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Black Swan for flute and piano by Leanna Primiani

Introductory notes:

Growing up playing the flute, I had performed the works written for the NFA competitions my whole life. I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to write one myself. It was a complete joy to have the opportunity to compose for the NFA, and I look forward to doing so again in the future.

I love our solo repertoire, and my intimate knowledge of the repertoire served me well while composing ‘Black Swan’. It brought me back to my college flute studio when I would complain about violinists playing Prokofiev D Major Sonata. “Don’t they have enough repertoire to keep them from ‘taking’ ours?”, I complained to my friends. Remember those days? Ha!

If you’d like more information about the work, my music, or just to say ‘Hi!”, please visit:
FB: @anasialeannamusic

Thanks for taking a look/listen to the piece, and I hope to hear from some of you directly!

Program Notes:

This work was commissioned by the National Flute Association for their annual High School Competition in 2013.

My intent with The Black Swan was to mimic what someone might hear while hiking through any wilderness area in the United States.  The piano takes the role of hiker, while the flute takes the role of the various birds heard throughout the hike.  During my research for the work, I came across The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its recording of 250 North American Birds In Song. Inspired, I notated the calls from roughly 15 different bird species, then wove them together motivically, melodically and rhythmically to produce the majority of musical material from which to draw upon.

The piece begins with a short introduction by the piano and is quickly followed by a rather long cadenza by the flute, which introduces all of the bird songs that make up most of the musical material used in the piece.  Flute and piano then come together in a haunting melodic section, which is interrupted by different birds whose songs are more agitated. This A B C design (Cadenza, Moderato, Piu Mosso) is repeated, with the last Piu Mosso depicting the birds becoming more and more agitated until the piece climaxes at the very end in a wild flourish of birdcalls.

Score is available for purchase through Subito:


  1. Lillian Jane Steele

    I am Lillian Jane Steele. I am a former flute player in both high school and college marching bands. Your composition was lovely. It sounds as if you are taking a walk in the woods and hearing all types of alert birds with one “The Black Swan” in calling/responding in the lead. Will you be releasing something in the near future or continuing to compete. Please keep it up. Most flute players are perfectionists with some of us going on to become doctors and educators,performers etc. Me? I am a retired teacher who now subs. Keep doing a good job. LJ Steele,MA

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