Béla Fleck with Nashville Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, and Brooklyn Rider String Quartet – Deutche Grammophon.
This piece is the culmination of many years of getting up the nerve to see if I could write for banjo and orchestra.
Nashville Symphony gave me the opportunity and a good motivating push to do it by commissioning me to write the piece.
After writing a couple of these pieces with my genius pal Edgar Meyer, and one with he and Zakir Hussain(also a genius), it was time to see if I had anything musical to say without them, in this arena. Fortunately the folks at Deutche Grammophone thought I did, and put the record out. It’s released on August 13th, 2013. There’s an elephant on the cover of the cd, so if you are looking for banjo concertos and you want to get mine, look for the elephant.
After writing two concertos with Edgar Meyer (one in tandem with Zakir Hussain) I was starting to want some room to try out some of my own ideas, and also wondering if I had the stuff to create something like this on my own. I mentioned the idea of writing a stand alone banjo concerto to Alan and Giancarlo from Nashville Symphony, and got a terrifying response. They actually wanted me to do it! This is the most musically ambitious project I’ve ever taken on, writing and orchestrating for full orchestra and banjo. I dedicated myself to the task, and wrote the 36 minute long Impostor Concerto over a 6 month period. Now I needed to complete the album with something else. I decided to write a piece for string quartet and banjo for the great quartet Brooklyn Rider, called Night Flight Over Water; these two extended pieces make up the Impostor CD. The Impostor Concerto was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, and Night Flight was commissioned by Butler University. I am thrilled that the premiere classical label Deutche Grammophon wanted to release this. There is a documentary about the writing and premiering of the concerto coming out soon.