VC VOX POP | “If You Could Commission a Concerto from a Dead Composer, Who Would it Be?” [Q&A]

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

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“If you could commission a concerto from a dead composer, who would it be?”

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …


British Cello Soloist Steven Isserlis:

It would have to be Beethoven …

Canadian Violin Soloist James Ehnes:

Beethoven or Mozart …

Italian-German Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Augustin Hadelich:

“We're lucky as violinists as we already have concertos from most of the major composers … but I’d probably ask Chopin and Messiaen …

Korean-American Violin Soloist Sarah Chang:


Australian Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Ray Chen:

“I'd like Mahler to write me a violin concerto …

VC Artist Dover Quartet 1st Violinist Joel Link:

Beethoven … I just love everything he wrote, and would love to see what he would do again if he had another opportunity at writing a violin concerto … “

American Cellist David Finckel:

That’s an easy answer: Mozart … the cellists of Mozart’s day did not take him by the throat and force him to compose a concerto for their instrument … a costly error which we all pay for now and rests squarely on their tab …

Canadian Violin Soloist Lara St. John:

Ravel … can you imagine the Ravel Violin Concerto? …  so beautiful, and so well orchestrated …”

VC Young Artist Violist Timothy Ridout:

Sir Edward Elgar! Lionel Tertis actually did speak with Elgar about writing a viola concerto, and he was keen to write one … however sadly it was at the end of his life and he died before he managed to really start work ….

VC Rising Star Violinist Johan Dalene:

“A second violin concerto by Brahms would be nice … ”

Czech Philharmonic Concertmaster, VC Artist Josef Spacek:

I really wonder what a concerto by Mahler would sound like?

Emerson String Quartet Violinist, Philip Setzer:

I would love to have a violin concerto from Debussy or Ravel!”

VC Artist Attacca Quartet Cellist Andrew Yee:

Bela Bartok string quartet concerto … Hands down … though I wouldn't cry if Brahms had written a cello concerto either…

VC Young Artist Cellist Zlatomir Fung:

“I'd commission Mozart to write a cello concerto … I'm sure it would be simply sublime …”

VC Artist Violinist Richard Lin:

Either Mahler or Wagner …

VC Artist Violinist Nikki Chooi:

Another Richard Strauss Violin Concerto written much later in his life …

Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:


American Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Stefan Jackiw:

Charles Ives Violin Concerto!

TwoSet Violinist, Eddy Chen:

Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninov or maybe another Sibelius or Brahms violin concerto ….

TwoSet Violinist, Brett Yang:

Tchaikovsky … One wasn’t enough!

VC Young Artist Violinist Simone Porter:

I would commission a concerto from Strauss … the way he writes for the violin, as demonstrated in his concertmaster solos and sonata, is inimitable in its allure …”

VC Artist Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu:

Mozart … when I play his music I can see myself become good friends with him …

Russian-American Violin Soloist Philippe Quint:

Hector Berlioz … he owes the world a Violin Concerto!

English Violinist Tasmin Little:

Ravel  … but can I choose Rachmaninov too please?

Dutch Violin Soloist Simone Lamsma:

“We are blessed with great violin concertos by Beethoven and Brahms, but I would love another by them … and I would love a violin concerto by Rachmaninov …”

Violinist & Fashion Model Filip Pogady:

I would commission a violin concerto from a composer who I think would have written an amazing concerto … but didn't during his/her lifetime …. Franz Schubert …

London Symphony Orchestra First Violinist “Queen of Bling” Maxine Kwok-Adams:

I'd love to have seen how Mahler would have dealt with composing a violin concerto … I imagine the tutti part would have been extremely heavily scored!

VC Young Artist Violinist Francisco Fullana:

We are lucky as violinists that most composers wrote at least one violin concerto … but I would have to go with Ravel … at least we still have his two violin sonatas and Tzigane!