A new violin concerto by the American composer Joseph Schwantner will receive its premiere this week. Both performances will be led by Leonard Slatkin, and the second performance will be live-streamed on the Detroit Symphony's website.
Performing the concerto is Yevgeny Kutik, who has worked extensively with Schwantner before. The first movement of the concerto derives from an existing work titled "The Poet's Hour," which was initially commissioned by the Seattle Symphony in celebration of the career of Gerard Schwarz.
"While composing the piece for Seattle, I had always planned to later expand and re-imagine the music as part of a larger scale work for violin and orchestra," Schwantner said. "When Gerard also performed the music with his All-Star Orchestra and violinist, Yevgeny Kutik, I was enthralled with Yevgeny's masterful and nuanced performance and realized I had found 'the' soloist to premiere this newly expanded work."
"Yevgeny Kutik brings a dramatic and an emotional arc to his impressive technique and captivating musical personality, and that vision remained in my mind's ear all during the writing of the concerto," Schwantner added.
“This will be my first time working with Leonard Slatkin, so I’m very excited,” says Kutik. “I got to know Joseph Schwantner about 10 years ago, when he wrote a small work for violin and string orchestra called The Poet’s Hour...the first movement of the concerto is based on The Poet’s Hour, but it’s much expanded. The second movement is completely brand new, and this piece is just massive.”
You can buy tickets to the performance, here.
You can hear Kutik performing another of Schwantner's works, "Daydreams," below.