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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

Three City Blocks (1993)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Sub Category
Concert Band
Year Composed
15 Minutes

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Score Score

Programme Note
John Harbison Three City Blocks (1993)
Three City Blocks was composed among the palm trees and cypresses of the Italian Riviera in the fall of 1991. Why then was the composer pursued by these images of urban America? Was it premonition, apprehension, admonition, or a simple acknowledgment that the rural myth he had embraced has been swallowed whole by the city?

Each Block starts bravely and buoyantly only to end somewhere else. Is the end of the first one sinister, or does it bring liberating Dyonysian impulses? Does the second dissolve into darkness or healing rain? Is the Amen that ends the finale rage or hope? I don't know the answers to these any more after the composing than during the composing. The piece is not a political or journalistic statement. It is a sensor and reflector. It senses and reflects many things both beautiful and non-beautiful and seeks to locate them on the map.

The piece was jointly commissioned by the wind ensembles of the New England Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati, Florida State University, the U.S. Air Force, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California.

  • Ensemble
    New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble
    Frank Battisti
  • Ensemble
    Cincinnati College-Conservatory Wind Symphony
    Eugene Migliaro Corporon
  • 11 MAR 2016
    Appleton, WI
    Lawrence University Wind Ensemble
    Andrew Mast, conductor
  • 25 FEB 2016
    Terre Haute, IN
    Indiana State University Wind Orchestra
    Dr. Roby Georgs, conductor
  • 24 MAR 2015
    CBDNA 2015
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
    Vanderbilt University Wind Symphony
    Thomas Verrier, conductor

    Other Dates:
    25 March - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • 22 JAN 2015
    Athens, GA
    University of Georgia Bands
    Cynthia Johnson Turner, conductor

    Other Dates:
    29 January - Athens, GA
  • 12 JAN 2014
    Karlsruhe, Germany
    Studierende der Hochschule Karlsruhe
    Will Sanders, conductor
  • 03 APR 2013
    Ithaca, NY
    Ithaca College
    Kevin Peters, conductor
  • 22 FEB 2013
    Milwaukee, WI
    University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
    John Climer, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 March - Milwaukee, WI
  • 10 FEB 2013
    Austin, TX
    University of Texas at Austin
    Scott Hanna, conductor
  • 08 NOV 2012
    Gainesville, FL
    University of Florida Bands
    David Waybright, conductor
  • 28 SEP 2012
    Ann Arbor, MI
    University of Michigan School of Music
    Michael Haithcock, conductor
  • 28 SEP 2012
    Ann Arbor, MI
    University of Michigan School of Music
    Michael Haithcock, conductor
  • 13 MAY 2012
    Jamaica Plain, MA
    Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Lewis Buckley, conductor
  • 28 FEB 2012
    Boston, MA
    Boston University Wind Ensemble
    David Martins, conductor
  • 23 FEB 2012
    Athens, GA
    UGA Bands
    John Lynch, conductor
  • 18 FEB 2012
    Houghton, NY
    Houghton College Philharmonia
    Brian Casey, conductor
  • 15 NOV 2011
    Morgantown, WV
    West Virginia University
    Mitchell Arnold, conductor
  • 13 NOV 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Stephen Story, conductor
  • 14 APR 2011
    Eugene, OR
    University of Oregon
    Robert Ponto, conductor
  • 12 DEC 2010
    Montclair, NJ
    Montclair University
    Benjamin Locke, conductor
  • 12 DEC 2010
    Montclair, NJ
    Montclair University
    Thomas McCauley, conductor
  • 29 OCT 2010
    Montclair, NJ
    Montclair University
    Benjamin Locke, conductor
  • 26 FEB 2010
    Evanston, IL
    Northwestern University
    Mallory Thompson, conductor
  • 17 FEB 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Eastman School Wind Ensemble
    Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor
  • 04 DEC 2009
    Madison, WI
    University of Wisconsin Madison
    Scott Teeple, conductor
  • 01 MAY 2009
    MIT Tribute to John Harbison
    Cambridge, MA
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Fred Harris, conductor
  • 01 MAY 2009
    Cambridge, MA
    MIT Wind Ensemble
    Fred Harris, conductor
  • 20 FEB 2009
    College Park, MD
    University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
    Michael Votta, conductor
  • 30 JAN 2009
    Springfield, MO
    Drury University
    Christopher Koch, conductor
  • 16 OCT 2008
    Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London
    Guildhall School of Music and Drama Wind Ensemble
  • 16 OCT 2008
    Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Barbican, London
    Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble
    Peter Gane, conductor

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