Year Composed: 2012
Instrumentation: 3+picc.3+eh.3+bcl.3+cbsn/ perc/hp/strings
Duration 9 minutes

Audio Excerpts (MP3)

Program Notes

Concertante is a symphonic overture disguised as a concerto for orchestra (or perhaps it is the other way around!) Much like the traditional sinfonia concertante, the orchestra is led by a contingent of soloists — in this case, the principal players of the orchestra.

The work is divided roughly into four sections, each of which is intended to spotlight a particular instrumental group. The introduction is characterized by mysterious, interweaving solo melodies from the wind section — flute, followed by oboe, clarinet, bassoon. As I was composing this passage, spring was dawning early; the music reflects the sense of awakening and renewal one always feels during this particular change of seasons. The second section is an exuberant overture which contrasts folk-like melodies with soaring brass fanfares and splashes of timpani and percussion. The sunny, poignantly lyrical theme of the third section — featuring solos for the French horn, trumpet, and trombone — is a direct tribute to one of the grand masters of film music in the latter half of the twentieth century: Jerry Goldsmith, who passed away in 2004 and whose joyous melodies were a constant source of inspiration for me as a young composer. Finally, for the coda, I decided to back away from a bombastic reprise and compose a more reflective coda for the soloists of the string orchestra — two violins, viola, cello, bass. Only after the solo violinist’s last, romantic ascent does the orchestra return for its final cadence.

Concertante was written to celebrate the 34-year tenure of John Barnum. I dedicate this work with love and gratitude to the maestro himself, in the hopes that the music will express something of the tremendous impact he has had on myself and on the Mississauga Symphony community in a way that words cannot.


  • May 5, 8 pm, 2012 - Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Barnum. Hammerson Hall, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga.

Commisions and Awards

  • commissioned by the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, 2011 (with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts)

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