I composed Sonata for Viola and Piano in 2012 for violist Donald Maurice, after his great performance of the Holocaust Requeim at the Concert of Remembrance of 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2008.
The piece was conceived for the Home is where… CD launched by Atoll (New Zealand), and starring Donald Maurice and Richard Mapp.
Donald premiered this piece in 2013 at the International Viola Congress, in Krakow, Poland, with pianist Wioletta Fluda.
The Atoll CD was released that same year.
Later, in February and March 2015, the piece was performed at three concerts in the United States:
The American premiere was in Baltimore, featuring soloists Peter Minkler (viola) and Lura Johnson (piano).
Eight days later, in Houston featuring Lawrence Wheeler (viola) and Tali Morgulis (piano).
In March 2015, in Walden, Colorado, featuring Barbara Sudweeks (viola) and Jo Boatright (piano).
The first movement of Sonata was influenced by the strong emotional impact of two paintings: Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna del Magnificat (1483-1485) and и Madonna della Melagrana (Virgin with a Pomegranate) (1487).
While working on Sonata, I had an idea that it could also be performed as standalone piece; I named this piece Botticelli’s Magnificat.
I shared my idea with Donald and received his support. Donald premiered Botticelli’s Magnificat before the premiere of Sonata.
In 2013, this piece was performed by the young Israeli violist Matan Noussimovich (you can listen to the recording, below).
Below are some samples from the Home is where… CD and recordings from the U.S. premiere, and of Botticelli’s Magnificat.