off what’s in store. But most importantly, we want to hang out, have fun, and thank everyone who’s been so instrumental in launching us onto this path. Our scrappy ensemble formed just three short years ago – and here we now are, poised for our first touring engagements, with more exhilarating residencies and commissions from four of our favorite composers currently in the pipeline.
The event will be casual and festive, with free admission, food and drink. We’ll play sneak previews of the new works, and each of us will also perform other pieces solo or with invited friends. Please do come join us, and bring guests along! Every time the five of us get to play together is a special occasion – it doesn’t happen nearly as often as we’d like – but for this one, we fully intend to kick it up another couple of notches. We can’t wait to see you.
Splinter Reeds is the West Coast’s first and only professional reed quintet, comprising five virtuosic and innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. Individually, these five are active as both soloists and members of various esteemed ensembles locally and across the nation, with affiliations including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, Sqwonk, Ensemble Dal Niente, sfSound, Redshift and ECO Ensemble. As fierce advocates of new music throughout their careers, Splinter’s members are proud to have spearheaded many notable commissions and world premiere performances. As educators, members of the ensemble hold teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.
With a uniquely dynamic instrumentation that includes oboe (Kyle Bruckmann), clarinet (Bill Kalinkos), saxophone (David Wegehaupt), bass clarinet (Jeff Anderle), and bassoon (Dana Jessen), the reed quintet is an evolutionary detour from the traditional woodwind quintet with the orchestrational advantages of a more closely related instrument family. It remains a relatively new and emerging chamber music genre, having come to life in the 1980s with the notable Dutch ensemble, Calefax. Distinguishing itself even within the small network of roughly 20 professional reed quintets currently active worldwide, Splinter is explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, freely juxtaposing elements of multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience.
The ensemble kicked off its 2013-14 Debut Season with a residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Additional concert engagements since then have included performances at the San Francisco Center for New Music, Switchboard Music Festival, Presidio Sessions, April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music, Mondavi Center, the Trinity Chamber Concert Series, and Old First Concerts. They have quickly developed a particular penchant for university residencies, having so far worked closely with the composition students at UC Berkeley’s CNMAT, UC Davis, and Stanford University’s CCRMA. Their debut CD, featuring two of their own commissions and four premiere recordings, was just released in November 2015.