Pantomime for Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello
Richard Willis and Walfrid Kujala were students at the Eastman School of Music at the same time, and both worked with conductor and composer Howard Hanson and flutist Joseph Mariano. Dr. Willis was a composition student who would soon win the coveted Prix de Rome, and Walfrid Kujala, after a short tenure in the Rochester Philharmonic, would land a job in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Richard studied flute as his second instrument, and worked closely with Mr. Mariano, who premiered several of Richard's earliest compositions for the fiute. Many years would pass before Richard and Waliy would meet again to collaborate on what would become Pantomime, a challenging quartet for flute, vioIin, viola and cello. In this eleven minute composition, Dr. Willis makes subtie allusions to the mood of the pantomime scene in Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe. He has artistically crafted four parts of equally challenging substance, giving the strings a plethora of interesting material, yet setting the flute part in a prominent display of soloistic expression and technical virtuosity.