Joan Tower

Joan Tower (born 1938)

Nationality: American
Born: September 6, 1938, New Rochelle, NY (age 84)


(for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano)
Duration: 6 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1980 (age 41-42)
4 recordings, 4 videos
Da Capo Chamber Players, Joan Tower, piano
Eighth Blackbird
Playground Ensemble
Contemporary Enclave, James Ogburn
From Joan Tower

The title Petroushskates combines two ideas that are related to this piece. One refers to Stravinsky’s Petroushka and the opening Shrovetide Fair scene which is very similar to the opening of my piece. The celebratory character and the busy colorful atmosphere of this fair provides one of the images for this piece. The other is associated with ice skating and the basic kind of flowing motion that is inherent to that sport. While watching the figure skating event at the recent winter Olympics, I became fascinated with the way the curving, twirling, and jumping figures are woven around a singular continuous flowing action. Combining these two ideas creates a kind of carnival on ice – a possible subtitle for this piece.

© Joan Tower. Used by permission. All rights reserved.