Bolcom Commissioned for 2018 International Violin Competition

Press release: October 20, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS — The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) has commissioned Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-Winning composer William Bolcom to write the 2018 Commissioned Work for its 10th Quadrennial Competition. Since its inception in 1982, the IVCI has commissioned a work for violin from a world-renowned composer specifically for each Competition. Every participant will feature the world premiere of the work in the Semi-Final round during the 2018 Competition, which commences next August.

A composer of highly successful violin sonatas, Bolcom has, in recet years, received commissions by noted violinists Gil Shaham and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. His most recent Indianapolis visit took place during the world premiere of Games and Challenges: Something Wonderful Right Away, an improvisational triple concerto for ground-breaking string trio and Indy favorite Time for Three, commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2013.

The forthcoming new work for solo violin for the 2018 Competition, “is written specifically to help emerging violinists discover a unique musical soul,” says Bolcom. “The Suite No. 3 is a group of phantasmagoric character pieces, exploring the solo violin’s dramatic and expressive possibilities. The two existing suites are portraits of great violinists Sergiu Luca and Gil Shaham, who each exude an unmistakable personality – but I want Suite No. 3, a competition piece, to be something opposite: a work, pregnant with expressive breadth that should come out differently for each performer.”

Mr. Bolcom joins a list of other world-renowned composers who have penned compositions for “The Indianapolis” Competition: Joonas Kokkonen (1982), Leon Kirchner (1986), George Rochberg (1990), Witold Lutosławski (1994), Ned Rorem (1998), Richard Danielpour (2002), Bright Sheng (2006), Joan Tower (2010) and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (2014).

“The commissioned work is an integral part of the Semi Final round,” says IVCI Executive Director Glen Kwok. “We are extremely honored that William Bolcom has accepted our invitation to write the required composition for the 10th Quadrennial IVCI Competition.” Jaime Laredo, IVCI Jury President since 1994 and former student of IVCI Artistic Founder Josef Gingold, states that commissioning a new work for each Competition is a twofold advantage. “The work not only showcases the violinists’ interpretive abilities of contemporary music, but also contributes to the growth of the contemporary violin repertoire. To that end, we are proud to have commissioned ten works to date from the world’s most celebrated composers, works which have now become part of the standard violin literature.”

The Competition will begin its opening ceremonies on Friday, August 31, 2018 and will conclude Sunday, September 16, 2018 with a Gala Awards Ceremony and Reception.


Contact: Zack French, Director of Communications and Artist Advancement for IVCI
Phone: 317-637-4574

October 24, 2017