Commission of Flute Sonata: Paul Desenne

This campaign ended on July 01, 2018, but you can still make a gift to Oberlin College by clicking here!

This fundraising campaign is for the commission of a sonata for flute and piano by Venezuelan composer Paul Desenne. Paul’s music is stunning! His style is a fusion of native Latin American and European music, and he really gets the flute. I having been working towards this commission for a long time because I know that this is going to be a substantial and important piece in our repertoire.

Some reviews of Paul’s music:

The New York Times: "Immediately striking...bright, freewheeling and sophisticated." 

The Boston Globe: "Marvelously alive to the worlds of colors and glints and shimmers that instruments in combination are waiting to have loosed from them."

The L.A. Times: "Crickets and frogs in the night jungle, a slithering 12-tone snake and a shamanic healer are conjured up. …what makes Desenne's music haunting is the composer's continual off-kilter turns of phrase. You think you know what to expect, the landscape is familiar, but there is always something a little spooky lurking around the corner." Mark Swed

The time has come! Paul is composing and we (pianist Dianne Frazer and myself) will be premiering this piece in August at the Remembrances and Healing concert at the NFA convention, August 10th at 10-11:30 am.  The piece is dedicated to the Youth of Venezuela.

We have the first movement “Folies Vénézuéliennes” and it is terrific! Paul says: “the genres evoked here are the relatives of the Fandango, the Folia, very Hispanic but the Venezuelan element is speed, I should almost say haste, impatience, trepidation… and insanity. The (second movement) title “El Alto” means the Halt, and is dedicated to the memory of a good friend, fantastic pianist Carlos Duarte, who died 15 years ago in Caracas. The third and final movement (La Gaviotta) is based on an Afro-Venezuelan drumming genre from the Caribbean coast, north of Caracas, the title means literally “the Seagull”.

Like many of you, my colleagues, I routinely contribute to commissions. I have put what I could afford into this one ($2000) because I really believe in it, and I am asking for your help in making this come to life. All contributions will be gratefully accepted (!) and will be acknowledged in the final score. All donors will receive a copy of the final score. Contributors of $100 or more will receive the score electronically as soon as it is available and a demo-recording.

This project is about getting a new piece for all of us, including my students, by an established and highly respected composer. My hope is that all of us will perform this as soon as possible!

For further information about the composer and recordings of prior works:

Paul’s website:


If you have any questions, please contact me:

Alexa Still, Associate Professor of Flute, Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music


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Donor list

Megan Gryder
Gabriel Cruz Ruiz
Krystle Fryzel
Mary V. Miller
Danielle Breisach
Joseph Monticello
Joanna E. Bassett
Valerie Coleman
Kenneth J. Cox
Sasha Garver
Beth Devlin
Amanda Dame
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Charlotte Roberts Savino
Shelley Collins
Joan M Sparks
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Meerenai Shim
Steven E Samler
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Larry Krantz
Kathy Blocki
Wendy Stern
Jimmy Tsui
Karen Johnson
Gret Price
Donna Maher
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All donors will be acknowledged in and sent the final version of the music, and invited to the premiere. The premiere will be at the NFA convention in August 2018.


Donors who give $100 or more will receive the score electronically as it becomes available and a demo recording.