Works by Jon Liechty


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Solo Instrument


Action Shots   1999
A set of five brief pieces (ca. 2 minutes each) in various characters: "Insisting", "Insinuating", "Dancing", "Colored Lights", and "Marching". These are suitable for a moderate-to-advanced student and can be played in any order to suit a variety of programming needs.

Gathering the Powers   1994
Premiered at Weill Recital Hall, New York City, by Robert Dell II, on October 10, 1994
This piece starts quietly,and gains in intensity over the course of three minutes or so. A good curtain-raiser for a skilled player.


Early Pieces   1978
A set of five pieces: "Song of Pan", "Andante Espressivo", "Night Rider", "Minuet", and "Canon", which Jon premiered in June, 1978 at the Goshen College Piano Teacher's Workshop. These tricky pieces each average around a minute in length.

The Eternal Steed   1997
Premiered by Jon Liechty in 2001 at the Turtle Bay Music School, New York, New York
A sinuous melody threads its way above, around and through a sonorous ostinato in this challenging piece.   3-4 minutes.

Force and Light   2000
Beginning cheerfully, with a growing sense of unease, this piece covers a wide range of emotional territory in its 6-7 minutes.

Like the Wind   2000
2-3 minutes' worth of perpetual-motion study; the hands are in octaves throughout.   Not for the faint-hearted!

Nails   1997
Short (ca. 2 min.), fast piece emphasizing major sevenths.   Good to open a program for an advanced player.

Piano Sonata No. 1   2007
This piece is in three movements:
These are technically demanding, and will require a performer with a good sense of rhythm. The middle movement is quieter and easier to play. Movements I and II were premiered by the composer at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in 2007.

Prophesy!   2003
An impassioned piece (ca. 5 min.) inspired by a poem about a gifted girl. Because of her abilities, crowds hail her as a prophetess, demanding she tell them wondrous things.   When she protests that she cannot give them what they seek, they drown her out with their shouting.   Eventually they tire, and leave her to go on her way alone. The poem is by Joanna Hoyt, and is found in Stephanie Tolan's book, Welcome to the Ark.



Night Birds   2002
Four minutes of rustling, fluttering sounds.

Solo Violoncello

Your Finger Pierced My Heart, I Love Your Song   1989; rev. 1994
A passionate outcry, 5-6 minutes, for an expert cellist. An impressive finish would make a worthy end to an evening of music.
Premiered in 1989 by cellist Timothy Jones at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Revised version premiered by cellist Robert Peck in 1994 at Louisiana Technical College.

Strength and Beauty   2008
These four pieces were inspired by the artwork of Li Ming Shun, a painter from Hubei, China (PRC), who specializes in the Asian male nude. They are each 5-6 minutes long, and convey a variety of moods. Excellent for the recitalist, they vary in level from intermediate to quite challenging.

Tenacious Lad   2010
Two minutes of dissonance and driving rhythms. Easily playable, made accessible by a returning theme that hangs on like a bulldog.

Solo Saxophones

Sonata No. 1   2010
Tenor Saxophone (also playable on alto or baritone saxophone)
Four brief movements in contrasting styles. Good for contrast on a program of ensemble music, or as a serious element in a program of lighter fare.

Solo Brass Instruments

Sonata   2010
These four movements, each two pages long, offer a chance to demonstrate flexibility and a wide emotional range. A straight mute and a cup mute are required. By turns energetic and lyrical, with a good, solid finish.


Wispy   2001
A secret agent outwits a laser security system in this challenging piece (2-3 min.) for unaccompanied soprano recorder.   Involves multiphonics.   Good for contrast during an evening of ensemble pieces.


Two Instruments

Solo Voice and Piano

Lament   1979
Soprano and Piano
About three minutes long, on a text paraphrased from Psalm 137. Lyrical, but not for the unsure of pitch!

Solo Instrument and Piano

Lament   1979, arr. 2008
Soprano Saxophone and Piano
A lyrical, three minute arrangement of the Lament for soprano and piano, above. Not too difficult for saxophone, but a few tough spots for the pianist!

Listen to the Lover Cry   2009
Violoncello and Piano
Expressively melodic, based on the Azerbaijani muqam Shur, this brief (6-8 min.) piece incorporates a faster improvisatory section.  

Lyric   2002
Trumpet and Piano
A short, sad piece in a very accessible idiom. Premiered in 2002 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture by trumpeter Kyle Resnick and the composer.

Sonata No. 1   2009
Tuba and Piano
A virtuosic piece in three movements: A good recital piece. The first movement is profoundly emotional, the second is uncompromising, and the third will send people home happy.

