The Divertimento started out as an orchestral work, but as the woodwind, brass and percussion figures evolved, composer Vincent Persichetti eliminated the idea of incorporating strings. The resulting piece has been described as "alternating between a sense of mischief and a poignant vein of nostalgia" and has become one of the most widely performed works in the entire wind band repertoire. One of the major figures in American music of the 20th century, Persichetti was influenced by Stravinsky, Bartok, Hindemith and Copland. Persichetti's first compositions were published when he was 14 years old, and by the age of 20 he was head of the theory and composition department at Philadelphia's Combs College of Music and simultaneously studying conducting at the Curtis Institute and piano and composition at the Philadelphia Conservatory. He produced a large body of orchestral, vocal and choral works in addition to his significant contributions to the literature for concert band. --James Huff 08:04, 14 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)

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