Roy Whelden

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Roy Whelden, composer and viola da gamba player, has performed and recorded with many internationally known ensembles, including Sequentia (Cologne) and Ensemble Alcatraz (San Francisco).
As a composer, he has received commissions for diverse compositions — chamber music, songs cycles, choral works, incidental music for plays, etc. Early commissions include works for the Montreal viol duo Les Voix Humaines. Recent works include a St. Cecilia Ode for chorus and string orchestra commissioned by the Corona del Mar Baroque Festival and a string quartet On the Petaluma River (2014). Some of Whelden's compositions involving viola da gamba have been recorded for the New Albion and the Innova labels. His work as a composer requires research into music theoretical topics and the results have seen publication in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the Indiana Theory Review and the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.
As both composer and performer, he founded in 2005 the Galax Quartet (2 violins, cello and gamba), a string quartet based on the performance practice of Carl Friedrich Abel, the 18th century gamba virtuoso. The Galax Quartet (with the contralto Karen Clark) recently released a recording of newly commissioned song cycles on Innova Records: On Cold Mountain—Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder.