...reviews












...uncommon musical gifts
Donald Waxman is a composer of uncommon musical gifts. This was demonstrated by an impressive program which clearly showed his ability to write for any instrumental or vocal combination that strikes his fancy.
-- York Times review of an all Waxman program at Carnegie Recital Hall

...very moving and attractive music
In the Baltimore Museum of Arts Chamber Music Series featuring the Beaux Arts String Quartet’s premiere of Donald Waxman’s Preludes, Canons and Inventions, the composer demonstrated his ability to write very moving and attractive music even within the limitations of canonic forms.
-- The Baltimore Sun

...natural melodic facility and an ear for tone color
In this all Waxman Program at the 2013 Lynn Conservatory New Music Festival the composer revealed that he is a writer with a natural melodic facility, a fine ear for instrumental color, and a clear willingness to absorb popular dance forms into his music. This gives his writing a communicative lift that makes it never less than entertaining, even when he enters a knotty harmonic and rhythmic realm.
-- Palm Beach ArtsPaper

...a sheer delight
The National Gallery Orchestra, conducted by George Manos at the National Gallery of Art gave the Washington premiere of Donald Waxman’s Overture to Serenade Concertante in a program that also featured works of Copland and David Diamond. The Waxman overture, written for a baroque sized orchestra, proved to be a sheer delight!. Its dazzling wind figurations and neoclassical string writing and its lush suspended harmonies gave a tantalizing glimpse into what may follow in the as yet unfinished Serenade Concertante.
-- The Washington Post

...hauntingly beautiful
A rapt audience heard Donald Waxman’s Four Elegies for Tenor and String Quartet at the memorial concert for the late Sue Howells, director of the Rockland Foundation of the Arts. The set of elegies, set to 19th century English poems, proved to be an especially moving tribute to Sue Howells. From the opening impassioned lament of Shelley’s Rough Wind that Moanest Loud to the peaceful resignation of the concluding movement, Tennyson’s Crossing the Bar, the composer molded words and music into an uplifting in memoriam statement. The incomparable tenor Frank Bakeries, was the sensitive interpreter of Mr. Waxman’s hauntingly beautiful elegies.
-- Rockland Journal News, Rockland County, N.Y.

...an engaging and intimate work
Donald Waxman’s five movement Suite for Flute, Oboe and Cello was marked by splendid writing for the unconventional instrumental combination. Spicy harmonies abounded in an engaging, accessible and intimate work. The two slow movements were ingeniously conceived – particularly a Serenade with the oboe playing the melody and the cello acting as a strumming guitar. At the score’s climax the composer quotes a Bach chorale, and the combination of instrumental harmonies and the nobility of the chorale made for an eloquent conclusion to an admirable score.
-- Laurence Budman review of all-American concert in the Mostly Music Series at Zinman Hall, Boca Raton, Florida

...modern tone poems of tremendous power
Waxman’s Quint of Carols, which was premiered last Sunday by the Rocklamd Symphony, transformed five ancient English carols into modern tome poems of tremendous power, dramatic impact and exciting cadence.
-- Rockland (New York) Journal News

...exceptional skills in the setting of words to music
It was a great pleasure for me to have conducted the premiere of Donald Waxman’s Cantata of Celebratioms for chorus, soloists and chamber orchestra, a work expressly written for the combined forces of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church choir and the Pinecrest School’s treble choir. The five movements are imaginative settings of English and American celebratory poems on themes of love and the joys of childhood. Of particular merit are the composer’s skills in setting texts so that the vocal line always enhances the poetry and is never obscured by the orchestral forces. His talents here remind me of the late Benjamin Britten.
-- Dr. Stuart Gardner, conductor