Gregory Rose -Violin Concerto

Posted on February 6th, 2018 by

With the wonderful composer Gregory Rose(and Handel’s foot) after the premiere of his exquisite ‘3 Studies’, in the company of Fuseli, Burney, Pope, Johnson, Piozzi, Loutherberg and all the gang at the NPG this evening. A real honour to play these pieces, and to feel the audience get caught up in their spell. Photos: Malene Sheppard Skaerved

Violin Concerto by Gregory Rose

Having begun to play the violin at the age of 6, it seems quite natural that when I reached 70 I should compose a substantial piece for this, my first instrument. Sadly, I hardly play it at all nowadays.  It also seemed completely sensible to approach one of my ‘neighbours’ in the East End of London, the wonderful violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved, to see if he was interested in a collaboration.  He was instantly enthusiastic, and so the premiere is planned for my actual birthday, April 18th, at St John’s Smith Square, with my own professional chamber orchestra, Jupiter Orchestra accompanying Peter.  It will be a special occasion for me.

The work began life as a conventional three movement work, but I soon realised that there were other elements and further smaller movements I wanted to incorporate, and so I have ended up with a series of nine ‘Episodes’, of which Episodes 7 and 9 share very similar fast material.  The work opens with an Introduction and ends with a Coda.  Episode 5 began life as a movement of a sketched work, ‘Totentanz Berlin’, for tenor solo (Christ) with a choir of female voices and obligato violin, and this transferred well into my scheme of composition.  Other violin pieces are planned for the future, but this work is an important new addition to my collection of pieces so far.