Crumb Child (2011/2013)



Soloist: bass clarinet; Orchestration: 2(picc).2.2(bcl).1/

Crumb Child was commissioned by Atlanta-based Clarinetist Ashraf Attalla. It was premiered by the UC Berkeley Symphony at Berkeley's Hertz Hall in April 2011. 

It was revised in 2013 for the Ostrava Days Festival in the Czech Republic, and performed by Irvin Venys and Ostravska Banda at the Janacek Philharmonic Hall.

Crumb Child won the 2013 Nicola di Lorenzo composition prize. 

Crumb Child is my reflection on George Crumb’s beautiful Star Child. Crumb’s powerful brass, lamenting trombone and muted strings all become gestures that I develop into a new musical narrative: The brass is punctured with delicate woodwinds, the strings cycle into a sound mass of quartal harmony, and the solo clarinet imitates the distant trombone, slowly bringing its lament to the surface.
The group Ostravská Banda always creates an aura of great musical expectation, and I must say that after the first composition - Crumb Child by Israeli composer Sivan Eldar - all expectations were met.

The beautiful melancholic textures provided an opportunity for the orchestra to showcase its skills in extreme dynamic positions. The extended silent landscapes, alternating with fortissimo clusters, were a trial in which Ostravská banda passed with flying colors.

The bass clarinet solo at the heart of the composition explored the instrument’s expressive tone without falling into cliches. From its very opening to its final decay, Crumb Child formed a very compelling beginning to Monday evening’s concert.
— Opera Plus (Translated from Czech)


Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA, 6 April 2011.

UC Berkeley Symphony. Ashraf Attalla, bass clarinet. David Milnes, conductor.



Janacek Philharmonic Hall, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 26 August, 2013.

Ostravska Banda. Irvin Venys, bass clarinet. Carl Bettendorf, conductor.



* CD published by Ostrava Center for New Music, 2015. Mastering by Lubomir Vyrek. Available through: