Rhode Island Philharmonic to debut new Muhly concerto for electric violin

Posted on: November 13, 2015

“There is no more successful composer to come out of Rhode Island than Nico Muhly, who over the last decade or so has turned out a steady stream of smart, challenging compositions,” writes Channing Gray in Thursday’s (11/12) Providence Journal. “One of those, a violin concerto, turns up on Saturday’s Rhode Island Philharmonic program. Muhly wrote the first version of the one-movement work for an English chamber orchestra back in 2007. But he expanded the score, titled ‘Seeing is Believing,’ at the urging of Tracy Silverman, perhaps the foremost proponent of the six-string electric violin. Silverman is the soloist for Saturday’s outing…. The 24-minute score, in fact, reflects some of the things he was up to eight years ago…. For a while, he was an assistant for minimalist composer Philip Glass in New York, but has managed to carve out an impressive career.… Three years ago, when he was 31, he was commissioned to write an opera for New York’s Metropolitan Opera.” Speaking about composing for a six-string violin, Muhly says, “Number one, it’s amplified, and number two, it has basically the range of a violin, viola and most of the cello. So there is a bit more possibility for acrobatics, and that can be intimidating for the composer.”

Posted November 12, 2015