AHEAD OF THE CURVE

A TRIPTYCH FOR STRINGS

2.20.20 

@ THE YPSILANTI FREIGHTHOUSE

FALLINGWATER

by Michael Daugherty

Janet Lyu, violin

Note by the composer:

This 22-minute concerto is a musical tribute to the visionary American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). The inspiration to compose my second violin concerto came to me when I visited Taliesin, the 600-acre estate that Wright began to build in 1911, nestled into the rolling hills of Wisconsin. For over 40 years, Taliesin was his primary residence, studio, sanctuary, farm, school of architecture, and artistic statement to the world. In the main living hall, his third wife organized soirees for family, apprentices and renowned guests. As I stood in the center of this magnificent space, I noticed a large circular music stand made of wood, designed by Wright himself, with four sides for use by string quartets. I began to hear a composition for strings in four movements, as an emotional, spiritual, and musical exploration of Wright’s aesthetic of “organic architecture.” Inspired by four of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most admired buildings— Taliesin, Fallingwater, Unity Temple and the Guggenheim Museum—

I explore various dimensions of the string orchestra in each movement of Fallingwater:

Janet Lyu is a freelance violinist based in Ann Arbor and previously attended the University of Michigan for violin performance degrees. She is a tenured member of multiple regional orchestras in Michigan and has attended the National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival & School, and Pacific Music Festival multiple times on full scholarship. While she is a seasoned orchestral musician, she frequently workshops contemporary pieces for Michael Daugherty. Fun fact: When Janet was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2007, the CYSO once performed Daugherty’s “Route 66” on the Chicago Symphony’s stage. He traveled to Chicago to see the performance and conduct a Q & A during the show, and the only thing she remembers from the whole evening was that he was VERY tall. She is honored to be able to perform a piece dedicated to an incredible female violinist, and hopes to perform more of Michael Daugherty’s solo violin works in the future.

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