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Violin concerto


Composed in 2018

Duration: 29:00

Instrumentation: 1,1(Eh),1,1/2,1,0,0/1pc/hp/solo vln/str (min. 4,4,3,3,1)

Revised Version: 2(picc),2(Eh),2,2/2,1,0,0/4timp/1pc/hp/solo vln/str


I. Prelude and Celebration

II. Spring Pools

III. Cadenza and Finale


I composed my Violin Concerto for violinist Chloé Trevor and SYZYGY, New Music at SMU, at the request of conductor Nicholas Leh Baker. This is a very personal piece for me. Though I wrote this concerto during a period of my life filled with difficult upheaval and uncertainty, the music is tuneful, harmonically open, and often overtly joyful. To me, the concerto represents the idea that we can draw strength from spiritual sources no matter when or where we are in our personal journey, and that no matter how difficult situations may seem, we are never alone. The first movement, "Prelude and Celebration," highlights an emotional journey from darkness to light, beginning with a melancholy and pensive andante before moving into a joyous and extroverted allegro.

The second movement, "Spring Pools," has as its basis a song I had written many years before using Robert Frost’s poem of the same name. Being a young and inexperienced composer at the time, I didn’t realize that I would not be able to secure permission to use Frost’s poem from his publisher, so my song lay dormant for many years. When the opportunity to write this concerto arose, I particularly wanted to highlight the singing quality of Chloé’s playing. I remembered the song that I had composed twelve years earlier and chose to resurrect it. Now the music of Frost’s ode to pristine forest pools of melted snow is communicated wordlessly through long lines given to the soloist, interlaced with countermelodies and intricate textures in the orchestra.

An accompanied cadenza revisits some of the uncertainty of the opening movement, but the building momentum of the soloist's energy breaks through the quiet contemplation. Only a brief reminiscence of the second movement interrupts the drive into the finale, which is set as a rondo. A buoyant march theme is contrasted with more lyrical sections, before the soloist accelerates into a fiery and virtuosic coda.



First Performance: April 7th, 2018

Caruth Auditorium, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

Chloé Trevor, violin

SYZYGY, New Music at SMU

Nicholas Leh Baker, conductor



Related Works:

String Quartet No. 3

Violin Sonata

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