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Sylvester Wager
  • Male
  • New York, NY
  • United States
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Sylvester Wager's Friends

  • Mimmo D'Ippolito
  • Marco
  • Dan Pincus
  • Paulo cesar Maia de Aguiar (Br)
  • Rowan Galagher
  • Michael Thomas Huspek
  • Bill Ricci
  • Oliver F. Koelling
  • William Bowers
  • Joe  Sorce
  • Tombo Rombo
  • Rudi [Rudolf Schmitt]
  • Matt Le Mare


  • 1.
    Cherry Blossoms
  • 2.
  • 3.
    Liebe for Quasthof.
  • 4.
    Victorian Variation 1.
  • 5.
    Victorian Variation 2.
  • 6.
    Victorian Variation 3.
  • 7.
    Victorian Variation 4.
  • 8.
    Victorian Variation 5. work copy
  • 9.
    Work Copy of Victorian Variation 7
  • 10.
    Andante Cantabile 1988, City College
  • 11.
    O Sacrum Convivium arr. of choral work for strings
  • 12.
    French Noel (mockup)
  • 13.
    Soft Wood
  • 14.
    Happy Birthday Toccata
  • 15.
    Classical Music Trapped in Hell
  • 16.
    JZ in the 70s
  • 17.
    Romantic, sad short film music
  • 18.
    A Little Puppy Music
  • 19.
    M Train Blues
  • 20.
    Dog Music 3
  • 21.
    Greenport, Long Island
  • 22.

Sylvester Wager's Discussions

How many concerts in the style that you compose do you attend?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tyler Hughes Feb 13, 2012. 5 Replies

I'm in the smug position of having a long-term, adoring friend who likes concerts. He pays for most of them. I go to too many concerts. Morning rehearsals for the NY Phil, chamber recitals, piano,…Continue

Percussion issue with a Full Score in Finale 2012.

Started this discussion. Last reply by Greg Brus May 22, 2012. 2 Replies

The problem is me. I don't really understand how Finale 2011, the internal Garritan MIDI sounds, soft-synth and GPO4 are supposed to work together to create a score that even sounds.My first score…Continue

Poor, lonely Jazz category. And we owe so much to Jazz: every day of our lives.

Started this discussion. Last reply by Michael T Jan 24, 2012. 17 Replies

Classical musicians usually know practically nothing about jazz theory. When they do, they tend to throw a wet blanket over it and send it through some sort of blender: a violins and…Continue

French Noel: Quelle est cette odeur agréable? Piano Quartet

Started this discussion. Last reply by Nigel Keay Dec 31, 2010. 4 Replies I was not going to promote my own work, but it is seasonal. Like now or never!  The work was…Continue

Tags: GPO4, quartet, piano, music, christmas


Sylvester Wager's Page

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Choir, Small Ensemble, Other
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
Mainstream Classical 1st; Jazz standards 2nd; novelty music 3rd.
Is music your main income source?
No - Not at all.
Where do you live?
New York City
About Me (Must include at least one paragraph of biographical information about you as a composer) - blank or minimal answers on this line will cause your request to be rejected. Include a link to your website if you have one.
Just another gay composer with HIV and a serious mental illness. I was once a decent, paid musician/organist, etc. Now I'm on disability forever. I think of it as a gov't subsidy for a lost composer. I cannot say that music drove me mad; it was the only sane thing about me. I'm happily ensconced in The Times Square Hotel. I live alone, and I am somewhat reclusive. I stay on my Island of Manhattan most of the time. I share a dog (rat terrier) with two friends in Kew Gardens, Queens.

I go to dozens of classical concerts every year, and that keeps keep me humble. The "real" and "accepted" body of mostly dead composers is awesome. I have not seen a real and lasting challenge to them for decades. There is a great deal of talent out there: just no decent work. We may be at the end of the classical-music era. Museum-orchestras are popular, these days. They make attempts to premiere works - but the new music they play is no longer "classical." I think it might be time to accept that being novel is not the king/queen of all virtues. I really do not care "when" it was written: just that is was.

