• Bright Sheng
  • Of Time and Love — Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (2020)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)

Commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Roberto Díaz, with support from Bridget Baird, Brenda Baird Senturia, Robert B. Downing and the Downing Family Foundation in cooperation with the Apollo Orchestra, and Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman. Co-commissioned with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra of China.

Unavailable for performance.

  • va + 2(II:pic)+pic.2(II:ca).2.2(II:cbn)/4.2.2+btbn.0/timp.3perc/hp/str
  • Viola
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Of Time and Love – Concerto for Viola and Orchestra was completed in 2022. It is orchestrated for two flutes (second doubling piccolo) and a piccolo, two oboes (second doubling English horn), two clarinets in B-flat, two bassoons (second doubling contrabassoon), four French horns, two trumpets, two tenor trombones, one bass trombone, harp, timpani, three percussion (playing slapsticks, a set of four wood blocks, small suspended cymbal, small triangle, guiro, large tamtam, large bass drum, glockenspiel, vibraphone), and strings.

A preview performance was given on October 30, 2022, by the Apollo Orchestra, conducted by David Neely, in Washington DC. The World Premiere performance was scheduled for January 29, 2023, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, at Verizon Hall (Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts) in Philadelphia, PA. Roberto Diaz, to whom the work is dedicated, was the soloist for both performances.

Composer Note
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the viola, particularly for its variety of characters, from the sweet and lyrical to the rough and dramatic. This work is also inspired by the fine musicianship of Roberto Diaz, an artist who is both virtuosic and exceptionally musical. I was happy to have the opportunity to write a viola concerto; I made sure the instrument would express its entire range of traits and the solo part would sing throughout the composition.

The work was written during the thick of the Pandemic, which reset everyone’s complacency. When human life becomes fragile, only love is timeless.

— Bright Sheng



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