Rhapsody for Orchestra

Composed:  2009 (revised 2014)
Commission:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of Elaine Lebenbom
Premiere:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, conductor, January 9, 2009
Premiere of new first movement: Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, January 28, 2015
Duration:  16 minutes
Instrumentation:  3 (3rd dbl. picc), 2, EH, 3 (3rd dbl. bscl), 2, Cbsn; 432 BsTbn, 1; Timp. 3 Perc. Harp, Strings


I.    Prologue (2014)
II.    Airs and Rhapsodies
III.   Dance

Rhapsody for Orchestra was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of Elaine Lebenbom.  In the style of a concerto for orchestra, it features principal players, sections, and the entire orchestra in a soloistic way.  I love the orchestra - its beauty, power and excitement.  It has an unparalleled ability to produce a vast array of sounds and beautiful melodies in many different colors.  My intention when writing this work was to let the orchestra shine, to show off a bit in different ways - with beautiful melodies, with bravura, with passion, with powerful sound and with electric rhythms.

This work is dedicated to composer Donald Erb who recently passed away.  I think composing his music helped him to come to grips with the experiences that occurred in his world.  By the same token, in my music I am trying to make sense of the complex world that I inhabit as a person living in the 21st century.


"Rhapsody proved to be a compact, cleverly scored concerto for orchestra…latent with romanticism but rippled." - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press