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New Violin Concerto by Unsuk Chin

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Title : New Violin Concerto by Unsuk Chin
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New Violin Concerto by Unsuk Chin

The New York Times gins up some journalistic excitement: Unsuk Chin on the Violin Concerto She Swore She’d Never Write. I really cannot imagine a composer saying to themselves "I swear I will never write another violin concerto!" But never mind, it is an interesting article on an interesting premiere:

After having its premiere delayed by the pandemic, the work was unveiled by the London Symphony Orchestra in January. It arrived in the United States last week for performances with another of its commissioners, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which joins Kavakos to perform the work under Andris Nelsons at Carnegie Hall on Monday, alongside Ives’s “The Unanswered Question” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.”

That's the kind of program I would love to hear! Included in the article is a couple of pages from the violin part heavily annotated by the performer, Leonidas Kavakos:

Click to enlarge

AGH! That is the kind of score that makes me glad I'm not doing contemporary premieres any more. A lot of the added notes in color are showing where a harmonic will actually sound. Just imagine how many hours (months!) of work goes into sorting out exactly how to play a score like this. The London premiere is available on YouTube:

 And we can also listen to her Violin Concerto from 2001 which won the Grawemeyer Award in 2004.

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