This is my first violin concerto. It was commissioned by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and generously supported by Mary Lou Simpson. The magnificent soloist Emily Sun had mentioned a few years ago that she would love to play a concerto that I had written and, as sometimes happens, things came together almost magically through our agent, Jackie Thomas-Piccardi, Simon Lord at ASO and Mary Lou Simpson.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Elena Kats-Chernin. Photo © Vicki Lauren.

Mary Lou and I have known each other for more than a decade, as she has previously commissioned two piano works from me, including one for the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation, so to have this kind of continuity, through ASO, is something I really cherish.

Emily and I have met when she has been in Sydney and discussed some things that both she and I wanted to hear in this work, including some lyrical melody lines, but also some edgy rhythmic sounds and shades of light and dark. The solo violin part is multifaceted – virtuosic, poetic and sometimes surreal.

Knowing who the soloist will be is comparable to knowing who the protagonist is in a play...