Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Instrumentation: two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two trombones, tuba, timpani, two percussion, harp, piano, strings

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Performance History: Reading by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Music Center, New Brunswick NJ, May 3, 2017, Kynan Johns, dir., Carl Bolleia, soloist Duration: 11 minutes

Program Note: The origins of this piece came from a persistent notion. I felt that I had been focused on narrative and music for a relatively long time, and that I was at a point where I wanted to try something different. I did not want narrative to be the central feature here, but I still wanted it to exist somewhere within the fabric of the work. There was some success: while there is a motion away from narrative towards showcasing the soloistic and virtuosic properties of the piano, the relatively free and improvisational nature of the first movement underscores a not-so-subtle delving into rhapsody.

The work focues on two melodic fragments that form the core of the work as these fragments form the basis for much of the thematic development. Neither melody is ascendant; rather, they often occupy the same musical space and often alternate between foreground and background. The idea with this work was to create a “traditional” concerto, where the soloist is the dominant figure, but sometimes has to compete with the orchestra to maintain its primary role.