CONCERTINO FOR HARP AND STRINGS was written in the fall of 1983. A series of unfortunate events followed which left the work in limbo and unperformed for a number of years. The work received its first performances by Andrea Steckermeier-Thiele in Feb 2001 with the Mesa (AZ) Symphony, Joel Brown, cond., and also with the Phoenix Symphony, Robert Moody, cond.
In November of 1983, my first child, Kari, was born and I found myself facing a world of new responsibilities. The immediacy of that coming event dominated my consciousness. For the second movement, I wrote a lullaby for my newly arriving daughter. Ironically, the work was finally performed the year she graduated from high school, but it was wonderful to have her in the audience.
Other emotions of an expectant father are revealed in the work. Pure wonder, nervous excitement, loving tenderness, bubbling joy, and, of course, the dull thud of overwhelming responsibility. The work is also the last work I was to write which shows a significant amount of popular music influence. In many respects, I consider the work to be my final fling with lingering adolescence.
The work has a three-movement-in-one organizational plan, and is structurally unique among my other works. Each movement is introduced by a variation of the opening material, concluding with a small recapitulation of the first movement. The ending drifts into dreamy wonder before the final gesture returns the work to reality, an apt premonition of coming events.