The Allan Blank Papers

Discovering The Composer Through His Work

Category

Composer’s Works

Spotlight on ODU Composers: Adolphus Hailstork

Recently, President Broderick held his annual State of the University address for ODU faculty and staff. It was an opportunity to learn about the incredible works of the campus community, see where the president envisions the university heading and most… Continue Reading →

Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Today is the first day of classes! The parking lot is full, student workers are back in the Archives and there is a general air of nerves and excitement running through ODU’s campus. All I can say is “Welcome Back… Continue Reading →

Listening to A Miscellany for Saxophone Quartet

Last week one of our new student workers asked me what I was working on. I explained that I am the Archival Processor for the Allan Blank Collection and my job is to preserve and organize the composer’s work. Picking… Continue Reading →

Blank: Blackbird, Parables, Poem

Sometimes even the best laid plans face obstacles and unforeseen challenges. Scheduling conflict were probably the most used terms this week, thus my colleague from the Deihn Composer’s Room was not able to join me in processing the newest Allan… Continue Reading →

Poems of the Holocaust: At Terezin Music by Allan Blank

Earlier today I processed a sketch entitled At Terezin and I was immediately drawn in and shaken to my core. The first lines read “When a new child comes everything seems strange to him. What on this ground I have to… Continue Reading →

The Broccoli and Carrot Stir-Fry Aria

Wow, I think I just stumbled across my new favorite song! The composition is from an opera called ‘Love at Any Age’, which describes the love lives of three generations of women. I have yet to find a completed score,… Continue Reading →

Was the Bassoon Allan Blanks Favorite Instrument?

Frank Zappa once commented that the bassoon has “…a medieval aroma…” and after hearing the bassoon, I definitely agree.  Often, bassoons are compared to male baritones, having a similar quality of sound. To me, the reverberation of the bassoon is… Continue Reading →

Award Winning Composer!

According to the American Composers Alliance, Allan Blank won several awards for his compositions. In 1983, Dr. Blank placed first in the George Eastman Competition for his work “Duo for Bassoon and Piano”. A few years later, in 1988, he… Continue Reading →

The Poetry and the Composer

This probably doesn’t surprise many readers, but it did amaze me: poetry is a big inspiration for classical composers. Really this should not have come as a revelation to me, considering that I know creativity can strike without warning and… Continue Reading →

A Composer’s Love Affair with…Notebooks

Allan Blank filled hundreds of notebooks with sketches and scores. Sometimes these pads were filled to the brim with notations, however most of the time the composer simply wrote on the first few pages then abandoned that notebook for a… Continue Reading →

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