David Stybr: Engineer and Composer

It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3

David Stybr & Denise Swanson
Composer David Stybr and author Denise Swanson cruise into the sunset on the Caribbean Sea.

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Featured Score: String Quintet No. 2 in B Minor
for 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass

An Engineer's Approach to Music Appreciation
Lecture at Chicago Area Mensa Regional Gathering:
HalloweeM, Saturday 25 October 2008

Susan Nigro included David Stybr's ContraBassooNova on her CD: Original Tunes for the Big Bassoon.

Ann Marie Kurrasch: A Day at the Park; Frank Proto: Little Suite for the Big Bassoon*; Elaine Fine: More Greek Myths and Harlequin Sonata; Joel Bjorling: Night Shadows* and Dreamscapes*; David Stybr, ContraBassooNova; Giorgio Koukl, Potato polca. *The works by Proto and Bjorling are for Unaccompanied Contrabassoon. On the other works, Susan Nigro is joined by Mark Lindeblad, piano.

Crystal Records CD847: Original Tunes for the Big Bassoon. Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon.

David Stybr: Biography * Return to Top

David Stybr is a chemical and computer engineer. The family name Stybr is Czech, and his ancestors emigrated from Prague to Chicago in the 1880s during a severe vowel shortage. Thus his preference for consonant music. As an engineer, David loves to figure out what makes things tick, from clocks to metronomes, but he has always heard music in his head. He never seriously considered composing until he overheard a comment at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert. A woman sitting next to him critiqued one piece by saying, "I could write better music than that!" which made David think, "Could I?" Maybe or maybe not, but he decided that after 4 decades of ignoring his muse, it was high time he notated some of his musical ideas. And so began the battle of two minds: Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3

Writing music is an altogether different experience from listening. It is an amazing feeling to create original themes, and weave them into balanced compositions. He did this for five years, until he felt ready to submit his works to professional musicians.

Other works by David Stybr include: Life and Afterlife (Four Elegies for Soprano and Orchestra), String Quintet No. 2 in B Minor and Rolling River Rag. He lives in Illinois with his wife, national best-selling author Denise Swanson.

Decisions, Decisions: In the 1970s David considered a career as a composer, and once crossed paths with a musical idol: Aaron Copland. Ultimately David chose another rewarding and "more practical" path, and became an engineer instead. His February 2005 concerts let him experience the alternate universe, had he followed his muse to music.

Autograph of Aaron Copland

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Praise for David Stybr's musical compositions:

Lake Tahoe North Dakota
Left: Leap Day 2004, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Dave felt on top of the world, after he completed the full score of his Theme and Variations in G Minor for Contrabassoon and Orchestra on 29 February.
Right: In June 2006 Dave visited his 50th state: North Dakota. Shortly after this photo was made near Strasburg, Dave slipped and fell flat on his face. A nearby farmer reported that he was proud to see visitors to North Dakota kiss the ground upon crossing the state line.

Next * Top * E-mail to David Stybr (in English, auf Deutsch, en Français, en Español)
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Orchestra / *String Or. Quintets Miscellaneous
Andante Cantabile (5:00) *

Rosie: Walzer für Orch. (6:00)

Scumble River Legend (1:00)

Theme and Vars. in G Minor Contrabassoon & Or. (17:45)

Life and Afterlife: 4 Elegies for Soprano and Orch. (26:30)
I. The Last Time (7:50)
II. Nocturnal Procession (6:00)
III. Dreams (3:30)
IV. Farewell (8:50)
String Quintet No. 2 in B Minor
I. Variation-Sonata (5:00)
II. Andante cantabile (5:00)
III. Intermezzo & Anthem (5:00)
IV. Finale: Allegro (5:00)
Brass Quintet in C Minor
I. Allegro moderato (7:00)
II. Scherzo: Allegro (3:30)
III. Romanze (5:10)
IV. Finale: Allegro (5:10)
& Cortège in A Minor (6:25)
"Bad Boys and Blondes" Bossa Nova for Brass Quintet (1:10)
Ellmenreich: Spinning Song arr. for Brass Quintet (2:00)
Rolling River Rag for Piano (4:10)
Dance of the Three Witches for Organ (1:00)
Wedding Belles for Trumpet, Organ, Glockenspiel and Chimes (1:00)
Tango: Summer Night in Montevideo for Accordion and Piano (3:20)
ContraBassooNova for
Contrabassoon and Piano (3:00)
2 Brazilian Dances for Wind Quintet
Prélude à la Muse (et à l'Amuse): A Passacaglia for Rock Band (3:30)
Händel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba transcribed for Tuned Percussion (3:30)

* Links *
David Stybr on ScoreExchange.com * Denise Swanson, Author
Chicago Area Mensa & Lecture at Regional Gathering: HalloweeM, 25 Oct. 2008

© 2016 David Stybr * Updated 29 February 2016
This web site is purely for entertainment and information purposes.