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Winds of Change

January 25, 2021 -

Livestream Concert Event

United States


Phone: (775) 323-6393


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On the Program:
Robert SCHUMANN: Three Romances for Oboe and Piano
Camille SAINT-SAËNS: Sonata for Bassoon and Piano
Johannes BRAHMS: Sonata No. 1 in F minor for Clarinet and Piano

The new year echoes an air of optimism as three of our woodwind players return to the stage after months away. These musicians will each perform sonatas accompanied by Reno Phil Principal Pianist, James Winn. The event will feature interviews with soloists Eric Fassbender (bassoon) and Joshua Anderson (clarinet) by Maestro Laura Jackson. She will also introduce our newest musician, Jordan Pyle (oboe), who hasn’t yet had a chance to perform with the orchestra. Feel 2020 melt away with sounds of Schumann, Saint-Saens, and Brahms and let the promise of a new year unfold.

Virtual Woodwind Showcase


Tickets are $25.00* per household (or per access link)

*Subscriber promo codes and comps not applicable to on-demand.

Available Jan. 25 – 31, 2021. Video will be available to watch for 7 days from the first time you click into the stream player and will not be available after Feb. 7, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.


Please Take Note

  • This concert will be live-streamed  for two performance options on Saturday or Sunday
  • Approximate runtime is 1 hour with no intermission
  • Tickets are valid for one viewing device only



Sonata for Bassoon and Piano is generously sponsored by Millard Reed & Millie Hopper


Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Learn more here.
Email Director of Development, Michael Hicks or call 775.323.6393


With Box Office Manager Amanda Marvel


By Chris Morrison
Three Romances for Oboe and Piano

Robert Schumann

Born: June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Germany
Died: July 29, 1856, Endenich, Germany

Schumann was one of the quintessential artists of music’s Romantic era. Encouraged in a range of studies by his writer/publisher father, Schumann became a law student at the University of Leipzig. But music was his first love. He studied piano with Friedrich Wieck, and later married Wieck’s daughter Clara, one of the finest pianists of her time. Schumann’s own efforts to become a piano virtuoso were foiled when he developed partial paralysis of his right hand, so he focused on composing and writing. His music was often written in feverish bursts of activity – 1840, for instance, saw the creation of over 140 songs, and 1842 was a year of chamber music. While he composed in larger forms such as opera, symphony, and concerto, many feel that Schumann’s true genius came to the fore in his songs and piano miniatures. As a critic he co-founded the influential Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and wrote articles praising composers like Chopin and Brahms. Having long suffered from mental problems, in 1854 Schumann tried to drown himself in the Rhine, and he spent his final years in an asylum.

3 Romances, Op. 94

Composed: 1849
Duration: 12 minutes

One of Schumann’s specialties was the “character piece,” brief, colorful works that evoke a specific mood or idea. Schumann wrote dozens of them, variously calling them Intermezzi, Fantasy Pieces, Märchenbilder (Fairy Tale Pictures), Romances, and so on. The three Romances for oboe and piano, Schumann’s only compositions for oboe, were composed very quickly, over just five days in December 1849, as a Christmas present for his wife Clara. When it came time to publish them, Schumann’s publisher Simrock also wanted to print versions that featured solo violin and clarinet. Schumann refused, saying “If I had originally written the work for violin or clarinet, it would have become a completely different piece.” Simrock ignored him, and published the violin alternative. While the oboe version is most often heard today, one also hears these pieces with solo violin, clarinet, or even flute or cello.

All three Romances are in a simple A-B-A form. In the serene first, the oboe presents the flowing, expressive main theme after a short introduction from the piano. The tempo speeds in the central section, followed by a return of that opening theme. A similar mood is evoked in the second piece, with its central section building a bit more tension with a couple of prominent tempo changes. The most spirited work in the set is the third, its outer sections contrasting a haunting opening phrase and livelier music with just a hint of agitation.

Sonata for Bassoon and Piano

Camille Saint-Saëns

Born: October 9, 1835, Paris, France
Died: December 16, 1921, Algiers, Algeria

Regarded by Hans von Bülow as “the greatest musical mind” of his time, Camille Saint-Saëns composed over 300 works, among the best-known of which are the “Organ” Symphony No. 3, the opera Samson et Dalila, and, perhaps most famous of all, The Carnival of The Animals. Saint-Saëns was also one of the most renowned pianists and organists of his day – Hector Berlioz called him “an absolutely shattering master pianist.” A prodigy, Saint-Saëns started piano lessons at age two, composed his first music a year later, played his first full-length concert as a pianist at ten (where he offered as an encore to play any of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas from memory), and entered the Paris Conservatoire at thirteen. From 1853 to 1876 he held a number of church organist posts, and taught for four years at the École Niedermeyer. As he continued his busy career of composing and touring as a famous piano virtuoso, he was also able to pursue many non-musical interests: he spoke several languages, was an amateur astronomer and archaeologist, and wrote poetry, plays, and travel books.