I have been to college & conservatory. I studied composition, at times. It was my first major, in 1981. I also studied organ, seriously. My only rule: I believe that I need to be aware of some/most of the rules before I can bend them. Much of writing is trial and error. More of it is having a plan, which is why I stick to accepted forms that can be easily heard, usually.

I may not write highly dissonant music today, but I have in the past. I am a fan of the music of Messiaen, and the whole bank of 20th Century French organ composers.
peace from Sylvester

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Sylvester Wager's Blog

First Blog Post: When does classical music become boring?

Posted on January 17, 2012 at 9:06pm 4 Comments

A jazz pianist and I had this discussion tonight: when is it just too much, or too little? My friend is a gifted artist; he can handle dissonances well, by ear.

I always wonder why jazz and classical music have mistrusted one another in the concert hall. The conservatories are worse: their theory tracks are completely different.

But this not about that difference. This is about interest. When does it get boring? Anything, really. Any music.

For me, when I am hopelessly…


Garritan Personal Orchestra 4: who knows how to trick it up?

Posted on December 16, 2010 at 11:59am 19 Comments

'Recently purchased Finale & GPO4. I did not expect much, since most digital scores (that try to sound acoustic) are disappointments.

.....I went to venerable YouTube, and I heard a few passable to even decent orchestral scores. That means that there are all kinds of tricks to work out with the ARIA player. Each instrument voice has several controls, some of which I played with to get a recent string-centered piece to sound less irritating. They are meant to be…


Jumping in: Buying Finale 2011... what else will a classical, orchestral composer need?

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 3:52pm 5 Comments

I've been asked to write for a piano quintet [piano + string quartet]. Nothing fancy, but the players will be first-rate. So I cannot hand them manuscript.

Been offered anything I need. I also need to be reasonable. I set my budget at $2,000. I'd like not to ask for more than that.

I will get Finale 2011 at $350 (academic/institutional)

I need a new, stronger PC. Any RAM ideas? I know, "as fast as possible." I will go for Windows.

Those are…


Comment Wall (16 comments)

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At 6:04pm on January 18, 2012, Dan Pincus said…

Hi Sylvester,

Thank you very much for visiting my site and listening to my music. I have listened to much of yours as well and I can hear years of successful study. You are really a terrific musician and your music is very moving for me. I intend on listening to it much more over the weekend when I don't have to work. Hope you will accept my Composrs' Forum friends request.

Thanks again,


At 11:01am on January 14, 2012, GaribaldiMusic said…

Thanks a lot for listening Sylvester!

Many of my pieces are originals and others are knock-offs. Many libararies and music supervisors need some that sounds like...

Listen though your music too and I love your piano music. Especially the sad film music

Take care


At 3:22am on November 28, 2011, Joe Sorce said…

Thanks Sylvester. I agree.  I live in that intersection.  

At 8:09pm on August 24, 2011, Paulo cesar Maia de Aguiar (Br) said…

Wonderful music " Puppy play " I loved it . Could you  send me pdf file?

At 1:44pm on January 31, 2011, Moses said…
You've got some fantastic creations, Sylvester!
At 4:40pm on November 26, 2010, Miguel Hilao said…
Hello Sylvester your skills are very good and you communicate them well thank you for sharing.
At 3:23am on October 25, 2010, Rudi [Rudolf Schmitt] said…
Very beautiful music! Thanks for sharing!
At 9:13pm on October 24, 2010, Fernando said…
Great music Sylvester!...I very much enjoyed your colorful harmonic structures.
At 9:05am on October 4, 2010, Tombo Rombo said…
Thank you for listening and for the compliments. I have never heard of Martin Denny or that other fellow, Spike Jones. I'll have to check them out.
At 1:39pm on October 2, 2010, Tombo Rombo said…

Just listened to Rhapsody in C,. Excellent! You have a wild sense of harmonic motion but none of it seems like it's from left field because it is so well integrated. Very enjoyable, thanks for sharing!


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