for solo flute and orchestra

Dorothy Chang
Dorothy Chang
Composition Date: 2005
Duration: 00:18:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Flute(s) / Piccolo(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piccolo
  • 3 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Bassoon
  • 4 x Horn
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Trombone
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 1 x Other percussion
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
In early 1949, the Chinese communist army's takeover of China was nearly complete and the formerly ruling Nationalist party was in full retreat to the island of Taiwan. The focus of my grandfather, a young lieutenant in the Nationalist air force, had turned to the safe evacuation of his wife and small children. Having fled their rural hometown with the advancing army fast approaching, the family reached a remote airport to join thousands of other refugees, all awaiting rescue. After several days with little food and no sign of rescue, my family stowed away on a small cargo plane without knowing its destination, a last ditch effort to escape.
Flight, a concerto for flute and orchestra, is inspired by this dramatic event in my family history and was written as a reflection of the personal stories and memories of my mother and my grandparents as they were told to me many times over the years. The three movements of the concerto attempt to capture the powerful imagery and emotions the story evokes.
The first movement, “In Shadows”, features a hazy, atmospheric opening with soft woodwind clusters, slow pitch bends and distant chimes. The solo flute slowly spins out a lament that grows increasingly intense, finally releasing into a fast, driving section with twisting chromatic lines and angular orchestral punctuations. The middle movement, “Remembrance”, reflects on the idea of cultural identity and folk song. Fragments and variants of a traditional Chinese song are woven throughout, as if trying to recall a long-forgotten melody from ones childhood. Only in the closing bars does the folk song finally appear in its true form. The final movement, “Sea and Sky”, features constant shifts of character, tempo, and texture. From bold, dramatic statements to sparse, intimate passages, the movement is a musical portrait of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.
This work was commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra with support from the Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League the Music Alive composer residency program. It was premiered by Canadian flutist Paolo Bortolussi and the Albany Symphony Orchestra with conductor David Alan Miller on April 21, 2006.
Flight is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather.

Credits: Dorothy Chang
Creator: Dorothy Chang
Subject: Flight
Date Created: 2006


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1321 C456fl
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Flute(s) / Piccolo(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 23, 2008
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ([3], 58 p.) ; 28 cm.
    61 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Percussion includes: triangle, large suspended cymbal, tam-tam, snare drum, 2 toms, bass drum, glockenspiel, crotales, chimes, vibraphone
    1. In shadows
    2. Remembrance
    3. Sea and sky
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Flight (for Solo Flute and Orchestra): Score
(downloadable PDF)
Flight for solo flute and orchestra by Dorothy Chang (Score)
Printed on demand
Flight for solo flute and orchestra
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