With recognition in Gramophone, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The San Francisco Examiner, Symphony Magazine, Texas Monthly, Time Out New York, and the Washington Post, Wayne Oquin has earned substantial attention among today’s young American composers. A native of Houston, Texas, Oquin’s music has been premiered on five continents, in nineteen countries, and in thirty-six states by The King's Singers, renowned pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, Grammy Award-Winning organist Paul Jacobs, soprano Susanna Phillips, baritone Sidney Outlaw, The Jasper String Quartet, The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (ACE), The Houston Chamber Choir, The United States Air Force Band, The United States Army Field Band, and The West Point Military Academy Band.
In April 2015, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Oquin’s Echoes of a Solitary Voice, commissioned in honor of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel. Oquin’s piece is based on a brief fragment Maazel sketched shortly before his untimely death. Echoes was premiered in the third round of the historic Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen and received its American début this summer as part of Virginia’s Castleton Festival.
Oquin is widely known for his contributions to the symphonic wind literature. His Tower Ascending, a tribute to the rebuilding of ground zero, has received more than one hundred performances throughout the U.S. and abroad. Affirmation, commissioned by the American Bandmaster’s Association and the University of Florida, was named winner of the 2014 National Band Association’s William D. Revelli Award. Both works have been recorded by The United States Air Force Band. This year, in recognition of its extensive collaboration with Oquin, the Air Force Band honored the composer with the prestigious Commander’s Medal of Excellence.
O Magnum Mysterium, for unaccompanied chorus, is among Oquin’s most widely performed pieces. Commissioned by The University of Wisconsin’s Whitewater Chamber Singers, Oquin’s lyric setting of this classic sacred text was recently recorded by The Houston Chamber Choir. The work was highlighted in a performance conducted by Kent Tritle at the 2014 Christmas Eve Service at New York’s The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.
Oquin’s Reverie for solo organ has been featured twice on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. Paul Jacobs has performed this contemplative work at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Davies Hall in San Francisco, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago, New York’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Norway’s St. Peter’s Church, and most recently in London’s Westminster Cathedral. This season, Oquin and Jacobs resume their collaboration in a new work for organ and orchestra commissioned by the Pacific Symphony under the direction of Maestro Carl St. Clair.
In 2008, upon completion of his Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Juilliard School, Oquin’s dissertation was awarded the Richard F. French Prize. Dr. Oquin is Chair of Juilliard’s long standing Ear Training Department and is highly regarded for his rigorous standards and unwavering precision. A member of Juilliard’s Graduate Studies Faculty, he lectures weekly on Beethoven and the American Symphony.
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