Washington Square Winds, a New York-based woodwind quintet, was formed in 2009 by five classically trained musicians passionate about chamber music. Its mission is to seek out, perform, and commission new works, expanding the wind quintet repertoire. The ensemble strives to collaborate with living composers and cultivate appreciation for contemporary classical music in our communities.
In its original series, “THEY’RE ALIVE!,” dedicated to showcasing works written exclusively by living composers, WSW provides opportunities for composers to hear their music performed live and exposes audiences to music composed during their lifetime. WSW’s first professional album, also entitled, “THEY’RE ALIVE!,” released in 2014, includes works by four contemporary composers.
WSW takes an active role in working with the next generation of musicians. In the 2011/2012, the ensemble volunteered as the Woodwind Quintet in Residence at the Third Street Music School Settlement. The quintet also co-created an interactive children’s show based on Peter and the Wolf, including a puppeteer, narrator, and costumes.
After a competitive audition process in 2012, WSW joined “Music Under New York (MUNY),” a select group of ensembles given the privilege to perform in NYC’s subway systems. They play in stations such as Grand Central, Times Square, and Penn Station, hoping to reach as many people as possible with their love of chamber music. They were recently interviewed by WQXR and collaborate with other musicians such as Oracle Hysterical, Musical Amoeba, and the Balliett Brothers. WSW has performed around the tristate area and of course their namesake, Washington Square Park.