Robert Dusek received his academic training at the Eastman School of Music, Southern Methodist University and the University of Colorado – Boulder, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1990. He has studied with Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson, Samuel Adler and Sydney Hodkinson. His piano mentors include David Burge and Alfred Mouledous. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors in the field of composition, including Columbia University’s Bearns Prize, the A.S.C.A.P. Raymond—Hubbard Award, an A.H.A.B – Neodata Fellowship for his Symphony no. 1, and several national and local awards and grants. His music has been performed worldwide and recorded by such groups as North-South Consonance and the Warsaw Philharmonic.
Abridged Catalogue of Selected Works
click on the title of pieces that are underlined to play an audio link of that work
Music for Solo Piano
October Songs (2015)/ (8')
five sketches reflecting different song types
Piano Sonata no. 4/ (19')
A traditional 3 movement sonata. A contrasting first movement followed by a chorale-type middle movement and a rondo finale.
Outdoors (2014)/ (11')
A suite of five pieces -- originally designed as an intermediate level piano piece, the difficulty progresses as the music develops.
Piano Sonata no. 3 (2012)/ (21’) [recorded on Runes, Parma Recordings]
A one movement fantasie
Piano Sonata no. 2 (1992/2012)/ (13’) [recorded on Runes, Parma Recordings]
Two short movements frame a larger middle section [Prologue—Movement—Epilogue]
Piano Sonata no. 1 (1989)/ (32’)
A cataclysmic tour de force cast in two large movements/ Invited Premier—Lake Havasu City Music Clubs
Eventide (1987/2014)/ (8’)
[Intermezzo—Rhapsody] commissioned by the Milwaukee Music Teachers Association for their 50th anniversary celebration
Nocturnes (1985)/ (7')
Four short reflections on night. Recorded CRS label.
Envelope (1984)/ (2')
A short, tangled album-leaf
Music for One-Piano Four-Hands
An Autumn Sky (1990-95)/ (35’) [recorded on Runes, Parma Recordings]
In three parts [1. After the Rain, 2. Cloud Chaser, 3. Light] commissioned by the Audrey Brach Wood Trust
Music for Solo Instrument
Charcoal (2012)/ (4') [Bb clarinet]
two drawings for clarinet solo
Gestures (2004)/ (22’) [bass clarinet] (w optional dancer) Boulder Public Television Feature
Four sections [1. Sarcasms, 2. Humilities, 3. Angers, 4. Delirium] make up a large virtuoso tone poem which explores various expressive qualities of the bass clarinet.
Gray Dawn (1991)/ (4’) [Bb clarinet] (p) CRS CD 9255/ ©American Music Publications
Modalistic writing emphasizes the clarinets lower range sonorous abilities
Passacaglia (1988)/ (7’) [violoncello]
Commissioned by former Milwaukee Symphony Principle Cellist David Cowley; makes extensive use of contrapuntal writing and timbre changes
Entrances III (1987)/ (7’) [flute]
Four “miniatures” exploring the intimate qualities of the flute
Sonata (1984)/ (7’) [bassoon]
Two melodic movements frame a brief scherzo
Traveling (1984)/ (2') [Bb clarinet]
A rhythmic etude for clarinet
Etudes Ritmico (1981)/ (8’) [marimba]
Two rhythmic studies [#1-4 mallet, #2-2 mallet]
Awarded honorable mention, National Percussive Arts Society, 1982
Music for Solo Instrument and Piano
Sonata (2014)/ (10') [alto saxophone and piano]
A somewhat "knotty" and dense piece cast in three movements plus an "epilogue."
Visione (2007)/ (8’) [Bb clarinet and piano]
A free-form fantasie on the melodic material of “Be Thou My Vision.”
Written for the 50th Anniversary of Community Baptist Church
Two Intermezzi (1995)/ (6’) [Bb clarinet and piano]
Two quasi-tonal pieces modeled after the late intermezzi of Brahms
Night Songs (1988)/ (5') [oboe and piano] -- (second version for clarinet and piano)
A one movement "collection" of reflections on night
Of Times Past (1982/2014)/ (3’) [violin and piano]
A pastoral piece
Music for Chamber Ensembles
Thrones (2013)/ (10') [vln/vc/pn]
A fantasy written after the successful recording session for "Runes." It is a bit dark, a bit pointed, and a bit violent before dissolving.
Blathersmithing Tom-trutt (2011)/ (7') [vln/vla/vc/pn]
A fun, almost perpetual-motion piece. Kansas is going bye-bye.
