Orchestra of St. Luke's to Open Carnegie Season With Joshua Bell in World Premiere of Greenberg's Violin Concerto

Classic Arts News   Orchestra of St. Luke's to Open Carnegie Season With Joshua Bell in World Premiere of Greenberg's Violin Concerto
The Orchestra of St. Luke's will perform the world premiere of 16-year-old Jay Greenberg's Violin Concerto with soloist Joshua Bell in its Carnegie Hall season opener on October 28.

"The one-movement Concerto features much dialogue between soloist and orchestra; while it opens with an orchestral introduction _ a practice first developed in the 1700s and 1800s in order to accommodate latecoming aristocrats so that they would not miss the 'main event' _ it also contains many virtuosic passages showing off the full range of the violin," writes the young composer. "Throughout, the Concerto contains a variety of dance-like elements, (the motionless opening aside) from the 7/8 orchestral hammer-blows of the exposition to the extended accelerando at the end."

Greenberg was born in New Haven, CT and at age ten entered both the college and pre-college divisions of The Juilliard School, where he has studied with Samuel Zyman, Ira Taxin, Samuel Adler, Ernest Baretta, Lance Horn and Kendall Briggs. By 14, Greenberg had written over a hundred musical works, including five symphonies, 17 piano sonatas and three piano concertos.

His Overture to 9/11 won first prize in the Juilliard pre-college division's composition competition in 2003; thereafter, he received the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers awards three years in a row.

Greenberg's recent commissions are, among others, Short Stories for tenor saxophone, percussion and orchestra, performed at Alice Tully Hall by the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, and Hexalogue for winds and piano, premiered at the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina.

"How do you react when you encounter an early compositional gift so extraordinary that you can't even begin to comprehend it?" Zyman wrote of the composer in The Juilliard Journal in 2003. "How do you explain to others a compositional talent so exquisitely developed at such an early age that you can barely believe it yourself? What would you do if you personally met an eight-year-old boy who can compose and fully notate half a movement of a magnificent piano sonata in the style of Beethoven, before your very eyes and without a piano, in less than an hour? How do you let the world know that the same boy, at age 10, composed a probing, original viola concerto in three movements, fully orchestrated, in just a few weeks?"

The Violin Concerto was commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke's with funds provided by the Maria and Robert A. Skirnick Fund for New Works. The October 28 program also includes Barber's Violin Concerto (with Bell), Haydn's Symphony No. 93 and Joan Tower's In Memory.

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