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Is this the slowest-ever violin concerto? One note every six months…

Osvaldo Golijov was meant to deliver his new concerto for a world premiere by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March 2011. He failed.

The next deadline was Berlin Philharmonic in March this year. Missed again.

Now he’s told the London Symphony Orchestra they won’t get it next month, either.

Meantime, the intended soloist Leonidas Kavakos is going around playing other stuff. He must be wondering if the Goli work is worth waiting for any longer.

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  1. ComposerG says:

    Golijov’s music is never worth waiting for, let along this long! He should feel very fortunate to have been embraced by the various commissioning organisations in the past decade or so, and this behaviour is very unprofessional.

  2. Hey, Brahms took 22 years to finish his first symphony. What’s the rush? :)

    • BIG difference: Brahms wasn’t commissioned to write his 1st symphony. He likely didn’t receive a pfennig for it until its publication — which happened AFTER the initial performances.


  3. Francis Schwartz says:

    Osvaldo is taking the time he finds necessary for the completion of an Artwork . The soloist, the orchestras and the business managers galore will simply have to wait until the composition is ready. One must respect the Muse. Given this new publicity, I would call the concerto ” Golijov’s Cakewalk.”

  4. I wrote 2 violin concertos in 2 months a while back. I could lend one out……
    Joking aside; he’s an interesting composer – I particularly like The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind – so I think it will be worth the wait!

  5. Wow, a composer who has the chance to be commissioned – and paid duly for his work! – just makes everyone linger like this? So unprofessional!

    This is insane. So many inept composers get commissions because they have the right «modern» style or the right connections, independently from their talent or their professionalism. Where is the classical world going?

    Anyway, I will find who were the commissioners. I may have the chance to show them the works of a composer who has a bit of professionalism.

  6. Golijov has been churning out (well that implies a certain speed, I suppose that delivering is a more neutral verb here) scores that are simply dull and imaginative. After the whole incident this year with Siderius, it’s surprising and plain irresponsible for him to behave this way. If I had been caught in a mess like that, I would make sure that I turn in my next work as quickly as I possibly can, so as to avoid further embarrassment. If the works that came after these years of work were actually worth the wait, I might be more willing to cut him some slack. It’s just sad that composers like him keep getting these huge commissions and turning in works that are amateurish. There are so many more talented and interesting composers out there who could benefit so much from commissions such as this one, and who would actually turn in the piece on time. I hope the music world takes heed of this situation and next time decide to take a gamble on a new composer who will care enough to be a professional and meet his deadlines. Golijov’s attitude does all composers out there a disservice and makes it more difficult for other composers to get commissions like these in the future.

  7. Several composers have already jumped in to help Golijov:

  8. Orchestra Manager Op. 10, No.70 says:

    Thanks for letting me know. I’ll take the date out of my diary.

  9. Mozart and Tchaikovsky could do this sort of thing with their eyes closed.

    • Tchaik only did it once. Maybe he didn’t like it.

    • Pierre Boulez actually considers a good fraction of his works to be unfinished or incomplete. But at least he has managed to publish those sections that can be performed. And it is the nature of his writing that the fragments work as self-contained masterpieces. There’s little hope of any of that in this case.


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