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John David Lamb

John David Lamb

(b. 1935)

John David Lamb was born in 1935 and grew up in Yakima, Washington. He began to compose when he was six years old, having discovered staff-lined pages in the exercise book where his piano teacher wrote his scales and finger exercises. Since then he has composed in many forms: works for solo instruments, small ensembles, dramatic works, including works to be performed by children; songs, including the occasional civil rights protest song; as well as larger compositions for band and for orchestra.

Lamb earned academic degrees in music composition and conducting, but among his most important influences have been independent study with the Latvian nationalist composer Volfgangs Darzins and traditional Swedish folk music and dance. He has written some 150 fiddle tunes in the Swedish style. Some of these commemorate special events and many are played for dancing.

His works have been performed by the Portland Junior Symphony, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, the Brass Band Northwest, Thalia, saxophone ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, and a number of smaller groups. In 2003, Philharmonia Northwest performed his In Taberna. For more than ten years, Lamb has been a regular attendee at Colorado MahlerFest in Boulder, Colorado. For the 2006 festival, he was asked to compose a fanfare for orchestra to celebrate the gold medal awarded to MahlerFest by the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna, Austria. In February 2007, the Philharmonia Northwest performed his Song & Dance, a chamber concerto for horn and orchestra.

Lamb's recording company, Näckens Vänner, has produced five CDs: The Saxophone Project, with compositions for saxophone solo and quartet; Callithumpian Concert; Bird's Eye View; Bon appétit!, and Late Harvest. The saxophonists are from the East Coast; the musicians on the latter four CDs are from local organizations, including the Seattle Symphony, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and the Esoterics.

Recommended Recordings

Saxophone Project - 1998

Näckens Vänner NV1
Näckens Vänner NV1
Paul Cohen (soprano & baritone sax), Lois Anderson (piano), Leo Saguiguit (alto sax), Yoko Yamada-Selvaggio (piano), The Impuls Quartet
  • Sonata for Soprano Saxophone & Piano
  • Fables for Alto Saxophone & Piano
  • Follies for Baritone Saxophone & Piano
  • Affirmations for Saxophone Quartet
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio





Callithumpian Concert - 1999

Näckens Vänner NV2
Näckens Vänner NV2
Laura DeLuca (clarinet), Karen Sigers (piano), Ilkka Talvi & Marjorie Kransberg Talvi (violins), Marjorie Kransberg Talvi & Ingrid Frederickson (violins), Shari Link (viola), Theresa Benshoof (cello), Peter Moore (horn), Meade Crane (piano)
  • Caricatures for Clarinet & Piano
  • Asymmetrical Dances
  • Night Music
  • Personae for Horn & Piano
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio





Bird's Eye View - 2002

Näckens Vänner NV3
Näckens Vänner NV3
John Barcellona (flute), Peter Christ (oboe), Eugene Zoro (clarinet), Pat Nelson (bassoon), Chris Leuba (horn), Lisa Bergman (piano), Spencer Hoveskeland (bass), Gordon Rencher (percussion), Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby (flute), Ilkka Talvi (viola), Paul Rafanelli (bassoon), Mark Robbins & Jim Weaver (horns), Juliet Stratton (harp), Susan Telford (flute), Dan Williams (oboe), Sean Osborn (clarinet), Francine Peterson (bassoon), Spencer Hoveskeland (bass), Juliet Stratton (harp), David McBride (horn), J.D. Lamb (piano), Singers/Eric Banks
  • Against the Darkness
  • Pasatiempos
  • Partita
  • Divertimento
  • Flourishes
  • Beyond the Clouds
  • Cradle Tune
  • Heart-Springs
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio

Bon appétit! - 2005

Näckens Vänner NV4
Näckens Vänner NV4
Karla Flygare, Susan Telford, Rae Terpenning (flutes), Dan Williams & Ove Hanson (oboes), Sean Osborne, Jennifer Nelson, Denise Lum (clarinets), Paul Rafanelli & Michael Gamburg (bassoons), Rodger Burnett, Richard Reed, Peter Moore, Mark Robbins (horns), Ryan Schultz & Chris Olka (tubas), Michael Crusoe (timpani), Matthew Kocmieroski (percussion), Don Immel & Hamod Abu-eid (trombones), Mandy Hegvik (tambourine), Ted Hegvik, Paul Cohen, Daniel Gordon, Scott Grunlund, Kimm Stamen (saxes), Al Vizzutti & Charles Butler (trumpets), Tom Joyce (organ)
  • Sorrow's Turning
  • Sketches
  • Partita
  • Antique Dances
  • Barefoot Dances
  • Chorales
  • Madrigal
  • On Vacation
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio

Swedish Design - 2007

Lots of Coffee Records
Lots of Coffee Records
Barbara Lamd, David Lamb (fiddles)
  • Röda strumpor
  • Sun Break
  • …men hemma bäst
  • Pipans hambo
  • Blåbärstället
  • Den flygande gurkan
  • Orkila Rain
  • Älgen på taket
  • Sally's Waltz
  • Bittersweet
  • Det våras för Byfåns Mats
  • Polska för Anders Sparf
  • Vintervalsen
  • Seattle / Scio Express
  • När alla enbär mogna…
  • Väldigt nära polska
  • Linelle's Waltz
  • Jag blir gammal, kära du!
  • Long Time Passing
  • Mary's Waltz
  • Långdans från Sveaplan (allspel)
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio

Late Harvest - 2009

Näckens Vänner NV5
Näckens Vänner NV5
Bayta Maring, Betsy Baeskins, Cass Dahlstrom, Christine Bell, Clare Brown, Ellen Satterthwaite Seibert, Erica Atnip, Hanna Benn, Joyce Brewster, Judith Suther, Laurel Lisez, Linda Berlage-Metz, Marni Asplund-Campbell, Mary Ann Hagan, Maureen Hoy, Maureen Lawther, Natalie W. White, Rachel Lawson, Samantha Bosch, Sarah Marroquin, Shannon McMullen, Sheila Teeter, Sheryl Betts, Marian Seibert, Whitney Wishart (singers), Margriet Tindemans (conductor/recorder), Al Vizzutti & David Gordon (trumpets), Chris Olka (tuba), Dan Williams (oboe), David Ritt (trombone), Laura DeLuca (clarinet), Jennifer Nelson (clarinet/bass clarinet), Rodger Burnett & Mark Robbins (horns), Stefan Farkas (oboe/English horn), Robin Perry (flute), Zart Dombourian-Eby (flute/piccolo), Rob Tucker (percussion), Mike Gamburg (bassoon/contrabassoon), Paul Rafanelli (bassoon), Eric Banks & Roupen Shakarian (conductors), Philharmonia Northwest
  • Halcyon Summer
  • Bicinia Americana
  • Song & Dance
  • Short Mass
  • Psalm 150
  • Rueful Passages
Read Liner Notes and Listen Now!Audio
Trumpet