David Maslanka (b. 1943) is an American born composer known for his profilic collection of works for wind band and chamber ensemble. Maslanka graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in clarinet performance, later traveling to study in Vienna, then back to the states, to get his phD in composition from Michigan State University. In addition to his literature for wind and chamber ensembles, Maslanka also composed several concerti as well as works for voice and wind ensemble. Out of the five symphonies Maslanka composed for wind ensemble, Symphony no. 4 (1994) is considered to be the most monumental as well as the most performed.
As a composer, Maslanka's approach to writing began with meditation. His sensitivity to nature and attention to the surrounding earth allowed him to write with a unique aesthetic. Maslanka utilized several outside influences to drive his work, using his music as a outlet for unique expression. Maslanka composed Symphony no. 4 (1994) after meditating on Bach chorales and specific hymn tunes such as "Old Hundred," "Only Trust in God to Guide You," and "Christ Who Makes Us Holy." These reverent melodies set the tone and mood for the symphony. The calm introduction of the symphony is meant to depict these meditative hymns. As the piece unfolds, the mood becomes increasingly chaotic, but the underlying reverent melodies remain underneath. This piece is divided into two separate movements, approximately 27 minutes in length.