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Composed in 2001 to commission from the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, where Chin was composer-in-residence during the 2001/02 season. The premiere was given on 20 January 2002 in Berlin by Viviane Hagner and the DSO under its music director Kent Nagano. In 2004 the Violin Concerto won the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

Presented in four movements the composer demands extreme virtuosity from the soloist, yet the virtuosity is never an end in itself, instead always serving the development of the structure and colour. The orchestral instrumentation is traditional, but expanded by two harps and a large percussion section. The magically oscillating sound of Unsuk Chin’s orchestra results not only from the mastery of often unusual combinations of sound, but also from the potential of contrast in the intrinsically homogeneous groups. This is a major and established violin concerto for the 21st century.


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