Obituary: David Maslanka, composer of symphonies and wind scores, 73

Posted on: August 11, 2017

“David Maslanka, a Missoula-based composer whose work was performed and revered around the world, died Monday night,” writes Cory Walsh in Tuesday’s (8/8) Missoulian (Montana). “The prolific 73-year-old composer wrote more than 150 pieces in his lifetime, including nine symphonies (he was at work on his 10th) and a Requiem Mass, in addition to chamber music and smaller ensemble pieces and solo works. ‘In the wind ensemble world, he is definitely one of the leading composers worldwide,’ said Tom Cook, retired chair of the music department at the University of Montana…. [His] music was included on more than 50 albums…. Over the past quarter-century, Maslanka reached that stature from here in Missoula, an unlikely home-base for a Massachusetts native and Oberlin College Conservatory graduate…. Notably, Maslanka didn’t support his personal works by taking an academic position or writing commercial music. His compositions were in such high demand in the concert world that ‘he was able to exist on commissions,’ ” said Fern Glass Boyd, artistic director of the String Orchestra of the Rockies. On August 10, Montana Public Radio broadcast a two-hour tribute to Maslanka.

Posted August 11, 2017