top of page
Mardi Gras 2006

Mardi Gras 2006

Excluding Sales Tax

I have always felt a deep connection to the buoyant spirit of New Orleans.  From 1990 to 1996, I lived there, and from my first day in “The Big Easy,” I wanted to write a musical act of homage to the city.  That opportunity arose twenty years ago, when I was commissioned to write a cello concerto for the magnificent Bonnie Thron, principal cellist of the North Carolina Symphony.  The piece was to be subtitled “The Garden District,” the name of the beautiful area in which I lived.  It is aptly named!  Plants and flowers abound, and at night the air is thick with fragrance.  Unhappily, this piece was not finished for a variety of reasons, including compositional challenges posed by writing a virtuosic vehicle for solo cello and large orchestra.  Given its range, the cello would have been too easily drowned out by the kind of large-scale orchestra I’d envisioned, so the project stalled.  But my dream to write a work honoring my favorite city in the world did not die.  And my plan for what kind of piece it should be was changed by a natural disaster—the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Orchestra

bottom of page