Pleiades web cover.jpg
Pleiades page 1.jpg
Pleiades web cover.jpg
Pleiades page 1.jpg



Pleiades (2005) for oboe and piano – 14’
–Commissioned by Katherine Needleman
–Premiered February 2006 at Music In The Hall, Baltimore

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Program Listing

Pleiades (2005)

I. Celaeno – “the dark”
II. Taygete – “the long necked goose”
III. Merope – “the eloquent”
IV. Electra – “the brightly shining”
V. Maia – “the mother”
VI. Asterope – “the sparkling”
VII. Halcyone – “the queen who wards off evil storms”

Program Notes

The Pleiades were seven sisters from Greek mythology, born of the titan Atlas and the sea-goddess Pleione As the story goes, they were chased by the hunter Orion but transformed into stars by Zeus on behalf of their father, who was busy holding up the world. The seven-star cluster Pleiades has played a major role in seafaring and navigation since the Greeks gave them their name that we still use today. Each sister had her own distinct characteristics, and that inspired my seven-miniature oboe sonata. In the middle of composing the piece in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck and was a constant presence in our minds. As I wrote the last movement on the goddess Halcyone, ‘the Queen who Wards O Evil Storms,’ there was a resonance there with the devastation in New Orleans. The ending is of hope for rebirth and renewal, and perhaps a plea for forgiveness, as well.” 

Pleiades was written for oboist Katherine Needleman and premiered in 2005.