Dorman: From Bluegrass to Baroque

Dorman: From Bluegrass to Baroque
© Lawrence White
His new Violin Concerto may mix influences ranging from bluegrass to baroque, but Avner Dorman has created a new work that is all his own.

“Unlike a traditional concerto, in which the soloist and the orchestra compete for prominence mainly as two separate entities, in this piece, each member of the orchestra aspires, so to speak, to be a soloist,” says Dorman. The interplay among the instruments creates a sort of battle for domination, as “each member of the orchestra tries to pull the piece in a different stylistic direction. For example, the harpsichord may play a baroque figure, while the clarinet, trumpet and double basses create a jazzy jam session. Alternatively, the percussionist might play the salsa, while the solo violin plays a classical theme.”

Violinist Ittai Shapira, who will premiere the work, adds, “Avner has allowed himself to be influenced by all of these and more, while keeping his own unique voice throughout the entire work. This concerto utilizes our mutual interest in 20th century, baroque, bluegrass and middle eastern genres – all as technically demanding as they are charismatic.”

Dorman’s Violin Concerto, commissioned by the Jerusalem Symphony, premieres on 18 October in Jerusalem, Israel, with Shapira as soloist and Gisele Ben-Dor conducting.

Last month, Dorman’s song-cycle The Fear of Men (for baritone and piano), commissioned by the Goerlitz Festival, premiered on 15 September in the German-Polish twin city of Goerlitz-Zgorzelec. Looking ahead to March 2007, the Nashville Symphony presents the US premiere of Dorman’s Variations Without a Theme, under the direction of Asher Fisch.

Violin Concerto
Duration: 23'
Violin; 2(2pic).1.2(bcl).1/ hpd).hp/str