Bassoon Sonata in G major, Op. 168

Composed: 1921
Duration: 13 minutes

Saint-Saëns composed the Bassoon Sonata over May and June of 1921, just months before his death in December of that year. As he wrote it, he was 85 years old, but still maintaining a rather busy schedule as a composer, conductor, and pianist. His last works were a set of sonatas for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, with that for bassoon being his final major completed composition (he had hoped, but didn’t live long enough to compose, further sonatas for flute and English horn). As he said in a letter to a friend, “I am using my last energies to add to the repertoire for these otherwise neglected instruments.” Saint-Saëns dedicated the Bassoon Sonata to Clément-Léon Letellier, a friend who taught bassoon at the Paris Conservatoire and served as principal bassoon at the Paris Opéra and the Société des Concerts.

The Sonata’s short opening movement moves easily between major and minor modes as it sets a gentle mood, only briefly building to a climax of sorts. Also alternating between major and minor passages is the sprightly second movement. The final movement opens with an extended slow section, with a decorative bassoon melody over a simple chordal accompaniment from the piano, before the work ends with a lively, fast-paced last minute or so. One commentator aptly described this charming work as “a model of transparency, vitality and lightness.”

Sonata No. 1 in F minor for Clarinet and Piano

Johannes Brahms

Born: May 7, 1833, Hamburg, Germany
Died: April 3, 1897, Vienna, Austria

His inclusion with Bach and Beethoven in the famous triumvirate of composers known as the “Three Bs” illustrates the stature of Johannes Brahms as one of the greatest of all composers. Dedicated to the style and musical values of important Classical era predecessors such as Beethoven and Mozart, Brahms also brought to his compositions an expansiveness of form and richness of harmony characteristic of the Romantic period in which he lived. A child prodigy, Brahms earned a living from his teens playing piano in theaters and taverns. Around the age of twenty, Brahms met the famous violinist Joseph Joachim in Hamburg, who in turn introduced him to Robert Schumann. Schumann became Brahms’ most important mentor, and Schumann’s wife Clara became his lifelong friend and closest confidant. Brahms ultimately settled in Vienna, where he was a very familiar figure for his last 35 or so years of life. His compositions in all the major genres of the day (other than opera, which he never attempted) have become significant parts of the standard repertoire.

Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op. 120/1

Composed: 1894
Duration: 23 minutes

It is a fascinating coincidence that both Mozart and Brahms, late in their lives, encountered great clarinetists that inspired them to create some of their most beautiful music. In the case of Brahms, it was Richard Mühlfeld (1856-1907), principal clarinetist in the Meiningen Court Orchestra that had premiered several of Brahms’s works, including Symphony No. 4 in 1885. Brahms developed great affection for Mühlfeld, sometimes referring to him as “Fräulein Klarinette” or “Fräulein Nachtigall” (Nightingale) because of the delicate quality of his sound. By late 1890, after the completion of his String Quintet No. 2, Brahms felt that he had retired from composing. But in March 1891, he spent a week at the Meiningen court attending an arts and music festival at which Mühlfeld performed, and he was struck once again by the beauty of his playing. Inspired, by November Brahms had completed the Clarinet Trio, Op. 114 and the Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115, and three years later came the two Op. 120 Clarinet Sonatas, both written in July of 1894. Mühlfeld and Brahms presented the first performance of the Sonatas on January 11, 1895 in Vienna. Brahms also arranged the Sonatas for viola or violin, and both of those arrangements are heard now and then.

The F minor sonata is in four movements. The noble stride of the first takes on a stormy quality at times, while also relaxing for more lyrical passages. After an introduction in octaves from the piano, the clarinet enters with the first main theme, which it continues to embellish as the piano repeats it. A second theme, marked marcato, is more strongly accented. Elements of those themes are developed before they return in their original form. The slow second movement is nocturnal and melancholy. Opening with a descending idea that is repeated twice, the music then becomes more agitated before the opening music returns.

Like the second movement, the third is largely in a major key. It’s a lighthearted Intermezzo in the style of a Ländler, the Austrian folk dance that so often inspired Brahms as well as Franz Josef Haydn and Franz Schubert before him. The energetic, impetuous Finale largely carries on in the major mode. Appearing three times in a sort of rondo form, the playful opening section features several repetitions of three accented F notes that become an important motif throughout. Two more leisurely interludes provide contrast. One commentator has said that the two Clarinet Sonatas represent “the zenith of Brahms’s compositional technique, obtaining a maximum of expression from a minimum of gestures.”





