Composers Datebook®

David Stock's Quartet No. 3

David Stock (1939 - 2015) – String Quartet No. 3 (Cuarteto Latinoamericano) Innova 563

Composer's Datebook - 20210907


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September 07, 2021


In Pittsburgh on today’s date in 1996, the Latin-American Quartet of Mexico gave the premiere of the Third String Quartet of American composer David Stock. Stock was probably best known for his orchestral music served as composer-in-residence with both the Pittsburgh and Seattle Symphonies, writing large-scale works for those ensembles, but he wrote 13 string quartets as well.

The first was a student work that premiered in Paris.  The second is subtitled “Speaking Extravagantly” after a quote by Charles Ives that “perhaps music is the art of speaking extravagantly.” Stock’s Third Quartet is a more personal work: its scherzo movement, concludes with a set of variations on “Happy Birthday” – a tribute to the composer’s wife on the occasion of her turning 50.

In addition to composing and teaching, Stock was an advocate for other composers’ works. For 23 years, Stock served as director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and as host of a weekly radio series on WQED in that city. And speaking of radio, in 2001 Stock conducted the Charlottesville Symphony in the premiere of his piece entitled “Drive Time,” which Stock described as “an updated version of the music usually programmed on Public Radio during the morning and evening drive time slots."

Music Played in Today's Program

David Stock (1939 - 2015) – String Quartet No. 3 (Cuarteto Latinoamericano) Innova 563

On This Day


  • 1726 - French opera composer and chess master François André Danican-Philidor, in Dreux;

  • 1923 - English composer, pianist and actress Madeleine Dring, in Hornsey, London;

  • 1924 - American film composer Leonard Rosenman, in Brooklyn;


  • 1881 - American poet, flutist and composer Sidney Lanier, age 39, in Lynn, N.C.;


  • 1922 - Bliss: "Colour Symphony," at the Three Choirs' Festival in Glouchester, England;

  • 1940 - David Diamond: "Concerto for Orchestra," in Yaddo, N.Y.;

  • 1949 - Ghedini: opera, "Billy Budd," in Venice (Benjamin Britten's more successful operatic treatment of the same Hermann Melville novella premiered in London on December 1, 1951);

  • 1971 - Bernstein: "Mass" (public dress rehearsal), at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; The work's official gala premiere occurred on Sept. 8, 1971.

  • 1996 - David Stock: String Quartet No. 3, in Pittsburgh, by Cuarteto Latinoamericano.