The Music of David Salminen


David Salminen

David Salminen’s Experience


Das Music

Entertainment industry

October 1980 – Present (30 years 9 months)

Concerts & Recordings – inspired by nature, cosmic metaphors like “the harmony of the spheres”, literary themes, and people – i.e. Musical Portraits of various kinds.

David Salminen’s Education

Clark University

AB, Psychology, Music

1969 – 1974

Although my major was actually in psychology, Clark University also afforded me the opportunity to follow adventurous musical interests in 20th Century, avant-garde electronic, and non-Western musics. Related to my interest in the details of musical expression, a high point in my memories of Clark has to be Professor Relly Raffman’s final exam in 20th Century Music, in which we had to guess the composer of 20 different obscure snippits of recordings. The only one I missed was an excerpt from one of Raffman’s own compositions – which I mistook for Stravinsky! Needless to say, I was awarded an “A”.

I.A.C.E. at Sherborne nr. Cheltenham

non-degree, music, dance, psychology, cosmology

1972 – 1973

David Hochstein Memorial Music School

classical concert music, jazz improvisation

1960 – 1969

Nine years of private piano lessons with Miss Louise Young, a senior classical music instructor at the school, gave me a solid foundation in the related skills of touch, technic, and interpretation. In addition to having me learn Bach, Beethoven, Czerny, Schubert and others, Miss Young also encouraged me to pursue the Scandinavian folk music that so inspired me at the time. She was a wonderful, patient and gentle teacher.

My young luck with teachers also included a summer’s worth of classes in jazz improvisation with Chuck Mangione. His wisdom – about the ways in which sound and harmony naturally move and lead us – has remained with me as a lasting influence. My memory revels in an enigmatic remark he made to me at the conclusion of our association: “You have something most of the other kids don’t have – the ability to keep on playing no matter what it sounds like!”

Activities and Societies:


Comments on: "About" (7)

  1. Sure enjoy your sense of humor… and in a resume of all things! BJ

  2. Ha — mistaking Relly for Stravinsky — I suppose that could happen! I was Class of ’85 and took several courses with Relly. One of my favorites — I miss him.

  3. Hi David,
    I am Clark ’73, and Relly Raffman was one of my highlights there, too. Singing the motets he composed (the Shakespeare sonnets) was one of my best singing experiences ever! I have a good memory for tunes, and could probably hum a few bars even today. I’m sad we lost him so young.

    Do you know if his music has been recorded? I would like to make his music known to Voces8; they could do it brilliantly.

    Now I need to poke around your blog.


    • Hi Robert,

      There is a wikipedia article on Relly Raffman, and apparently some of his music is recorded, but not much. A web search shows various music publications as well.

      Thanks for visiting my site, and I hope you found some interesting and entertaining things “poking around”. If you’re coming into Portland sometime, let me know – we should share a pint of brew, or a point of view, or a cup of coffee – and catch up on Clark U & music news!

      • Hi, David/Robert — I know of two recordings of Relly’s music. One is, of course, “Für Eliot,” which I think Eliot Fisk has recorded twice; the other is a recording of his “Matins,” by the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir — that one may be available from IWU, but I’m not sure. I got it about 10 years ago — their choir had made quite a few recordings on LP over the years, and they were in the process of digitizing them and had made some of them available for sale on CD – the one with Relly’s piece was called “Music For Today’s Sanctuary Choir,” and contained a number of other excellent works as well. By the way, if you get to Worcester at some point, I am informed that Relly’s archives are now in (I think) the Goddard Library and are available for research — you can probably call the library and make an appointment to look through it.

      • Here’s another one (although good luck finding a copy — unless Goddard or the music department has it):

  4. Thanks for the suggestions, guys!
    I get to Worcester more often than Portland (although I was in Portland last June)(Keep Portland Weird) I live in El Salvador, but have a condo loft in RI. So I will check in at the Goddard when I am there.

    I have been humming “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” all day. Last sung 1971? I wonder if I have the right key.



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