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Work of the Week – Joseph Schwantner: Violin Concerto

On Friday, October 15, Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra will be first performed at Orchestra Hall Detroit, MI, with violinist Yevgeny Kutik and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.

It is the first work which the 78-year old composer names ‘violin concerto, after former works for solo violin and orchestra carry the titles Angelfire and The Poet’s Hour… The latter  being the starting point for the new 30-minute concerto:

The genesis of the violin concerto originally began as a short soliloquy for violin and strings commissioned by the Seattle Symphony to commemorate my friend, Gerard Schwarz’s retirement as the orchestra’s musical director. I had always planned to later expand and re-imagine the music as part of a larger scale work for violin and orchestra. When Gerard also performed the music with his All-Star Orchestra and violinist, Yevgeny Kutik, I was enthralled with Yevgeny’s masterful and nuanced performance. He brings a dramatic and an emotional arc to his impressive technique and captivating musical personality and that vision remained in my mind’s ear all during the writing of the concerto. (Joseph Schwantner)

One day after the premiere, there will be one further concert at the same venue. Both concerts will also be available as live streams.