Bolcom Commissioned by International Violin Competition

Bolcom says his Suite No. 3, a competition piece, "should come out differently for each performer."

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) announced on October 20 that it has commissioned William Bolcom to write the 2018 Commissioned Work for its 10th Quadrennial Competition. Since its inception in 1982, the IVCI has commissioned a work for violin from a world-renowned composer specifically for each Competition. Every participant will feature the world premiere of the work in the Semi-Final round during the 2018 Competition, which commences next August. 

Already gestating the idea for his new work, Bolcom has said, “The [solo violin] Suite No. 3 is a group of phantasmagoric character pieces, exploring the solo violin’s dramatic and expressive possibilities. [My] two existing suites are portraits of great violinists Sergiu Luca and Gil Shaham, who each exude an unmistakable personality – but I want Suite No. 3, a competition piece, to be something opposite: a work, pregnant with expressive breadth that should come out differently for each performer.” 

“The commissioned work is an integral part of the Semi Final round,” says IVCI Executive Director Glen Kwok. “We are extremely honored that William Bolcom has accepted our invitation to write the required composition for the 10th Quadrennial IVCI Competition.” Jaime Laredo, IVCI Jury President since 1994 and former student of IVCI Artistic Founder Josef Gingold, states that commissioning a new work for each Competition is a twofold advantage. “The work not only showcases the violinists’ interpretive abilities of contemporary music, but also contributes to the growth of the contemporary violin repertoire. To that end, we are proud to have commissioned ten works to date from the world’s most celebrated composers, works which have now become part of the standard violin literature.”

Bolcom has been commissioned for competition works on many occasions, beginning notably with the 1997 Van Cliburn Piano Competition. He has also composed works for the International Guitar Society and the Music Teachers Association of California, among others.

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