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...full of foot-stomping, toe-tapping rhythms ... just great fun to hear...
John Shulson, Virginia Gazette, January 19, 2013

Performance Schedule:

August 10, 2017:
Snake River Music Festival in Keystone, CO
Mandolin Quintet with Carpe Diem String Quartet

December 3, 2017:
Cal Poly Symphony in San Luis Obispo, CA
David Arrivée, Music Director and Conductor


Previous Performances:

May 13, 2017:
South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
Kermit Poling, Music Director and Conductor

May 21, 2017:
Virginia's Blue Ridge Music Festival
David Stewart Wiley, Music Director and Conductor

March 25 & 28, 2017:
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, Music Director and Conductor
at 2017 SHIFT Festival at Kennedy Center


February 25 & 26, 2017:
world premier of "Mandolin Quintet" by Carpe Diem String Quartet


October 15, 2016:
Ohio Northern Symphony
Travis Jürgens, Music Director and Conductor

November 17 & 18, 2016:
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Aram Demirjian, Music Director and Conductor

April 18 & 19, 2016:
Williamsburg Symphonia
Janna Hymes, Music Director and Conductor
Williamsburg, Virginia​

March 3, 4 & 5, 2016:
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
Michael Butterman, Conductor

May 22 & 24, 2015:
with Carpe Diem String Quartet
Worthington, Ohio

May 31, 2015:
Virginia's Blue Ridge Music Festival
David Stewart Wiley, Music Director and Conductor


March 6, 2015:
Champaign-Urbana Symphony
Stephen Alltop, Music Director and Conductor

September 20, 2014:
Symphony of Southeast Texas, Beaumont
Chelsea Tipton II, Music Director and Conductor

April, 26, 2014:
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Butterman, Music Director and Conductor

November 2013:
Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra
Jeffrey Rink, Music Director
and Conductor

January 2013:

Williamsburg Symphonia,
Janna Hymes, Music Director
and Conductor
Williamsburg, Virginia

November 2012:
Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Michael Butterman, Music Director and Conductor

June 2012:
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Butterman, Conductor

October 2011:  World Premier Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, David Stewart Wiley, Music Director and Conductor

 

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Announcing: A new commission, Double Concerto for Mandolin, Violin and Orchestra will premier November 9-10, 2014, with Akemi Takayama, violin soloist and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Stewart Wiley.

Mandolin Concerto “From the Blue Ridge”

Composed in 2011 in a commission from Music Director David Stewart Wiley and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the first performance was opening night of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's Fall 2011 season. The Concerto has subsequently been performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Shreveport Symphony, and the Williamsburg Symphonia and the Northwest Florida Symphony. Performances are scheduled with the Boulder Philharmonic and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Beaumont.

Performance Schedule

August 10, 2017:
Snake River Music Festival in Keystone, CO
Mandolin Quintet with Carpe Diem String Quartet

December 3, 2017:
Cal Poly Symphony in San Luis Obispo, CA
David Arrivée, Music Director and Conductor

 

The piece directly reflects Midkiff's roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains and his fondness for the bluegrass music tradition, with a touch of swing and jazz in the mix. Not that this suggests "Blue Ridge" is all fast mandolin pickin' because it isn't. In fact, it's a work that cleverly blends a sophisticated orchestral foundation with mandolin playing suitable for classically-oriented lines as well as those more down-home. It opens with swirling sounds from the orchestra and mandolin that appropriately does suggest the beauty of the Blue Ridge area and its peaceful life. It's a fascinating combination of bluegrass inspired emotions with those of a somewhat big city orchestral sound that works well on many levels. The final movement is full of foot-stomping, toe-tapping rhythms and was just great fun to hear.
John Shulson, Virginia Gazette, January 19, 2013

 

Wow, really terrific—damned impressive!! My wife said, “Reminds me of Copland.” And she loves Copland. Gorgeous middle movement. I'm allergic to anything resembling a drum set in a symphony orchestra, but I dealt with that in the third movement and still enjoyed it. Bravo Jeff, a real accomplishment both pragmatically and artistically.
David Royko, Chicago Tribune

 

Midkiff's “From the Blue Ridge” is a highly original and thoroughly welcome addition to the catalog great American works for orchestra. I have rarely encountered a new work that inspired such rapturous praise from musicians and audiences from a single hearing. By turns toe-tapping, wistful, spiritual and downright fun, the concerto is colorfully scored and features the virtuosic talents of the composer as soloist. I look forward to introducing the work to audiences around the country.
Michael Butterman, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra conductor

 

Audio, Notes, Articles and Links

Hear audio samples and see program notes for the Roanoke concert.
Download the One-Sheet.
See an article in the Roanoke Times.

 

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