Wings was written in 1981 for the clarinettist Laura Flax, who premiered the work at the Merkin Hall in New York the same year. It follows the flight of a large bird, at times barely moving as it flies very high, gliding along the thermal currents, and at other moments, looping around in elaborate flight patterns, diving downwards and gaining tremendous speeds.
Joan Tower (b. 1938) is a contemporary American composer, pianist and conductor. She has become renowned for her bold and spirited compositions. The New Yorker has described her as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time”, and she is still in demand for commissions today.