October Vale (2003)/ (7') [fl/ob/cl/hrn/bsn]
A one-movement, intimate, organically developing piece with much interweaving
Trio (1996)/ (11’) [vln/cl/pn] Boulder Music Fest Invitation
Two movements—‘arguments and reflections, elegy’—makes use of simultaneously different tempi in soloistic writing; effective, dark, complex weave
Brass Quintet (1997)/ (12’) [2tpt/hrn/trb/tba]
A one-movement continuously developing fantasy which ends in a very different world from which it begins
String Quartet no. 2 (1989)/ (19’) [2vln/vla/vc]
A work which features the viola in the lead role; virtuosic
Variations (1988)/ (7') [cl/vc/pn]
A set of variations followed by a fugal finale
Entrances II (1985)/ (3') [vln/ob/cb/pn]
A set of three miniatures of different timbers and colors
Entrances (1984)/ (4’) [cl/vla/vibes/pn]
A set of four miniatures of different timbres and colors
Trope-Fantasie (1984)/ (11’) [2fl]
An extended fantasie making use of the medieval use of “troping” text
Winner of the Bearns Prize from Columbia University/ N.Y. Premier by North-South Consonance Carnegie Hall
String Quartet no. 1 (1982)/ (11') [2vln/vla/vc]
A quite "knotty" and pointalistic work. A tribute to the compositional style of early Boulez.
Music for Large Ensembles
Symphony no. 2 (2015)/ (17') [3233/4231/3-4 perc,timp/pn/strings]
Subtitled "Hymnody," the three contrasting movements are dense and ethereal. The slower introduction gives way to the main fast and cataclysmic motion of the whole which ends in a surprisingly delicate cadence.
Facets--four refractions for Wind Ensemble (2015)/ (17') [4252/3431/3 perc, timp/pn/bass gt]
Four pieces for Wind Ensemble: "Emerald," "Topaz," "Beryl," and "Amethyst." Written for the advanced High School or college level wind ensemble. Each piece may be performed separately but are intended as a type of four movement symphony for wind ensemble.
Zone (2012)/ (12') [3222/4331/3perc,timp/pn solo/B3 solo/strings]
A very aggressive and energetic double concerto for piano and hammond B3 organ.
Amethyst (2009)/ (4’) [4242/4331/3perc/pn/bass]
A driving overture for the “overly-ambitious” wind ensemble. Fast perpetual motion, and complex driving rhythms in a variety of constantly changing meters.
Anastasis (2007)/ (16’) [SATB choir/Sop solo/cl/pn/multiple perc]
Fantasies on Easter Hymns in three movements. Complex meters and rhythmically driving. Much use of extended techniques. Choir easy/ instrumentally difficult
Vistas (2005)/ (27’) [SATB choir/SAB soloists/pn/perc/rhythm sec/strings]
An Oratorio based on various texts by Isaiah
Symphony no. 1 (1996)/ (13’) [2222/422/2perc/pn/strings]
A one movement piece with various contrasting sections. A slow opening leads to a perpetual motion scherzo that finally resolves to a grand choral-style finale. Commissioned by the Boulder Sinfoinia/ several AMC grants
Leviathan (1991)/ (4’) [2232/4331/3perc,timp/strings] (p) MMC 2022
A fast, perpetual motion overture, commissioned by the Boulder Philharmonic and recorded by the Warsaw Philharmonic/ Winner of Margaret Fairbanks Jory grant
Concerto for Wind Ensemble (1989)/ (12’) [2222/433/4perc/pn]
The three contrasting movements showcase different aspects of the ensemble—[I. Epitaph and Reflections, II. Intermezzo, III. Introduction and Dance]—the final movement driving the work to a rhythmic and frenzied climax
Clarinet Concerto (1987)/ (15’) [cl solo/2222/000/2perc/pn/strings] (p) CRS 8947
A “Prokofien” style concerto which really shows off the possibilities of the clarinet. Perpetual rhythmic figures drive this work “which bursts forth with more energy than would seem possible” –Boulder Daily Camera (winner Cecil Effinger Award for Composition, U of C Boulder)
I was delighted to hear it [Concerto for Wind Ensemble]. Your writing is very strong…heartiest congratulations on a fine work.
~Joseph Schwantner (Pulitzer prize winning composer)
Dusek is a composer of craft and intelligence whose music really communicates.
~Richard Toensing (Chairman, Composition and Theory, University of Colorado Boulder)
Dusek displays exquisite talent with the pen. With a self-evident knowledge of all the instruments involved, the work is chock-full of rewarding chores.
~Boulder Daily Camera
[Leviathan is] a work of effervescent elan and thus offers happy relief from the many contemporary compositions that speak only of anger and agony.