Jordan Pyle is thrilled to join the Reno Philharmonic as 2nd oboe/English horn. As an orchestral musician, Jordan has served as Principal oboe with the Las Colinas Symphony in Irving, Texas and has performed with numerous ensembles including the Dallas Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. She has also performed as a fellow with the National Orchestral Institute and the National Repertory Orchestra.

In addition to orchestral playing, Jordan is a founding member of Our Time Wind Quintet. She is passionate about chamber music and has been performing virtually with the ensemble during 2020. Jordan loves teaching and has a private oboe studio in Fort Collins, CO. In addition to her private studio, Jordan launched Sound Play, a virtual workshop designed to actively explore how music is a powerful tool to help us process experiences, emotions, and personal identity. She has presented the workshop for Asian Womxn in the Arts, The University of Colorado Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, and the Denver Young Artist Orchestra.

Jordan received her BM from the University of Colorado Boulder studying with Peter Cooper and her MM from Southern Methodist University with Erin Hannigan. In her free time she enjoys cooking vegan meals, baking sourdough, and playing board games.




Eric Fassbender teaches bassoon, chamber music and sight-singing and ear training at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also the coordinator of the aural skills curriculum.

Fassbender performs regularly with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Trio Reno and several other orchestras and chamber ensembles in the area. He has performed at the 2017 national conference of the Society of Composers Inc. and gave a solo recital at the 2018 International Double Reed Society conference in Granada, Spain. Fassbender is an active commissioner and performer of new works for double reeds, including pieces employing electroacoustic sounds and pre-recorded media.

Fassbender received his doctor of musical arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying with Janis McKay. He received his master of music in double reed performance from the University of Nevada, Reno, studying with Christin Schillinger, Lindsey Bartlett and Andrea Lenz. He received his bachelor of science degree from Northern Michigan University, studying bassoon with Donald Grant.

An accomplished accordionist, Fassbender has appeared with the Reno Philharmonic and as soloist with the Reno Pops Orchestra. As a saxophonist with the Wisconsin-based Don Peachey Band, he toured from 2003 to 2006 and appears on the 2004 album What Goes on Here?

Fassbender lives in Reno with his wife Melanie, director of bands and chorus at O’Brien STEM Academy. He performs on a Fox 601 bassoon and a kingwood Yamaha 841 oboe.




Joshua Anderson is an active orchestral and chamber musician and has given performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall.

Anderson currently performs with the Reno Philharmonic, holds the position of principal clarinet with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and has played under the baton of such conductors as Valery Gergiev and Peter Oundjian. As a chamber musician, he has performed internationally alongside members of the New York and Berlin philharmonic orchestras. He is also a member of the Four Corners Ensemble, which was recently in residence at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival, both of which are committed to crossing cultural divides both at home and abroad.Anderson has taught lessons for the University of Michigan and Yale University, and has worked as a teaching artist for Yale’s Music in Schools Initiative, the MPulse Clarinet Institute and the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival Young Artist Program. He currently serves on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno as assistant professor of clarinet.

Anderson attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, the Yale University School of Music and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.



James Winn is the principal pianist for the Reno Phil. Piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997, made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of 13 and has been performing widely in North America, Europe and Asia ever since. With his duo-piano partner, Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize given in the two-piano category of the 1980 Munich Competition (Musical America wrote about the team, “Not since Josef and Rosina Lhevinne regaled us in the 1930s have we heard such technical prowess paired with such genuine musical values”).

Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon (woodwind quintet plus piano) and the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, as well as a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is currently a member of Argenta, the University of Nevada, Reno’s resident piano trio, a founding member and regular participant in the Nevada Chamber Music Festival and performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed New York-based violinist Rolf Schulte. An active recording artist, Winn has been featured in more than three dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician and composer. He has received numerous career recognitions including an artist fellowship from the Nevada State Council of the Arts and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.




Karen Stoody is currently organist, bell choir director, and Associate Director of Music for First United Methodist Church of Fort Collins, CO. She has been in this position since 2003, and has been a church organist for more than 55 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Organ Performance. In addition, she spent 13 years in a collaborative pianist position at Colorado State University, retiring from that in 2016. Most of her collaborations were with vocalists and woodwind players, plus choirs and opera. She was the pianist for Opera Fort Collins and CSU Opera, and played more than 60 operas in those 13 years. She also had a large piano studio for 35 years before retiring from that.


January 25, 2021
January 31, 2021
Event Category:


Livestream Concert Event
United States
(775) 323-6393


Reno Philharmonic
(775) 323-6393
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