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Mansueto Tribute, "double helix" (2011)

For two violins

Premiered by Janet Sung and Yuan-Qing Yu, violins, in Chicago, IL, 11 October 2011
Viola version premiered by Erin Rafferty and Davis King on September 19, 2015 as part of Chicago's Ravenswood ArtWalk.
Violin and Viola version premiered by Wanchi Huang, Violin and Diane Phoenix-Neal, Viola on February 15, 2017 at James Madison University’s Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.
Duration: 10 minutes

A version for two violas is also published and available
A version for one violin and one viola is also published and available.

CD Available
Chamber & Piano Works

This work is available on
Chamber & Piano Works.

Double Helix runs from 2:35-3:45
World Premiere

Curtis 2021 Ensemble - Augusta Read Thomas: Mansueto Tribute (Double Helix) Emily Shehi, violin; Erika Gray, viola

Program Note

For today's dedication ceremonial, the metaphor of a double helix seemed apt on numerous levels.  For instance, envisage a double helix of human being & library — library & human being, each functioning in intimate relation with the other, each conditioning both its own future and the future of the other.  Virtuosic, capricious and heartfelt, this music combines and transforms motivic materials that are simultaneously majestic and ornamental.  Baroque-like with arabesques and trills, the Tribute swirls through auras including lyrical, ardent, fluid, impassioned and ablaze with energy.  Akin to a double helix, both parts are equally virtuosic; likewise, each violinist serves as protagonist as well as a fulcrum point on and around which the other player's musical force-fields rotate, bloom and proliferate. 

The world premiere of MANSUETO TRIBUTE, "double helix" for two violins, composed for and premiered at the dedication ceremony of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago took place on October 11, 2011, Janet Sung and Yuan-Qing Yu, violins.

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