A month ago, I wrote about Piotr Szewczyk’s Violin futura project, reporting that he had commissioned 15 composers to write one-minute pieces for solo violin, which he would perform as a group on a series of recitals. I responded to his request with a piece called Fifteen Minutes – a collection of fifteen one-minute works for violin. Piotr corrected me, pointing out that he had asked for a 2-3 minute piece. Embarrassed by my mistake, I responded the following week by writing Mister Blister, a 3-minute presto for solo violin.

On New Year’s Day, I sent off PDFs of Fifteen Minutes and Mister Blister. A few days later, I got this response:

Dear Lawrence,

Thank you very much for your 16 pieces!
Both pieces are terrific and I’d like to definitely perform the whole 15 Minutes set and Mister Blister in my program. I’m currently learning all pieces and will be making “first-draft” recordings in the next few weeks to get responses from all composers. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you again,
Sincerely,

Piotr

I hear many horror stories from composers about their dealings with clueless or malicious performers. I have to say I’ve been very fortunate in working with dedicated, curious, imaginative musicians pretty regularly. Sending the composer a rough-draft recording of a performance-in-progress is a new experience for me, though; I’m very impressed by Piotr’s initiative. At this point, if I’m not mistaken (and I hardly trust myself after my last blunder), he has several performances lined up this spring at New World Symphony, with others to come at Spoleto, Tanglewood and elsewhere.

You can learn more about Piotr here.

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