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Concerto #2 for Trumpet – “Rextreme” (2010)
Commissioned and premiered by Rex Richardson
Premiered on July 6, 2010 at the ITG conference in Sidney, Australia
Notes from the composer:
In the summer of 1987, Rex Richardson and I first met as young trumpet players at the ITG (International Trumpet Guild) Conference, held in Kalamazoo, MI, on the campus of Western Michigan University. While we both have different accounts of what we were actually doing when we met (though both stories involve misbehaving adolescents), one thing can be acknowledged as fact: that neither of us had any inkling that Rex would be premiering a trumpet concerto that I would compose for him 23 years later, and that the premiere would take place at yet another ITG Conference, this time in Sydney, Australia!
Since our first meeting, Rex has gone on to conquer the trumpet world, in both the classical and jazz idioms. I, on the other hand, have put the trumpet in the case, and am now enjoying life solely as a composer.
“Rextreme” is an effort to showcase Rex’s tremendous versatility as a trumpet soloist. The three movement work includes modern classical trumpet writing, beautiful ballad solos (flugelhorn), and also allows opportunities for improvisatory solos. Acknowledging Rex’s ability as a very fine composer, the work also allows for a freely improvised cadenza, occurring just before the virtuosic ending, highlighting his masterful technique on the instrument.
A constant joy for me is the chance to write music for colleagues with whom I have enjoyed a lasting friendship. This work is certainly no exception, as I consider Rex to be one of my closest friends. I sincerely appreciate his faith in me as a composer with this collaboration to come up with a new work designed especially for him.
Though the work was written specifically with Rex in mind, “Rextreme” is certainly accessible to all classical audiences and classical trumpet soloists as well. Alternative versions of the solo trumpet part are available to those who would prefer not to improvise.
The premiere of ‘Rextreme’ occurred on July 6, 2010 in Sydney, Australia, conducted by Mr. Stephen Williams, with the composer in attendance.