Brantley commissioned to write a Cello Concerto

Paul Brantley has been commissioned by Maestro Kenneth Kiesler and the Grammy Award winning University of Michigan Symphony to compose The Royal Revolver, a concertino for solo cello and 15 instruments.

Eric Jacobsen, cellist and conductor of The Knights, will be the cello soloist. This will be premiered in the 2017-2018 season in Ann Arbor. Details TBA.

Brantley writes: “As a composer/cellist, this cello concertino is a piece I’ve literally been thinking about writing since I was about sixteen. And so with Maestro Kiesler’s invitation, the time feels ripe to finally bring it to fruition. The Royal Revolver borrows its name from Finnegans Wake – one of Joyce’s many catch phrases such as “Here Comes Everybody” and “The Here We Are Again Gaities” – all of which evoke our mutually, psychically interdependent selves in that extraordinary dreamscape he created. I’m trying to emulate a fragment of this world by the solo cello constantly interfacing with and morphing into the other instruments of the ensemble, all in my best neo-baroque/psychedelic fashion. But on a pretty modest scale: with just a chamber ensemble of 15 instruments, in three movements, and all about 15 minutes in duration.”

If you would like to learn a little more about this Finnegans Wake inspired piece, and possibly even contribute to the consortium-styled commission, please see our Fractured Atlas project page.