Spilled Wine   2001
Viola and Piano
This eight-minute outburst was inspired by a poem of Omar Khayyam. The poet was sitting outdoors, enjoying a glass of wine, when a gust of wind overturned the glass. This led the poet to muse on the fragility of human life. The piece begins with a gust of wind, and ends by draining away. This piece was premiered in 2001 in New York City by violist Junah Chung and the composer.

Toco Loco   1988
Violin and Piano
An energetic piece with a rousing finish, that will challenge both players. About 8 minutes long.
Premiered by violinist Jon Liechty and pianist D. D. Jackson at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1988.

Visits to a Fortune-Teller   2007
Tenor Saxophone and Piano
This piece is in four movements, ranging from the simple to the challenging:

Watching Him Walk   2004
Violin and Piano
An elegy in memory of cellist Shashi Melwani. Three minutes in length. An expressive solo over a repeating accompaniment pattern.   Premiered at the Sound in the Land Festival at Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ontario, in 2004 by violinist Mark Hartman and the composer.

Other Duet Combinations

An eine Äolsharfe   1994
Viola and Harp
A nostalgic, lyrical piece after the poem by Edouard Mörike.   About six minutes long.   This would work well as an interlude between active, extroverted pieces.


Companionship   2005
Trumpet and Double Bass
A warm, friendly piece for two instruments, in which they lose each other and get back together again. Advanced high school students might consider this for a contest.
Premiered in New York City by trumpeter Mark Tipton and bassist JuanPablo Trad Hasbun.

Pictures in the Sand   2002
Alto Saxophone and Double Bass
Five short pieces in differing moods.   They range from the fairly easy to the quite challenging; "Sorrowing Giant" in particular will require some work from the bassist.   These could add some variety to many kinds of programs.
Premiered in 2002 in New York City by saxophonist Javier Oviedo and bassist JuanPablo Trad Hasbun.

Rite of Passage   1987
Violin and Marimba (2 mallets)
A rhythmically compelling piece with lots of back-and-forth between the players. 5-6 minutes long.
Premiered by violinist Jon Liechty and percussionist Katrina Cessna at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, in 1987.

Striver   2009
2 Pianos
This 20-minute piece is symphonic in character, a musical journey in which themes constantly change and combine in different ways. An impressive finish for an ambitious program.


Three Instruments

Simple Tune   2009
Flute, Oboe, and Clarinet
Variations on a song-like theme.   A tuneful general-purpose piece good for some contrast between more-challenging works.

Cruel Beauty   2009
Flute, Oboe and Clarinet
Another short piece, this one involving articulated drones for about three-quarters of its length.   At the end, it breaks out in a joyful chorus.

Four Rounds   2009
Three Alto Saxophones
These pieces ("Happy Dance", "Catch Me If You Can", "Wiseacre" and "If Only"), each less than a minute, make good studies for players beginning to work in ensembles.   The voices weave in and out, challenging the performers to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Elaboration Above the Frame   2009
Three alto saxophones
Inspired by a painting by Michael Dopp, this six-minute piece contrasts intertwining lines with chant-like sonorities.

Dragonfly   1999
Trumpet and Two Violins
Less than two minutes long, this piece was inspired by a haiku of Basho.   The buzzing violins successfully evade capture by the trumpet player.

Trio   1995
Clarinet, Viola and Piano
A wide-ranging, song-like introduction is followed by driving rhythms in this 6-7 minute piece. Premiered by clarinetist Benjamin Frick, violist Jethro Marks, and pianist Héctor García Santana at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1996.

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Four Instruments

Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies   2009
2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones
The modal lyricism of this theme and variations will fit in seamlessly with any program of pre-20th-century music. Good for students.

Psalm 23   1978 rev. and arr. 2009
2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones
Lyrical tone poem based on portions of the psalm text. Classically tonal; good for contrast with more daring modern fare.

A Thousand Hammers   1993
String Quartet
An intense, energetic piece about 8 minutes long, featuring a wide-ranging dialogue between the first violin and cello. Good for an opener.
Premiered in 1993 at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Five Instruments

Prayer   2001; arr. 2005
Brass Quintet
Slow, singing piece with many open sonorities, about 3 minutes long. Good to settle things down a bit after something more active.

Large Ensembles

Fear and Passion   1998
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
An exciting piece about seven minutes long that showcases a wide range of colors.

Ode   2010
Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra 3-3-2-2-1
Plenty of long, singing lines and rich sonorities in this 6-7 minute piece. Premiered in 2010 in New York City by saxophonist Javier Oviedo and the New York Chamber Virtuosi, conducted by Jean-Pierre Schmitt.