Premiere of Variations on a Theme by Brahms
Variations on a Theme by Brahms, for solo piano, will be premiered September 19, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Minnesota in Morris, Minnesota, with more performances scheduled throughout the fall. Jocelyn selected the melody from the third movement of Symphony No. 3 by Brahms for this composition.
A note about the piece from Dr. Ann M. DuHamel:This project began out of an abiding love for the music of Johannes Brahms and a strong affinity I have for playing contemporary music and working with contemporary composers. It also reflects my interest in the intersection of musical tradition and innovation. I wanted to combine all of these areas of interest, and my conception of the project evolved as I started to think about the idea of musical transformations. I approached composers with this theme of transformation in mind — would they be interested in composing something that is somehow related to Brahms, but transforming it so it captures their own distinctive, musical voice? It has been an absolute delight and thrill to see (and hear) the results! I approached Jocelyn Hagen to write for this project, for a number of reasons: I love the lyrical voice and piano writing present in her art songs; she chooses fascinating subjects for the themes of her compositions (e.g., Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci) that spark my intellectual and artistic curiosity; and she has a history of musical projects that revolve around Brahms. I’m deeply appreciative that Jocelyn Hagen is writing for me, and thank the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid program for making the commission possible.