1976: Todesband

Loretta Jankowski (b. 1950) studied composition and theory in the preparatory division of the Juilliard School of Music in the early 1960s. She holds a master’s of music in composition from the University of Michigan and a PhD in composition from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Composers with whom Jankowski has studied include Harrison Birtwistle, Morton Feldman, Marek Stachowski, Joseph Schwantner, and Samuel Adler.

Jankowski has taught on the faculties of Northern Illinois University at Dekalb, California State University at Long Beach, Ball State University, Kean University, and East Carolina University. She has also served as composer-in-residence at Bennington College in Vermont.

Jankowski has written prize-winning music for orchestra, voice, and concert band and more than 30 principal works. Her music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Holy Trinity Chapel at New York University, Yale University, and the Fifth International Festival of Experimental Music in Bourges, France. She has also received a lifetime achievement award from the Piano Teachers Society of America.

Loretta Jankowski

Todesband incipit

Jankowski won the 1976 ABA Ostwald Award for Todesband, a work for large wind ensemble. Based on the Bach chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden, the piece gradually works from dissonance and ascends to joyful harmonizations as the chorale tune becomes more prominent.


The intricate score recommends the use of two conductors because it contains passages where one section of the ensemble plays in 3/4 time while another plays in 4/4 time. The composition also includes overlapping passages repeated as fast as possible set against slow chorales for various sections of the ensemble.


The manuscript score in its entirety can be viewed through the University of Maryland's Digital Collections here: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/32985.