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Violin Concerto “Tributes” (2009)
for solo violin and orchestra (or piano reduction)
Commissioned by the Minnesota Commissioning Club
Premiered on April 11, 2012 by Jennifer Frautschi, violin, and the Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vanska, Music Director
Program Notes (summary)
“Tributes” is a conscious nod to all of the people who have contributed to the creation of this work: Composers and soloists – past and present – who have written/performed timeless and inspiring violin concertos. Jennifer Frautschi – for whom the work was written – for her wonderful technical mastery and musical elegance on the violin. David Schiff (a wonderful composer) – who consistently offered words of guidance as I busied myself on this task. Louis Armstrong, who every day would “compose” improvised solos of incomparable form and structure. The 2nd movement is based entirely on his spontaneous solo (skat-singing) from a 1920s recording of “Hotter Than That” – when he was just in his mid-20s.
And lastly – this concerto is most importantly a tribute to the Minnesota Commissioning Club; a private group of 12 men and women dedicated to the support of the creation of new music. Without them, this new violin concerto would not be possible. They should be commended for their generosity and faith in new music, and I offer this piece to them with the most heartfelt gratitude and appreciation.