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August 17, 2018

Faculty Members Sharon Robinson & Jaime Laredo Give World Premiere


Sharon Robinson (cello) and Jaime Laredo (violin)

Faculty members Sharon Robinson (cello) and Jaime Laredo (violin) gave the world premiere of Chris Brubeck’s “Pas de Deux” Double Concerto. They performed the piece at the Classical Tahoe Festival on Saturday, August 11, under the direction of conductor Joel Revzen.

Laredo first met Brubeck – son of the legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck – when he conducted a piece he wrote for guitarist Sharon Isbin. “We loved his music,” says Robinson, “and wanted to work with him."

“Joel was very generous in rehearsal for this premiere,” she explains. “We had several rehearsals to really work with the orchestra and make adjustments to the piece to create a beautiful balance between the soloists and the orchestra. It’s always exciting to see a new work grow and evolve in this way!”

Even after the premiere performance, the work isn’t finished. Brubeck plans to expand the jazz waltz that opens the piece to include a tango section. Robinson describes the second movement very affectionately: “this movement was finished on Valentine’s Day, and it’s an incredibly romantic love duet that captures the best of the cello and the best of the violin.”

Robinson is known for developing consortiums to commission new works for the repertoire. Much of her work has centered around double and triple concertos, piano trios and cello solos. In fact, “Pas de Deux” is the tenth double concerto they have commissioned in this way. “All of them are pieces we’ve championed and performed often,” she continues. “They’re all very different works, but there’s a place in the repertoire for each one.”

Commissioning partners for this project include Classical Tahoe Festival, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and Robinson’s alma mater, the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she and Laredo will also serve as Creative Partners for a week of master classes.