Music by
DANIEL DORFF

ORCHESTRA

A Treeful of Monkeys for Narrator and Orchestra

Duration: c. 7½'
Based on the African folk tale that inspired "Caps For Sale."

INSTRUMENTATION: Narrator, 1(=Picc)111 1110, Harp, 1-2 Perc, Strings

COMMISSIONED (for Narrator and Mixed Quintet) by the Philadelphia Orchestra for its Sound All Around series, May 2015.
ORCHESTRAL VERSION is available for premiere.

View the complete orchestral score
View the complete quintet score

 

Allegro Volante for Solo Xylophone and Orchestra (or with Band or Piano)

Duration: c. 4½'
A dazzling showpiece in the style of a Russian galop, with jazzy American harmonies; Movement 3 from Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra.

INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222 4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings

PREMIERED by Alan Gilbert conducting the Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C); Dean Witten solo xylophone.
Available on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
AUDIO EXCERPT from the premiere
PROGRAM NOTES

View the complete orchestra score (Mvt. 3 begins at page 66)

"An entertaining piece, exceptionally well received by the audience."
         – Penn Sounds (Sigal), Winter 1993.

 

Billy and the Carnival: A Children's Guide to Musical Instruments
for Narrator and Orchestra

Duration: c. 14'
Narrated guide to instruments based on an original story - a boy goes to his local park and is surprised to meet musicians coming to a concert there. As he meets musicians they play their instruments, so demonstrations of each instrument fit the story.

INSTRUMENTATION: Narrator, 2(2nd dbl.Picc)222 2210 2-3Perc Strings

COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by Sacramento Symphony (26 performances)
PERFORMANCES INCLUDE the Pittsburgh Symphony.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
RECORDED on Bridge Records by Symphony In C conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ukee Washington as narrator.

YOUTUBE of the Bridge Records CD
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score


Blast Off! for Narrator and Orchestra

Duration: c. 9½'
Travelogue of a child's journey to outer space - episodes feature various sections of the orchestra to add music educational value.

INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)2(EH)22(Cb n)-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings

COMMISSIONED by Lockheed Martin and the Haddonfield Symphony for NASA Astronaut Kenneth Reightler, Jr. to narrate the PREMIERE, Daniel Hege conducting.
PERFORMANCES also include Philadelphia Orchestra and many others.
SCORE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE on the 100th Space Shuttle!
TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based introduction to the characteristic sounds of each family of orchestra instruments. Also ties in with interdisciplinary learning. Story is approved by NASA Astronauts!
FEATURED on League of American Orchestra's www.playmusic.org educational website.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
RECORDED on Bridge Records by Symphony In C conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ukee Washington as narrator.

YOUTUBE of the Bridge Records CD
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score


Concertino for Flute and Orchestra (or Piano)

INSTRUMENTATION: Solo Flute, 0121-1000, 1-2 Perc, Strings
Duration: c. 10-11'

Composed for Jasmine Choi.
PREMIERED by Jasmine Choi at the 2018 NFA Convention's orchestral gala concert, Christopher Confessore conducting.
Flute and Piano version AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.
Orchestral parts are AVAILABLE on rental.

YOUTUBE of the world premiere, Jasmine Choi flute, with NFA's festival orchestra.
YOUTUBE of the piano version, Patty Lazzara flute, Dave Malyszko piano.
View the complete orchestra score

WINNER, 2019 NFA Newly Published Music Awards (Flute & Piano category)
"This must have been the jewel of the event [2018 NFA Convention]! From the outset, this gem of a piece sparkles with colour, space and movement. It is wonderfully accessible to professional and more advanced flute players who fancy adding a new American work to their programmes. Daniel Dorff writes very sympathetically for the flute, creating lines and passages that give flight to the chord progressions throughout the work. It simply sails in sunlight...
It's such a wonderful piece to play as a soloist, and really offers a platform to show sound, dialogue, colour and personality. This is a true work for the concert flute player... fun, fast, sometimes frivolous, and fabulous!"
            – Pan Magazine (Lisa Nelsen), March 2019
"Sure to become a repertoire staple amongst concertizing flutists... lush, harmonically rich orchestration that provides a beautiful backdrop of color for the flutist... Dorff's Concertino is very fun to play, especially due to the composer's mindfulness to write idiomatically for our instrument."
            – Flutist Quarterly (Julie Koidin), Fall 2019
"This true showpiece in a romantic, attractive style... should gain favor for students and professional alike. The piece is a wonderful new addition to the flute and orchestra repertoire.
            – Flute Talk (Katherine Borst Jones), May/June 2019

