The Bull, The Philosopher, and The Harlequin

“The Bull, The Philosopher, and the Harlequin,” my new concerto for oboe string orchestra, is directly inspired by some of the people I love the most- my nieces and nephew. Writing this piece, I hoped to capture their incredible, and incredibly different, personalities, drawing out uniquely different colors for each movement.

The first movement, “The Bull,” is strong yet graceful. Showcasing quick-running lines, large interval leaps, and energetic orchestration, this movement (written for my niece Eden) is tough as nails but aims to capture all of her grace as well.

Movement two, “The Philosopher,” highlights longer, singing lines, alongside sweeter, more complex harmonies. This movement is for Eli, twin-brother to Eden, who ironically could not be more different than his twin. Unendingly thoughtful, sensitive and endearing, Eli, and all his charms, are present throughout “The Philosopher.”

Lastly, “The Harlequin,” written for older-sister Noa, concludes the piece in a much more playful way. Utilizing short, bursting melodies, pizzicato, triple meters, and quirky changes, this movement is a just a lot of fun! Noa loves to laugh and is down for any practical joke you can dream up, so this final movement is full of light, joy, and energy.

Dr. Dan Schwartz
Associate Professor of Oboe
University of Oklahoma