March 5, 2018

Locacelli to Give World Premiere of Cayanan’s “The Madrigalist”


Locacelli—a cello octet comprised of Sharon Robinson and student artists Wei-An Hung, Eva Roebuck, Sarah Miller, Cheuk Yan Vincent Leung, William Cayanan, Chad Polk & Paul Maxwell—makes its Mixon Hall debut on Wednesday, March 7.

The ensemble will give the world premiere of Cayanan’s “The Madrigalist,” commissioned by Robinson for this occasion. Cayanan, who studies with Robinson, is also completing a minor in composition with Dr. Keith Fitch.


We sat down with Cayanan to talk about the work.

CIM: Tell us about how this piece came to be.

William Cayanan: It’s a cellist’s dream to write for a cello octet, so when Sharon asked me a year ago to write a short work for Locacelli, I had to say yes.

CIM: From where did your inspiration come?

WC: I get a lot of visual inspiration from the Bay Area, where I’m from. It feels like the edge of the world – steep cliffs that drop into the ocean, low hanging fog, and the sense that everything is new and always changing. It can be very hypnotic.

CIM: What should we listen for?

WC: I incorporated some of the siren melodies that I hear when I’m home. In the piece, there’s a solo line that hangs like the fog above a band of cellists that move in wave-like textures.

Locacelli will also perform Fauré’s Élégie. The program is rounded out by Mendelssohn’s String Quintet and Brahms’ String Sextet. Find more information and reserve free seating passes.