Knoxville Symphony, violinist Shapira set for Wiprud premiere

Posted on: October 17, 2011

In Sunday’s (10/16) Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), Harold Duckett writes, “It’s nothing new for violinist Ittai Shapira to be playing brand new music at a symphony concert. Shapira, who will perform with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20-21, at the Tennessee Theatre, has played the world premiere performances of 18 new violin concertos. … ‘I actually work in a non-standard way,’ Shapira said during a conversation about the world premiere of American composer Theodore Wiprud’s ‘Violin concerto (Katrina),’ which Wiprud wrote for Shapira. It will be performed with the KSO. Shapira describes the concerto as a ‘personal, charismatic, large scale epic.’ When Wiprud, who is also heavily involved in music education as director of education at the New York Philharmonic, learned that Shapira was scheduled to perform with the Knoxville Symphony this month, he offered the world premiere of his new concerto to KSO music director Lucas Richman, a longtime friend. Richman jumped at the opportunity. … ‘At the end of first movement a big wave of sound washes out the soloist,’ Shapira said. ‘It’s a reaction to something very real.’ In the second movement lots of the musical sounds of New Orleans come into play.”

Posted October 17, 2011