 
Concerto for Contrabassoon with Clarinet, Horn, and Strings
Duration: c. 13'

COMMISSIONED by the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for contrabassoonist Norman Spielberg.
PREMIERED November 3, 1991 by Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Norman Spielberg contrabassoon; James Freeman guest conductor.
PERFORMANCES include the 2010 IDRS Convention orchestra gala; Colorado Symphony; Louisville Orchestra, and many others.
Orchestral parts are available on rental from Presser.

AUDIO EXCERPTS: Roger Soren's performance with the Haddonfield Symphony, conducted by Daniel Hege:
            from Mvt. 1
            from Mvt. 2
            from Mvt. 3
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score

"Repertory for the contrabassoon has been significantly enhanced of late by the addition of concertos by Daniel Dorff..."
            –MLA Notes (Christopher Weait), December 1993.
"An excellent new concerto... in a very listenable and audience-appealing style. Dorff has written a number of fine compositions and has crafted here an excellent new work for the contrabassoonist."
            –The Double Reed (Ron Klimko), Spring 1993.
"(The concert) was jammed with people who were obviously pleased they were there. A local composer with a growing international reputation presented a world premiere that deserved the response the audience gave it.
            – Philadelphia Welcomat (Purdom), November 13, 1991.
"This is a work that could effectively introduce the rarely heard solo contrabassoon to audiences of any age or experience. It has the happy characteristic of being easily understood. Performers will appreciate its professionally clear notation and effective orchestration."
            –MLA Notes (Christopher Weait), March 1995.
"I'm sure all contrabassoon players will treasure this addition to their ... repertoire."
            –Sol Schoenbach, former principal Bassoon, Philadelphia Orchestra


QUARTET VERSION: CONTRABASSOON, CLARINET, HORN, AND PIANO
Contrabassoon, Clarinet, Horn parts identical to orchestra version, piano plays the string parts.
PREMIERE of Quartet Version: Lori Tiberio (cbn.) and UNC-Charlotte faculty, April 1996.
PERFORMANCES include 1996 IDRS annual convention (Susan Nigro, cbn.)
AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.

CONTRABASSOON AND PIANO
PREMIERE of piano version September 28, 1993 at St. Xavier University, Chicago; Susan Nigro, contrabassoon, Mark Lindeblad, piano.
AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.


 

 

 

 

 

   Daniel Hege, Daniel Dorff, Roger Soren
   following their Haddonfield Symphony performance.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Duration: c. 24'
INSTRUMENTATION: Solo Piano, 2222 3231 3Perc Strings

COMMISSIONED by the Etowah Youth Orchestras for pianist Jeffrey Biegel.
PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (full score and two-piano version for sale, orchestra parts on rental).

view the complete orchestral score

Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra

Duration: c. 20'
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings

COMMISSIONED by the Polish Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society for the International Music Workshops in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
PREMIERED March 18, 1995 by Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, Dean Witten, solo percussion, Alan Gilbert, conductor.

Complete solo part AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.
Complete piano reduction alone, AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.
Complete orchestra score AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.
Orchestra parts AVAILABLE on rental.

