During a dinner meet with the gifted conductor, Kenneth Kiesler, we discussed repertoire–old and new. I shared with Ken that I was interested in a new Choral Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus. I love choral music, and penned some of my own. Ken’s first response was, ‘You should ask Bill Bolcom’. And so I did–he’s charming, down-to-earth and a helluva composer. When we spoke, I had not known that he won a total of 4 Grammy awards in 2006 for his ‘Songs of Innocence’. He agreed to write the piece for me for the 2009-10 season. Doesn’t that sound like eons away? Alas–it is practically around the corner. I am now raising $$ to support his fee and am gathering interest from multiple orchestras–perhaps a global venture as well. Sometimes I think, why do I do these things? It’s tough to raise $$ for new piano concerti–but after it’s done, and I perform the new works with all the co-commissioning orchestras, it’s a good feeling and the fact is there’s new music for future generations. I was able today to get a sizable private grant and a major orchestra to say ‘yes’. It’s a start–it’s like in real estate–you sell a house, and you think, ‘Hey, this is pretty good–it might even be fun!’ I believe the piece will be something very special–there hasn’t been a Choral Fantasy since Beethoven. Maybe pairing the Beethoven and Bolcom will work–who knows. I have a good feeling about the project–and Bill has lots of fans of his music.

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