If you asked me in high school, the most contemporary pieces I had studied were "Hoedown" by Copland (1945) and the "Roumanian Folk Dances" by Bartok (1915). In college and graduate school, I was fortunate enough to perform orchestral works by Chen Yi, William Bolcom, Michael Torke, and a few other living composers.
Now, I'm happy to say that my music stand holds some pieces written in the last few years, just waiting for me to find some practice time and motivation: When The Violin by Reena Esmail, Sky by Michael Torke, a Courante by Andre Myers, and a new piece from a composer friend that is currently in progress! I'm hoping I'll have some time over my winter break to practice and enjoy these pieces.
When it comes to Dawson's new book of modern-music etudes, they give me the opportunity to brush up on my own 20th and 21st century theory while also offering a way to help me teach young students the musical languages that exist closer to them in history, and to equip them with the tools they need to understand, appreciate, and play this music.
So, what about you? What is the most recent piece of music you've played on your instrument? Was a solo piece, or something for orchestra or ensemble? Did you enjoy the experience? Who are your favorite composers of the last century?
You might also like:
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.