There are few concert duets for euphonium and tuba in the standard repertoire.
SYMBIOSISDUO formed in 2007 to increase awareness of the tuba/euphonium duo as a performance medium and to promote and disseminate new works for this unique combination of instruments. The duo chose the name “SYMBIOSISDUO” from the concert duet of that name written for them by composer Chris Sharp. In his program notes for the work he wrote:
“Symbiosis is defined as, ‘A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence . . . The technical and range-requirements for each solo instrument are comparable, suggesting a ‘separate but equal’ relationship” (Sharp, 2008).
This is an innovative and challenging approach in duet writing for euphonium and tuba as the tuba is not relegated to an accompanying role, but is equal in all aspects of music with the other voice in the duo, the euphonium.
SYMBIOSISDUO was selected by juried-proposal to present a recital including premier performances of 6 new concert duets and arrangements for euphonium and tuba written and arranged specifically for the duo by the following composers: Kim Archer, Brian Balmages, Phillip Bimstein, Joe Kreines, Christopher Marshall, and Chris Sharp at the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference in Cincinnati, OH in June, 2008. Pianist Alex Thio, of Cincinnati, OH accompanied the duo for this debut performance.
SYMBIOSISDUO highlights the artistic achievements of two of the most accomplished women regionally, nationally, and internationally in the field of low brass performance and pedagogy. Women players of low brass instruments are still working to achieve greater visibility in this field. Gail Robertson served as past President of the International Women’s Brass Conference and Stacy Baker serves as a board member of the IWBC. The IWBC website states the history and mission of the organization: “The IWBC was founded by Susan Slaughter in 1990 in response to results from a survey issued to over fourteen hundred women brass players. The IWBC exists to provide opportunities that will educate, support, develop, and inspire all women brass players who wish to pursue professional careers in music.”
The highly anticipated release of the duo’s compact disc “SYMBIOSISDUO” will be a significant addition to recordings by women euphonium and tuba artists as few are available at this time.