In the Midst (2013)
for Solo Piano
Duration: 7 minutes
Commission: Van Cliburn Tribute Concert
Premiere: Stanislav Ioudenitch, piano-Van Cliburn Tribute Concert, April 4, 2014
Program Note: There is a long tradition of composers writing pieces for specific occasions and in remembrance of great artists. Undoubtedly, there will be many compositions written and dedicated to the memory of Van Cliburn and I am honored to be able to contribute “In the Midst.”
When I first thought about what kind of piece this would be, a mental image appeared that stayed with me throughout my writing process. I imagined myself in the concert hall following Van Cliburn’s legendary performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 – the resonance of the concerto lingering, the chords ringing in the air, the emotional energy expanded by Van Cliburn still palpable and the legacy of the performance imprinted onto the hall, the audience and history. As I was creating my own soundworld, I found myself in the midst of this energetic reverberance, filtering musical fragments of the concerto through my own compositional voice and reimagining the music as a tribute to all the great performances that leave behind an emotional imprint on the listener. “In the Midst” is a remembrance, a celebration and an appreciation of an extraordinary musical life forever in our midst. In the Midst was written for Stanislav Ioudenitch in memory of Van Cliburn.