AUDIO EXCERPTS of Dean Witten's premiere with the Haddonfield Symphony, Alan Gilbert conducting:
         
  from Mvt. 1
           from Mvt. 2 
           fr
om Mvt. 3

PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score

Complete review by John Beck in Percussive Notes
"impressive... highlighted the concert... It exploits the full range of sonorities and technical possibilities of a whole arsenal of percussion instruments... most arresting... a joyous finale... bold and extroverted but also filled with sensitive details."
        – Camden Courier-Post (Baxter), March 22, 1995.
"it is only a truly inventive and inspired composer like Mr. Dorff who is able to go one step further [than just using many percussion instruments] and create unusual sounds, textures, and combinations that work for the listener." 
        – Maestro Alan Gilbert

Fanfare Overture for Orchestra

Duration: c. 3'
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222 4331 3Perc (no Timp) Strings

COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the 1983 Spoleto Festival USA Youth Orchestra for its inaugural concerts, Claude White conductor.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
AUDIO EXCERPT: Daniel Dorff conducting the Haddonfield Symphony
PROGRAM NOTES

View the complete orchestra score

Fast Walk for Orchestra

Duration: c. 3'
INSTRUMENTATION: 222(Bcl)2 4330 1-2Perc Strings

PERFORMANCES INCLUDE the DC Youth Orchestra televised on over 300 PBS-TV stations to an audience over 8,000,000 on the MENC "World's Largest Concert."
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
ALSO AVAILABLE for Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Quartet, and Bassoon Quartet.
AUDIO EXCERPT of the Harmo Saxophone Quartet playing the sax version

View the complete orchestra score

Flash! for Piccolo and Orchestra
Duration: c. 6½'
INSTRUMENTATION: Solo Piccolo, 2222-2201, 2 Perc, Strings

COMMISSION AND PREMIERE of orchestra version: Sarah Jackson, 2014 NFA annual convention; Clyde Mitchell conducting the Chicago Philharmonic in Symphony Hall.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
ALSO AVAILABLE with Piano or with Wind Ensemble.

View the complete orchestra score

 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears for Narrator and Orchestra

Duration: c. 8'
A traditional telling that highlights small-medium-large contrasts and varying repetitions in the story; at the end Goldilocks apologizes for her actions and cooks the bears' first-ever pancake breakfast.

INSTRUMENTATION: Narrator, 1111 111(Bass)0 1-2Perc Hp Strings
ALSO AVAILABLE for Narrator and Octet: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Trombone, Harp, 1 Percussion, Violin, Cello, and Bass

COMMISSIONED (as an octet) by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association. OCTET PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra's Kinder Konzerts with 51 performances in 2000-2001, encored for 50 performances in 2006-07.
ORCHESTRAL PREMIERE by the Susquehanna Symphony conducted by Sheldon Bair, December 2001. Subsequent performances include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Parlance Chamber Concerts, and Rochester Philharmonic.
TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based way to introduce variations on recurring patterns, and to show the correlation between small-medium-large and high-medium-low sounds.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
RECORDED on Bridge Records (octet version) by Symphony In C conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator.

YOUTUBE of the Bridge Records CD
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete octet score

View the complete orchestra score

The Kiss (after the painting by Gustav Klimt) for Orchestra
Duration: c. 13-14'
INSTRUMENTATION: 3(Alto,Picc)3(EH)3(TSx)2 4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings

COMMISSIONED by the Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C).
PREMIERED by the Haddonfield Symphony; February 16, 2002; Rossen Milanov conducting.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.

AUDIO EXCERPTS from the premiere:
          from the starry background (bars 8-16)
          from the scherzo of budding new love (bars 107-125)
          from the lust section (bars 239-257)
          from the kiss-climax (bars 339-348)
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score

"The performance encourages me to delve further into the music of the composer.... A world premiere from a relatively young yet established composer is always thrilling, especially when the music is as enjoyable as that of the orchestra's composer-in-residence, Daniel Dorff... The performance was stunning perhaps because the musicians seemed to be enthusiastic about the score.  This certainly reflects well on the composer.  The audience clearly felt and responded to the music.... I was delighted to hear such unabashed melodic writing."
         – Classical New Jersey (Paul Somers), March 7, 2002

Lamentations for String Orchestra  

Duration: c. 5'

COMPOSED for the Santa Monica Civic Orchestra, Frank Fetta, Music Director.
PERFORMANCES include many by the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.

PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete score

"Worthy of the spotlight... the most interesting and sensitively performed on the concert... the composer should be heard from again.
          – Philadelphia Inquirer (Valdes), October 27, 1987.

