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Flourishes (2014), for Piano and Orchestra

commissioned by the Maryland Symphony and premiered in November 2014 with Michael Brown as the soloist, Elizabeth Schulze, conductor.

“Flourishes” is a one-movement work cast in four contrasting sections and is scored for solo piano and full orchestra. It opens with a sweeping ascending gesture with repeated notes in the piano. This gesture or “flourish” will be developed and featured in some way throughout the entire work. The clarinets and bassoons enter presenting a new theme which gets echoed in the piano. After moments of the piano playing alone, quirky gestures creep in propelling the music to a large crescendo that takes us into the second section marked “vivaciously.” Here a perpetual motion-like rhythmic pattern is established in the piano alongside syncopated string writing. The thematic material is all derived from the opening and is altered, developed, and re-orchestrated. Another crescendo leads into a piano cadenza featuring material from the first section, and the final section returns to the brilliant and virtuosic conclusion recalling themes from the entire piece.

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