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Stardust (2021)

For Soloist* and String Quartet
* English Horn, Oboe, Clarinet, Soprano or Alto Saxophone, Flute, or Trumpet in C

First performance of the English Horn Version: 29 October 2021 at Oberlin College.
Robert Walters, English Horn soloist and NEXUS Co-artistic Directors, violinist Brian Hong and cellist Alexander Hersh, will be joined by violinist Marta Sarc, and violist Chloe Thominet. Special thanks to Stefan Hersh, Tim Weiss, and Raphael Jiménez.

First performance of the Oboe Version: 5 November 2021 in Allen Hall at the Holtschneider Performance Center, DePaul University.
Jared Ethan Hauser, Oboe soloist with Janet Sung and Ann Setzer violins; Ann Marie Brink, viola; and Stephen Balderston cello.
First performance Flute Version: TBD
First performance Clarinet Version: TBD
First performance Soprano Saxophone Version: TBD
First performance Alto Saxophone Version: TBD
Commissioned by NEXUS Chamber Music in collaborations with Guarneri Hall
Duration: 17'30"
(For shorter duration options, alternate endings are clearly listed on the score and parts.)

Each version has its own set of score and parts. The version’s materials are NOT mix and match. Thus, in your order, please specify exactly which version you want. Thanks!

Informal reference recording is available for private listening. If you would like to review the recording please Contact Augusta Read Thomas.

Soloist should play standing in the middle of the quartet. The composition is a true braid of all five parts thus the soloist standing as the central and featured thread in the braid, in the middle, makes most musical sense. (viola and cello could trade places:)


STARDUST (2021)            Augusta Read Thomas (1964)

I. Playful, Buoyant and Spirited-
II. Lyrical and Resonant-
III. Energized and Animated

Selected Reviews

Louis Harris, Third Coast Review, November 6, 2021 'Walters and the Nexus Ensemble, comprising ensemble leaders Alexander Hersh on cello and Brian Hong on violin, joined by Rannveig Marta Sarc on violin and Chloé Thominet on viola, blended perfectly. At times their respective timbres were almost indistinct, creating a marvelous musical aura.
This feature was especially evident in Stardust. The ensemble captured the five-way braid exquisitely, but really shone in “The Sea of Sunset,” where the muted strings created a seamless aura with the English horn.
Thomas has the total gift of putting into music everyday sounds and experiences, and she has previously worked with Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The opening movement “Snowflakes” bore this out, with images of snowflakes dancing the jig in a jolly, yet reflective fashion. As one can watch in any January in Chicago, individual snowflakes are not the same, and they fall and blow in a variety of ways dependent on wind and other conditions. Within a uniform musical framework, Thomas reflects this natural randomness as the notes jump around between the instruments.
One thing in Upon Wings of Words that Thomas did not sacrifice in creating Stardust were high vocal notes that are hard for an English horn to perform. Walters managed to reproduce them beautifully.’


Robert Walters

Jared Ethan Hauser


Stardust (2021)

To obtain examination or performance material for this
Augusta Read Thomas work, please contact Nimbus Music Publishing.