Expansive and sassy epic sonata.


I. Intense and aggressive, II. Groové, III. Spirited and Explosive, IV. Delicate

Duration: 22'

Completion Date: 1996

Premiered at the Tanglewood Music Festival by Glenn Cherry and Miri Yampolsky

Winner of the Lee Ettleson Prize from Composers Inc.

Score available from Oxford University Press


Violinguistics: American Voices

Scott Conklin, violin
Alan Huckelberry, piano
Albany Records, 2009








Excerpt from 'I.Intense and aggressive'

Excerpt from 'II.Groové'

 Excerpt from 'III.Spirited and Explosive'

Excerpt from 'IV.Delicate'


Composers' Note:

My Sonata for Violin and Piano remains one of my favorites works that I wrote at the University while I was studying with composer William Bolcom for whom it is dedicated.  To those familiar with my teacher’s music, the influence upon my sonata should be evident in the work’s attitude; that is the willingness to blur artistic boundaries, the pulling together of wide and diverse stylistic genres and the explosion of pastiche.  While some of these characteristics have waned in my music over time, the lasting effect of the sonata upon my development as a composer is an undying longing for a artistic liberation and freedom.

My sonata was written with a trust in my musical instincts and gut feelings over preconceptions or detailed planning.  The opening passage from which all arises came to me like a gift during a care ride with my father with whom I strongly associate the work. The four-movement setting developed out of the surprising variety and potential of the work’s materials that surfaced during musical free association and play.  Of concern to me was allowing for the vast variety of musical directions arising from within and not suppressing what arose.  Thus, the Blues, a quote of Brahms, stark dissonance, and surprisingly simple tunes woven together into a single dream.

I began the composition in the autumn of 1995 and completed it in June of 1996. Maria Sampen and Gordon Beeferman premiered the first movement in Ann Arbor, Michigan just before the first complete performance on August 18, 1996 in Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Festival.  Glen Cherry played violin and Miri Yampolsky played the piano.




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