Formed in 2010, Deviant Septet has been hailed as an “exciting” (New York Times), “stylish new ensemble” (New York Magazine). The goal of Deviant Septet is to fulfill the vision Igor Stravinsky had for his "L’histoire du Soldat" ensemble by bringing together an unusual combination of instruments— the soprano and bass voice of every instrument family: violin and bass, clarinet and bassoon, trumpet and trombone, and percussion.
Stravinsky thought others would follow his lead, and that this unique blend of musicians would travel the world playing the music of many composers. The quirkiness of the ensemble poses unique challenges to a composer, and while Stravinsky’s contemporaries were seemingly not up to the task, it is the goal of Deviant Septet to bring this idea to life by creating a repertoire for this distinctive ensemble. 21st Century composers jump at the chance to solve Stravinsky’s riddles, and Deviant Septet is unique among the world’s new music collectives, as it is the only ensemble consisting solely of this instrumentation.
Deviant Septet’s members are Bill Kalinkos (clarinet, co-founder), Mike Gurfield (trumpet, co-founder), Courtney Orlando (violin), Brad Balliett (bassoon), Doug Balliett (double bass), David Nelson (trombone), and Jared Soldiviero (percussion). In addition to the Septet, players perform with various contemporary groups like Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Signal, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble ACJW, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble, and they collaborate with artists such as The National, David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, The Dirty Projectors, Tyondai Braxton, St. Vincent, and John Zorn in addition to many others.
This project is supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts of Duke University.