Pachelbel's Christmas for Orchestra  

Duration: c. 4½'
44 Christmas melodies in canon and quodlibet over the Pachelbel Canon.
Perfect for Christmas Pops concerts!

INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222 2(or 4)221 2Perc Timp Strings

AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.
ALSO AVAILABLE for Brass Quintet.
AUDIO EXCERPT (bars 100-126)
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete score

"This is a clever, original and amusing number which will add spice to the Christmas concert."
          – Winds Magazine (UK), Summer 1990

Philly Rhapsody for Orchestra
Duration: c. 11'
Homage to The Sound of Philadelphia (Philly International Records' rhythm & blues style) and "The Philadelphia Sound" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as a hybrid of these two traditions.

INSTRUMENTATION: 3(Picc)23(Bcl)2 4331 Pno Hp DrumSet 3Perc (no Timp) Strings
         [Ob2, Bn2, Hns3-4 may be omitted].

COMMISSIONED by Network for New Music for Philadelphia's Creative and Performing Arts H.S.

View the complete score

Summer Solstice Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra

Duration: c. 19'

PREMIERED by Orchestra 2001, Arne Running clarinet, James Freeman conductor, March 30, 1994, Philadelphia.
PERFORMANCES have also included John Bruce Yeh with Alan Gilbert conducting the Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C).
AVAILABLE (clarinet with piano reduction) from your favorite sheet music dealer or direct from Presser.
(Orchestra score and parts on rental.)

AUDIO EXCERPTS: John Yeh's performance with the Haddonfield Symphony conducted by Alan Gilbert:
          from Mvt. 1
          from Mvt. 2
          from Mvt. 3
PROGRAM NOTES
View the complete orchestra score

"Summer Solstice is very pleasant music - light without being insubstantial, melodic without being obvious. It has an invariably American sound."
          – Philadelphia Inquirer (Peter Dobrin), April 2, 1994
"Summer Solstice
opened with Arne Running's jazzy, dancing clarinet playing in front of the kind of American country fair music that makes you feel like someone should step out of the crowd and start dancing. The slow movement was easy and full. The finale was sweet and driving."
          – Philadelphia Welcomat (Tom Purdom), April 20, 1994
"Notable events of 1994 included the impressive premiere of Daniel Dorff's Summer Solstice."
          – Philadelphia Welcomat (Tom Purdom), December 28, 1994
"... gave a distinctive contemporary accent to the Haddonfield Symphony's third program of the season... For those who braved the first storm of winter - and most did - there was much to enjoy... Dorff's 18-minute piece cast a friendly glow with its jaunty rhythms and sunny musical themes.Summer Solstice falls on the ears like the graceful caress of a warm day. Superbly performed, the score radiated an old-fashioned charm. The three-movement score is a gift for a superb soloist."
          – Camden Courier-Post (Robert Baxter), February 10, 1997
"... a delightful three-movement work for which the description "rollicking" is most often the apt word... a celebration of summer filled with bright harmonies and happy spirit."
          – Classical New Jersey (Paul Somers), February 12, 1997
"Summer Solstice
is lyrical and fresh as rainwater. [John] Yeh gave a bright turn to its tangled tunes and merry melodies and a subtly nuanced performance of the languid larghetto. His clarinet cut like a lean laser above the lush cohesive strings.
          –Pioneer Press (Dorothy Andries), March 1998


John Yeh and Alan Gilbert applauding the composer
after their performance.
Sunburst for Solo Violin with String Orchestra

Duration: c. 3'

COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Colorado Symphony's Up Close and Musical series for 20-30 performances (1998-2000 seasons), to demonstrate sounds and colors of the violin.
PERFORMANCES include Nashville Symphony
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company.

 
Take the Orchestra Out to the Ballgame for Narrator with Orchestra (or Mixed Quintet)
Duration: c. 5'
Through musical and mood variations on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," the narrator tells a story of your local orchestra's baseball team playing against the nearest professional team.

