Anthem 1994

solo flute and chamber orchestra (1994)

Premiere performance: Susan Rotholz, flute with the New York Chamber Ensemble, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe, conductor; March 30, 1994, Alice Tully Hall, New York City

duration: 14′

program note

Anthem, for solo flute and chamber orchestra, was commissioned by the New York Chamber Ensemble and was completed at the MacDowell Colony in February 1994 (with a slight revision in 1998). It was written for flutist Susan Rotholz, with whom I had just played Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Inspired by her beautiful and passionate playing, the heart of the piece is an original chorale over which the flute sings its narrative while struggling to maintain its identity. The flute’s language of microtonal inflections and progressions evolved out of my study of Japanese shakuhachi music and a fascination with birdsong. Stephen Rogers Radcliffe conducted the premiere on March 30, 1994, at Alice Tully Hall and a repeat performance at the Cape May Music Festival. Anthem received Honorable Mention in the 1994 Barlow International Competition.