Ryan Diefenderfer, a junior at the Jacobs School, was recently announced as the winner of the 2012 Eastern Trombone Workshop’s National Composition Competition for his piece “Stephansdom.” The Eastern Trombone Workshop is an annual conference held in Ft. Meyer, Va., that is put together by the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and has evolved into of the premier trombone events in the United States. The ETW composition competition is meant to expand the repertoire for the trombone canon, and this year the competition consisted of composing a piece for solo bass trombone with accompaniment of one to eight wind instruments.
Diefenderfer’s “Stephansdom” is a solo piece for bass trombone with trombone choir accompaniment. He said, “”The title of the piece refers to Stephansdom, one of Vienna’s most notable architectural gems. It is a cathedral built mostly in the Gothic style and quickly became one of the buildings that I grew exceptionally fond of during my past semester abroad in Vienna. Because my classes were located in the inner city of Vienna, I had the great fortune of walking by marvels such as Stephansdom on a daily basis. I quickly became enamored with the cathedral and knew that I wanted to dedicate my next composition to it.”
The piece contains four movements, each one with a specific theme relating to Stephansdom. The first movement tells the story of the cathedral’s construction, which dates back to 1137AD. The second movement is a tribute to “Steffl,” the cathedral’s north tower that marks the highest point in Vienna’s skyline. The third movement depicts the 1945 fire that destroyed Stehphansdom’s roof and much of the interior. Finally, the fourth movement is a tribute to Anton Pilgrim, one of the most beloved architects who worked within the cathedral.”
Diefenderfer is a composition student of Claude Baker and a member of Peter Ellefson’s trombone studio.