QUINTET VERSION: English Horn, Trumpet, Percussion, Bass, and Piano
COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for its Sound All Around series, March 2003.
OTHER QUINTET PERFORMANCES include Aspen Music Festival.
AVAILABLE from your favorite sheet music dealer, or direct from Presser.
TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Introduces "variations" by using a familiar theme transformed through various moods, and featuring characteristic instrumental solos on the melody.

ORCHESTRA VERSION
INSTRUMENTATION: 1(Picc)111 1110 1Perc Strings.
AVAILABLE on rental from Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
PREMIERE of orchestra version by Brazos Valley Symphony, January 23, 2012, Marcelo Bussiki conducting.

The Tortoise and the Hare for Narrator and Orchestra (or Mixed Octet)
Duration: c. 5½'
A comical telling of the Aesop fable, featuring Contrabassoon and Clarinet as the Tortoise and the Hare. Themes are exaggeratedly low/slow and high/fast to illustrate contrasts in music.
This is a stand-alone movement taken from
Three Fun Fables (see below).

OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
COMMISSIONED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. PREMIERED with 52 performances in the 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
OCTET PERFORMANCES also include the Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
AVAILABLE on rental from Lauren Keiser (Southern) Music.
TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: A very clear illustration of "opposites" in music, making clear contrasts between the low and slow tortoise (contrabassoon) and high, fast hare (clarinet). Frequently used for this purpose in educational concerts.
RECORDED on Bridge Records by Symphony In C conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator.
Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.

YOUTUBE of the Bridge CD (octet scoring)
PROGRAM NOTES

ORCHESTRA VERSION
INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2 Perc Strings
PREMIERED by Haddonfield Symphony featuring Olympic track star Carl Lewis as narrator, conducted by Daniel Hege.
PERFORMANCES include Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony (over 30 performances), Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and many others.
AVAILABLE on rental from Lauren Keiser (Southern) Music.
AUDIO EXCERPT from Carl Lewis's premiere with the Haddonfield Symphony
PROGRAM NOTES

 
  Daniel Dorff shaking hands with Olympic
  track star Carl Lewis, narrator for the
  orchestral premiere of The Tortoise and the Hare

 
  CD includes:
     BILLY AND THE CARNIVAL
     BLAST OFF!
     GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS
     THREE FUN FABLES

Three Fun Fables for Narrator and Orchestra (or Mixed Octet)   
Duration: c. 11'
Each character is portrayed by an instrument, allowing for pre-concert illustrations to help instrument recognition, musical contrasts, and familiarity with the story and music.

1. The Fox and the Crow (features Trumpet and Bass)
2. The Dog and His Reflection (features Trombone and Violin/Harp/Percussion)
3. The Tortoise and the Hare (features Contrabassoon and Clarinet)

OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
COMMISSIONED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra's Kinder Konzerts with 52 performances in the 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
OCTET PERFORMANCES also include the Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
AVAILABLE on rental from Lauren Keiser Music.
TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Three familiar stories use humor, irony, and contrast, to illustrate "opposites" in music, and introduce characteristic sounds and moods of the instruments.
RECORDED on Bridge Records by Symphony In C conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator9.
Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.

YOUTUBE of The Fox and the Crow
YOUTUBE of The Dog and his Reflection
YOUTUBE of The Tortoise and the Hare
PROGRAM NOTES

"The hit of the show... more fun for adults than children"
          – Donald Peck, principal flute Chicago Symphony, April 19, 2001

ORCHESTRA VERSION
INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2Perc Strings.
COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra. PREMIERED by the Philadelphia Orchestra April 29, 2000 with Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting, Susan Spafford narrating.
AVAILABLE on rental from Lauren Keiser Music.
"I was very pleased to have the opportunity to conduct this work in a Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert in April of 2000. Mr. Dorff's work is exciting, engaging, and funny for the children, as well as containing some very good learning experiences from the wonderful Aesop's fables. It is very skillfully written for the orchestra, and uses the instruments in a most effective way. I can recommend this work with great enthusiasm for a Family or Children's Concert."

          – Wolfgang Sawallisch, Music Director, Philadelphia Orchestra


  Letter from Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director
Wolfgang Sawallisch following his premiere of
the orchestral version of
Three Fun Fables

 
last updated March 14, 2020
home