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HAPPENSTANCE, Concertino for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble by Stephan Hodel (Switzerland, 1973)

[#163] September 05, 2022 2022 | Trumpet and Wind Ensemble | Grade 5 | 10’-15’ | Concerto

Swiss composer and orchestrator Stephan Hodel
Photo Credit Dennis Yulov

Happenstance, Concertino for Trumpet, and Wind Ensemble, by Swiss composer and orchestrator Stephan Hodel is our Composition of the Week. Happenstance was one of the highlights of the 19th International WASBE Conference held in Prague in July 2022. It was premiered on July 22 at the Zofín Palace, Prague, by the “Symphonisches Blasorchester Bern” from Switzerland, with Giuliano Sommerhalder on trumpet, and conductor Rolf Schumacher.

Happenstance has a duration of about 14 minutes and it is structured in three movements, Devious Tango, Aria and Elegant Bossa. It exploits all the lyrical resources of the trumpet, using a subtle and sophisticated harmonic language, halfway between modern jazz and musical styles related to the popular dances and cabaret, close to Kurt Weill and music hall. The orchestration is sublime, with a remarkable palette of colors, creating a velvety sound space for the trumpet. An outstanding contribution to the repertoire.

Stephan Hodel is a versatile composer, arranger and orchestrator. He has written for ensembles of various kinds, from big band to symphony orchestra. He has also written for theatre/ballet, rock music productions and has composed music for children. Teaching activities include a jazz workshop at Morley College, orchestration for wind band at Bern University of the Arts (HKB), and music theory at the University of Teachers Education Lucerne.

Based in Berne, Switzerland, Stephan is a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London where he completed his postgraduate studies with distinction in Composition with Joseph Horovitz. Also, at the RCM he was awarded the Cobbett and Hurlstone Prize for outstanding creative achievement. He studied Jazz Composition and Arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston and holds a MA in Conducting and Music Education from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne.


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