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.    On the Edge… (2014)
II.    Airs
III.   Dancing

Rhapsody for Orchestra was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of Elaine Lebenbom.  I love the orchestra - its beauty, power and excitement.  Rhapsody for Orchestra was written in the style of a concerto for orchestra, featuring principal players, sections, and virtuosic sections for the entire orchestra.  After several attempts to rework the original first movement with which I was dissatisfied, I finally replaced it with an entirely new movement.

 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, I am trying to make sense of the complex world that I inhabit as a person living in the 21st century. The first movement is filled with sadness, anger and confusion.  Always on the edge of dissolving into a foggy, depressed cloud, nothing is resolved.  The second and third movements move to my interest in other cultures as well as the love of my own culture; to see if these varied elements can exist in a wonderful, colorful and complex tapestry, if they can relate to each other, if they can enrich each other and make the world a better place.


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