New York Times critic Harold Schonberg once commented that solo concerti for the English horn are as rare as fish with fur. Indeed the common impression is that works composed specifically for the instrument are few and far between . However William McMullen's thematic catalogue admirably refutes this notion with 200 works that are originally written for a soloistic English horn; works that allow the player an opportunity to illustrate the instrument's unique expressive qualities in a solo setting. Each entry in the catalogue is divided into two main parts-one dealing with information about the composer and the other supplying details about the work (instrumentation; date and place of composition/publication; numbers titles and timings of movements; first performance dates; comments from the composer; and a description of any unusual technical demands upon the soloist. Thematic incipits are also included.
William McMullen, professor of oboe at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, is principal oboe with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and oboist in the Moran Woodwind Quintet. He has appeared as soloist with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra in performances of the Strauss, Mozart and Vaughan-Williams concertos. McMullen is a frequent recitalist throughout the United States with pianist, Catherine Herbener, and has performed at IDRS conventions in Utah, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, the Netherlands, Australia and Banff, Canada. His CD “Twentieth-Century British Music for Oboe and Piano” with Catherine Herbener was released in 2002 by Crystal Records and includes works by Bennett, Howells, Jacob, Berkeley and Rubbra. "Duos for Flute and Oboe” a CD with flutist Claudia Anderson, was released in 2005 by Centaur Records, and contains duets by Jacob, Migot, Ginastera, Bozza, Muczynski, Musgrave and Serebrier. As a member of the Moran Woodwind Quintet McMullen has toured extensively throughout the Midwest and in 1992 the quintet was nominated for NPR’s Lucian Wulsin Award for Best Regional Performance, Small Ensemble. The quintet has recorded four CD’s on Crystal Records; a collection of contemporary quintet music titled “Postcards From the Center” and three CD’s of the complete quintet repertoire of German composer Theodor Blumer. McMullen was on the faculty of Rocky Ridge Music Center summer music festival in Estes Park, Colorado for 23 summers, was on the faculty of Point Counter Point Chamber Music Camp in Vermont for 5 summers and on the faculty of Merrywood Music Camp in Massachusetts for 3 summers. He received his D.M.A. and M.M. degrees from The Juilliard School as a student of Thomas Stacy and B.M.E degree from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music as a student of Galan Kral.