Three World Premieres for Bolcom in September

Mr. Bolcom may say he is slowing down a little, but one would not know from his list of World Premieres in his 80th birthday year. Three of them will occur inside a two-week span in September. Two have already taken place; his song The Walrus and the Carpenter (Sacha Cooke) and his short string quartet movement, Quartettsatz (Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival).

On September 15, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new, commissioned work on its season-opening gala to celebrate the orchestra’s 90th anniversary. Bolcom chose to honor that most local of cherished traditions in the home of the University of Michigan Wolverines, the fall football Saturday. Entitled Ann Arbor Saturday the vigorous concert opener weaves his own music amid a variety of “fight songs” and the sounds of multiple percussion players to make a joyful noise that will certainly delight. The work will be conducted by Arie Lipsky at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

Maestro Bolcom also composed the competition work for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, which will be performed by several virtuosi at the Competition on Sept. 7-10. His Suite No. 3 for Solo Violin involves elements of improvisation, which were also the hallmark of his major Indianapolis Symphony work of 2013, Games & Challenges. Is there something in the water in the Hoosier State?

Bolcom has also composed Horn Trio, commissioned by Steven Gross (horn) and the experts on Bolcom’s violin and piano music, the duo American Double (Constantine Finehouse, pno. and Philip Ficsor, vln.). They will premiere the work at Metropolitan University of Denver on Sept. 20, with a performance in Ann Arbor at the Kerrytown Concert House, Sept. 23. See the promotional video here.

August 16, 2018