Flute, clarinet, and piano
Soprano Sax, Clarinet, and piano

Approx. 5 minutes


Definition: Torschlußpanik: “Literally translated as a “gate-closing panic”. It is sense of anxiety or fear that one’s life is passing them by and that their future opportunities are diminishing.” (From

Torschlußpanik has been a title waiting for an opportunity to become a piece for me for many years. I knew that I needed to wait for the right project to come up, and when the Verismo Trio approached me for a short work that had an energetic ending, I knew that the time was right.

I relied a little more on the root of the word, rather than the modern meaning. The term originated with the idea that you had to get into the castle before the gate closed if you wanted to be safe from the attacking army, so you had to rush in a panic before the gates of the castle slammed shut with you on the wrong side.

The idea that the Germans had one word for as complex an emotional state as what Torschlußpanik is intended to convey attracted me instantly, but I also think I understand the concept a little better on a personal level ever year. Like my friend who baked monthly earthquake-themed cakes to ward of a massive earthquake in Los Angeles in 2012, I see this piece as a means to ward off the innate Torschlußpanik that we all can feel from time to time.

Torschlußpanik was commissioned by the Verismo Trio, supported by the Wyoming Excellence Fund

If the instrumentation of this work isn’t quite what you are looking for, let’s discuss the creation of a new version of this work that will meet your needs. You may be surprised at how easy this is to do. Contact me at [email protected]