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Splinter Reeds

Oakland, CA         

Splinter Reeds is the West Coast’s first professional reed quintet, comprising five virtuosic musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet, and commissioning new works through collaboration with fellow musicians and artists.

Splinter Reeds’ dynamic instrumentation is an evolutionary detour from the traditional woodwind quintet with the advantages of a more closely related instrument family. The ensemble formed in 2013 with the coming together of five colleagues highly active in multiple facets of the Bay Area’s vibrant music scene: Kyle Bruckmann (oboe), Bill Kalinkos (clarinet), David Wegehaupt (saxophones), Jeff Anderle (bass clarinet), and Dana Jessen (bassoon). Their collective creative and professional experience spans worlds of post-punk rock, metal, electronica, free improvisation and avant-garde jazz in addition to their conservatory-trained foundations. Their past and ongoing ensemble performance credits also include the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, Sqwonk, Anubis Saxophone Quartet, Rushes Ensemble, sfSound, Eco Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente, along with numerous other orchestral and classical chamber music engagements.

Distinguishing itself even within the small network roughly 20 professional reed quintets currently active worldwide, Splinter is explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, freely juxtaposing multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience. The quintet has worked closely with such composers as Eric Wubbels, Sky Macklay, Marc Mellits, Paula Matthusen, Terri Hron, and Ken Ueno, while presenting North American premieres by European-based composers Dai Fujikura, Matthew Shlomowitz, and Yannis Kyriakides, among others. They have secured commissions thanks to sources including New Music USA, the Barlow Endowment, and Chamber Music America.

Based in Oakland, CA, the ensemble maintains an active performing and teaching schedule at festivals, chamber music series, and educational institutions across the country. Highlights from recent seasons include engagements at Vancouver New Music, BAM/PFA, Chicago’s Constellation, Festival of New American Music (Sacramento), Wedleyan University, Stanford University’s CCRMA, Switchboard Music Festival, Blue Sage Center for the Arts (Paonia, CO), Arizona State University, Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, San Francisco Center for New Music, and the April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music.

The ensemble’s debut album, Got Stung (2015), features two of their own commissions and four premiere recordings. The self-released album comprises new works for reed quintet by composers Marc Mellits, Erik DeLuca, Ryan Brown, Kyle Bruckmann, Ned McGowan and Jordan Glenn. Their “impressive” (Steve Smith, The New Yorker) second album, Hypothetical Islands, recorded at Tiny Telephone Oakland, features their commissions from Macklay, Wubbels, and Wong and was released March 22nd, 2019 on New York’s New Focus Recordings.

Line and Length (2007) – Matthew Shlomowitz

Splinter Reeds – www.splinterreeds.com
Matthew Shlomowitz – www.shlom.com

Recorded live at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
January 13, 2014

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Splinter (2014) – Marc Mellits

First two (of eight) movements: I. Scarlet Oak, II. Sugar Maple

Recorded live at Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, CA, on November 6, 2016

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Pinched (2015) – Ryan Brown

Live at the 10th Annual Switchboard Music Festival in San Francisco, CA on June 10, 2017

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