Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bolcom: Suite for Violin and Cello

Hi Everyone,

Last week, Cicely and I had the great fortune to meet and work with William Bolcom, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning, Grammy Award-winning composer and pianist! He composed a fantastic work called "Suite for Violin and Violoncello," which has quickly become one of our favorite duos, and we look forward to performing it soon.

It is such a unique experience to work with the composer himself on his music. For those of you who are musicians, I think we all sometimes wish we could write a list of questions for Beethoven, have his direct answers, and so put all other opinions to rest. Much of the time, omissions and ambiguity on the part of the composer force us to rely upon our own judgement, which not only leads to a diversity of interpretations, but debate as well.

To prepare a piece of contemporary music under the guidance of its creator can therefore be a fantastic opportunity to acquire some degree of authority; when questioned, one merely has to point out, "the composer said so!"

It was an honor to play for Mr. Bolcom and his famous wife and mezzo-soprano, Joan Morris. We left with several CDs and a stack of music to work on; Bolcom violin sonatas and cello sonatas will be making their way to our rep lists shortly!

All for now.