Solo Instrument(s) and Orchestra



Solo Instrument(s) and Orchestra

instrumentation, 1 perc., Hp.-solo vn.-str.


10 min.

commissioned by

Joshua Bell

premiered by

Joshua Bell, violin; NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Alan Gilbert, conductor


Earth is my contribution to the “Elements” project, a suite involving five composers which was commissioned by Joshua Bell and premiered in August 2023. The piece begins on solid ground, with a repeating four-note ostinato over which the solo violin and the orchestral violins trade lyrical phrases. This opening idea was drawn from my Violin Concerto (2006) but takes a different journey here, eventually "taking flight" for a brief period. Beyond the fundamental sense of stability and endurance the element earth suggested to me, I hope the music also conveys a more spiritual reverence for the planet Earth itself.

(photo credit Chris Lee)