A New Flute Concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis

A New Flute Concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis
© Photo Credit: Bowditch
The Detroit Symphony and soloist Marina Piccinini present the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis' Flute Concerto January 21-23, with Leonard Slatkin conducting.

"This new flute concerto was written especially for Marina Piccinini and inspired by the beauty and elegance of her playing," notes Kernis. Not only is the concerto built with the traditional opposites — soloist and orchestra — but, as Kernis explains, "I consider that the work is in two halves — one dark and the other light. The darker includes the two longer movements I. Portrait and III. Pavan, and the lighter and shorter II. Pastorale-Barcarolle and IV. TaranTulla."

These halves share common musical ideas that link the parts together. Dance rhythms are a strong thread uniting its musical language as well. In addition, the finale, Kernis comments, is "a virtuoso romp, influenced by the flutist-leader Ian Anderson's classic rock group, Jethro Tull (but more out of the blues-side of their music, less out of the rock...)."

He dedicates his first concerto for the flute to Piccinini "with warmth and admiration."

Piccinini brings the concerto to the Rochester Philharmonic and conductor Ward Stare on February 4-6.

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