fanfare for four trumpets and orchestra (1992)

  • Premiere: 15 October 1992  / Avery Fischer Hall, New York City  / The New York Philharmonic / Michael Morgan
  • Instrumentation: 4(II,III,IV=picc).4(IV=corA).4(IV=bcl).3.dbn- 
  • Duration: 7'
Daron Hagen and Michael Morgan backstage immediately after the NY Philharmonic's premiere of  Philharmonia.

Daron Hagen and Michael Morgan backstage immediately after the NY Philharmonic's premiere of Philharmonia.

Program note

Phil, from the Greek, meaning 'love' and harmonia, 'concerning music.' For the love of Music, for Music Lovers' sakes, for the love of Musicians and Making Music, for the love of Love Philharmonia celebrates the virtues and excesses of the late twentieth-century's virtuoso symphony orchestra. Composed in New York City during June of 1990 and completed on the day Nelson Mandela began his historic visit, this fanfare is dedicated to the players of the New York Philharmonic and their composer-in-residence at that time, David Del Tredici.

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The piece consists of five sixty-second fanfares (including a cadenza for the trumpets) based on the same material, transformed as though it were refracted through a prism, and played without pause. Commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of New York in celebration of the orchestra's 150th anniversary, Philharmonia was premiered on 15 October 1992 by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Michael Morgan at Avery Fisher Hall, New York City.


Thursday night's New York Philharmonic program was notable for an interesting new fanfare by Daron Hagen. Mr. Hagen's  Philharmonia features antiphonal solo trumpets and repeated-note tremors. The latter appear out of the orchestra's various sections, each time bearing a different weight and color. A balance is struck between strident announcement and a wider, more variegated symphonic display. This is a successful piece, one that uses its virtuoso performers wisely.

— Bernard Holland, The New York Times, 10/20/92

Like everything else by Hagen I've encountered, Philharmonia (A Fanfare) moves with a surety and naturalness that shows the hand of an experienced craftsman. It is eclectic, but it is linear; it has a glittering surface but there is substance beneath; it is dense with events, yet it never seems cluttered. I would welcome the opportunity to hear it again.

— Tim Page, New York Newsday, 10/20/92

Commissioned for the Philharmonic's 150th anniversary, [Philharmonia] is a notably substantial work for its kind. Its very elaborate, especially in its quadraphonic brass writing. The bold sonics beckoned hearing more of Hagen's music.

— Bill Zakariasen, New York Daily News, 10/20/92