Composer Robert Langenfeld, after attending the March 2017 Saint Louis Wind Symphony concert featuring hornist Thomas Jostlein, became interested in composing a french horn concerto for the Saint Louis Wind Symphony. Around this time, Mr. Langenfeld received an anonymous grant from a donor in his home state of Nebraska to fund his next composition. Robert called Director Tom Poshak, informing him of the grant and asking if the Saint Louis Wind Symphony would like to be involved in a commission, and if so, whether a french horn concerto be the best option.
Tom explained to Mr. Langenfeld that the theme for the Wind Symphony’s 2017 – 2018 season would be “One of Our Own”, which would feature a number of soloists from the band. So Tom proposed an idea: instead of writing a french horn concerto, would Mr. Langenfeld consider composing a Concerto for Wind Ensemble that would feature the entire band? Mr. Langenfeld readily accepted the idea and plans were made to premiere the piece on the March 2018 concert.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Robert Langenfeld found a love for music earlier in his childhood. His love for music when he was young led to him to eventually compose his first piece when he was only 12. Since then Robert’s music has won numerous honors and awards including several commissions. As an active composer and arranger in the Midwest, Robert’s music has been published through JPM Music out of St. Louis. His style of composing has been described as rich harmonies against dramatic backdrops of sounds and colors. Currently, Robert is studying composition under composer Steve Bryant.
Robert not only writes for the traditional performance mediums, he also is an active film scorer, having scored for over a dozen independent films. Along with this Robert is an active drill writer for the midwest area. He regularly consults with marching band programs and designs their drill for their competition season.
In 2012, Robert founded his own publishing company RLCompositions. The goal was to provide musicians, directors, and ensembles better access to his music. This also allowed Robert to provide better insights into his composing and to also start building educational materials for aspiring composers as well. You can learn more by visiting www.rlcompositions.com.
After graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2013 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Music , Robert took up residence in Kansas City, MO and married his wife Arrianne. When Robert is not busy with his full time job and composing, he spends time his wife, playing video games and going on bike rides.
As Mr. Langenfeld worked on the piece over the course of the next months, he posted two videos on his website, detailing the process of composing Concerto for Wind Ensemble, as well as his excitement for the premiere of the piece. Click below to watch the video updates:
On March 18, 2018, Concerto for Wind Ensemble was premiered by the Saint Louis Wind Symphony to a packed house at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts. The piece, which clocked in at over 20 minutes to perform, featured technical demands for every member of the ensemble, modern sounds, and extended techniques that challenged the band in ways it had never been challenged before.
After the concert, Mr. Langenfeld reached out to the Wind Symphony to express his thoughts on the performance:
Thanks for everything, to everyone in the Wind Symphony. This will be a premiere I remember for the rest of my life.
Director Emeritus Dan Presgrave also reached out to the Wind Symphony to share his feelings on the premiere and Mr. Langenfeld’s writing:
I was actually blown away with the Concerto for Wind Ensemble. What an outstanding piece of scoring. Great effects throughout, and in all three sections, he really had something unique to say. I really was drawn to his musical language and his command of instrumental pairings. And for such a young dude! He’s a writer I predict we’ll hear from more frequently in years to come.