Concerto for Solo Piano and Orchestra

Program Notes

Polarity: Concerto for Solo Piano and Orchestra is a dynamic, single-movement work, one of three versions. Polarity explores conflict and resolution through a blend of traditional and contemporary harmonic languages.

Following a lyrical solo introduction, the pianist leads the orchestra through a dramatic Agitato. Propelled by the tension between diametrically opposed constructions, the soloist and ensemble exchange these contrasting characters repeatedly, building to a climax and uniting the opposing forces as the soloist leads the orchestra to a decisive conclusion.

The concerto’s underlying structure amplifies these dichotomies through additional contrasts, exploiting and resolving resulting tensions. Octatonic set constructions and mutually exclusive hexatonic poles blend and playing off of one another. These scales interact with more traditional symmetric pitch collections, such as augmented triads and fully diminished seventh chords, binding together the concerto’s many layers of detail.

Detailed contrapuntal and rhythmic interplay weave together these normally opposing languages and structures to give Polarity a single, cohesive harmonic fabric that is a hybrid of functional tonality and fully chromatic twelve-tone architecture.

18 minutes | Solo Piano + / / Timp. 2 perc. / Strings | 2017

Polarity is available in three versions:

  • Concerto for Solo Piano and Orchestra
  • Concerto for Eight Hands Piano Quartet and Orchestra (18 minutes)
  • Concerto for Eight Hands Piano Quartet (16 minutes)


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