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Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


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             Study Score Publication



Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Instrumentation: Vln. Solo; 2(d.Picc.) 2 (d.E.H.) 2 2; 4 2 2; Timp.; 2Perc. Cel. Hp., Str.
Duration:  31 minutes
Commission Information: By the National Endowment for the Arts
Premiere Information: Joshua Bell, violin, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz, conductor; January 9, 2003, Liverpool, England
Additional Information: Rudolf Nissim Award from ASCAP, 1996
Score and Parts: Available from Presser Rental Library
Piano Reduction: Preview and Purchase
Study Score: Preview and Purchase


Violin Concerto Audio Samples:

I. Andante-Allegro con brio

II. Adagio

III. Allegro moderato




About the Violin Concerto:

I was thrilled when the National Endowment for the Arts awarded me a grant to write a violin concerto.  It provided me with an opportunity to revisit some of my musical impressions of the Kamancheh, an ancient Persian bowed instrument, considered being one of the ancestors to the modern violin.

From my early years in the Tehran Music Conservatory, I was mesmerized by the sound of Kamancheh.  Therefore, the notion of writing a violin concerto that incorporates the power and brilliance of a modern instrument and the intimacy of an ancient one was simply irresistible.  The inspiration from the Kamancheh also informed my use of Persian modes and rhythms.

The notes of the violin’s open strings (G,D,A,E) have influenced many of the melodic and harmonic aspects of my violin concerto (completed 1994).  The opening tutti of the concerto is primarily based on the intervals of perfect 4th and 5th.  Each movement highlights two of the violin strings, creating a three-note melodic motif:

1st movement: A-D-A

2nd movement: D-G-D

3rd movement: E-A-E

The overall structure of the concerto is organic, as themes are shared between the three movements.  For example, the main musical idea of the third movement is a transformation of the first movement’s primary theme.  While the movements share similar musical materials, each one is defined by a distinguishing characteristic.  The first movement is conflicted, as it alternates between sections of unabashed lyricism and unforgiving ferocity. 

 The second movement is dark, mysterious and expressive.  It is essentially one long melody that varies continuously.  The third movement is festive in character and features much brilliant passagework for the solo violin.  At the climax of this movement, themes from the first and second movements re-emerge simultaneously with greater intensity, propelling the concerto to an energetic finale.

 The score of the Violin Concerto is dedicated to Joshua Bell.




 "…high class, cohesive, eminently listenable-to music. … Eastern exoticism, encased within a Western classical format …when the concerto… just sings out a fine melodic line, the effect is ravishing."

-Joe Riley, Liverpool ECHO

"… a varied tapestry of interesting sounds, colors, rich harmonies [and] integrated melodies…"
-Geraldine Freedman, The Sunday Gazette (Albany)

"The Tehran-born Juilliard composer might be thought of as music’s magical realist. In this work – as well as in his Persian Trilogy” – a passage can be going along at midlevel dissonance when, as if a light suddenly refracted, the orchestration turns lustrous and the harmonies seductive."
-Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

Past performances include:

- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Joshua Bell, violin, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Liverpool,  England.

- Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Joshua Bell, violin, Mario Venzago, conductor, Indianapolis, Indiana.

- Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Joshua Bell, violin, Peter Oundjian, conductor, Toronto, Canada.

- Juilliard Orchestra, William Harvey, violin, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Alice Tully Hall, New York.

- Philadelphia Orchestra, Chantal Juillet, violin, Charles Dutoit, conductor, SPAC, Saratoga Springs, New York.

- Allentown Symphony, Cho-Liang Lin, violin, Diane Wittry, conductor, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

- Curtis Orchestra, Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin, JoAnn Falletta, conductor, Verizon Hall, Philadelphia.

- Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Sandro Leal-Santiesteban, vn., Ronald Zollman, cond., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

- Festival Orchestra of May, William Harvey, violin, Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor, Guadalajara, Mexico.


- Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, William Harvey, violin, Dan Allcott, conductor, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

- South Dakota Symphony, Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin, Delta David Gier, conductor, Sioux Falls, S. Dakota.

- Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin, Stephen Alltop, conductor.






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