An international group of euphonium players and music institutions has joined forces to commission a work from Ricardo Lorenz that will feature the euphonium while calling for the same instrumentation of Leos Janacek’s seldom performed Cappricio for piano and winds. The consortium is spearheaded by Robert Benton, currently on the University of Windsor Brass Faculty and hailed for being “a compelling performer and outstanding Embassador for the euphonium.” Other distinguished euphonium players joining the commissioning consortium who will co-premiere Lorenz’s upcoming work are Hidenori Arai (Japan) , Tormod Flaten (Grieg Academy in Norway), Adam Frey (Emory University), Fritz Kaenzig (University of Michigan), Ken Kroesche (Oakland University), Jamie Lipton (Henderson University), Cale Self (Western Georgia University), Pat Stuckemeyer (www.justforbrass.com), and Matt Van Emmerick (Sydney Conservatorium). In addition, the Royal Northern College of Music (U.K.), Easter Michigan University and Michigan State University are also part of the consortium. The upcoming co-premieres are scheduled to take place during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
“I’ve come to appreciate the immense expressive power and unique agility of the euphonium through my acquaintance with Robert,” says Lorenz who wants to write a work that, among other things, “exploits the contrast that exists between the tongued quality of the trombone, or the percussive quality of the piano, and the unmatched voice-like legato which the euphonium is capable of producing.” Prior to this project, the Venezuelan-born composer was acquainted with the euphonium through some of the coastal music of neighboring Colombia, where the close cousin of the euphonium, the so-called Bombardino, is featured predominantly in traditional ensembles. Perhaps some of this unique sound, still ringing in the composer’s mind, will make it into the newly commissioned piece.