Washington Square Winds
Washington Square Winds, a New York-based woodwind quintet, was formed in 2009 by five classically trained musicians passionate about chamber music. The ensemble embraces the widest range of repertoire by performing pieces composed around the world and in every time period - especially their own.
Washington Square Winds is dedicated to collaborating with composers of the present generation. In 2011, Washington Square Winds premiered Monograph, a piece written specifically for them by composer Enrico Arcaro. In their original concert series, THEY’RE ALIVE!, which includes works written by living composers only, the ensemble has premiered numerous pieces arranged for them, along with original compositions such as Dogfight, composed by recent NYU graduate Max Orland. This spring, the quintet will premiere Dean Rosenthal’s I Think So, Too, which he arranged for the ensemble in 2012, along with Charles Gerard’s Hangin’ Out.
In addition to focusing on compositions and composers from their generation, Washington Square Winds takes an active role in working with the next generation of musicians. In the 2011/2012 academic year, the ensemble volunteered as the Woodwind Quintet in Residence at the Third Street Music School Settlement, where they attended weekly Orchestra rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances, acting as mentors and role models for the students. The quintet also recently co-created an interactive children's show based on Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which includes a puppeteer, narrator, and costumes for the musicians.
Last spring, Washington Square Winds was chosen to become part of “Music Under New York (MUNY),” a select group of ensembles given the privilege to perform in the city’s subway systems. They regularly play in stations such as Grand Central, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Columbus Circle, and Penn Station, hoping to reach as many people as possible with their love of chamber music. The quintet has performed at various venues in New York City, such as Caffé Vivaldi, Cornelia Street Café, Lenox Hill Settlement House, Goodbye Blue Monday, LIC Bar, and Googie’s Lounge above The Living Room, as well as at the Patchogue Theater, for the Port Jefferson Arts Council, and as part of the Great Neck Park’s “Sundays @ 3 series.” But their favorite place to perform is in their namesake, Washington Square Park.