In 2003 I received an email message from Mrs Kathleen Rand of Sparks, Nevada. She wished to commission a solo violin piece as a 16th birthday gift for her daughter Chanda, a promising violin student.
Kathleen left the title of the music up to me, but suggested that the dedication should read: ‘To Chanda: Woman Rising’. Almost immediately on reading this, a motif came to mind – the short phrase which opens the piece. In recognition of this source of inspiration I made ‘Woman Rising’ the title.
While the music is quintessentially Romantic it does not have an actual programme. Sometimes energetic, sometimes reflective in mood, it could suggest a dreamlike yearning for the future. Yet the manner in which it seems to pluck familiar gestures and fragments out of the air could also suggest fond reflection on past events.
Chanda’s violin teacher decided the technical demands of the music were still a little beyond her, but I was keen that she should hear the music her mother had commissioned.
I am indebted to Jennifer Bogart for her generous offer to present and record the world premiere. This took place on November 3, 2005 at the Unitarian Church, 13th East and 6th South, Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of a series called the ‘Contemporary Music Consortium’.
Her performance received three curtain calls and a laudatory review in the Deseret Morning News. Critic Edward Reichel commented on the “restrained passion and understatement” that characterised her performance – exactly what this music requires!