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Consortium Commissioning Partners Wanted

Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

Join our Inferno commissioning consortium

Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

World Premiere: March 29, 2020

Hear about Inferno from the members of the team…

About Inferno

“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.”
– Dante

Why this work? Why now?

We are living through incredibly dark, stressful, and eventful times that test our individual and collective civilized and law-abiding mettle. False leaders peddling long-discredited, age-old “solutions” are again on the ascent and spreading globally like fire. Like Dante, our “straightforward pathway” seems lost in the forest dark. Inferno, a double concerto for viola, cello, and chamber orchestra is written in response. It refers to Dante’s Inferno, the first book of his Divine Comedy, for inspiration, and as a metaphor, but does not explicitly track his poem.

Although the concerto is in its development stage, here’s what is envisioned:

The basic three-movement shape of the double concerto echoes Dante’s narrative:

  1. Our Straightforward Pathway Has Been Lost
  2. The Eighth Circle
  3. The Ninth Circle; We came forth, and once more saw the stars

The viola sometimes represents Dante, while the cello can be the voice of Virgil, and the soloists will use amplification and effects pedals to modify their instrument’s tone and character. But, again, the work is inspired by Dante, and will musically develop without the restrictions imposed by literalness of concept. Of special note: Movement 2’s title tips its hand, introducing our intrepid soloists as… singers! The lyric is written by Tony  Award-winning playwright and lyricist Murray Horwitz; in the 3rd Movement all “Hell” breaks loose as we have some fun!

Project Description

Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

    • Composer: Joel Phillip Friedman
    • Soloists: Jonathan Moerschel, viola; Jennifer Kloetzel, cello
    • Lead orchestra: San José Chamber Orchestra, Maestra Barbara Day Turner Conductor/Music Director, lead commissioner
    • World Premiere: March 29, 2020 [POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 UNTILL FALL 2020, TBA.]
    • Additional regional premieres: 2020-2021 season or 2021-2022 season
    • Length: Ca. 25 minutes
    • Forces: viola solo*, cello solo*, chamber orchestra: Fl+picc, Ob, Cl+bcl, Bsn, 1hn, 2 tpt, 1 tbn, hp, pno/synth**, 1 perc (Chimes, Glsp, BD, Drum set, c.bell, Lion’s Roar, T.tam, xtra SD & sus cym suggested), keyboard for samples**, etc.), strings

*Soloists: Each soloist will employ A pickup, a Boss ME-80 Multi-effects Pedal, and an  additional vocal mic for singing in the 2nd movement. **1 MIDI keyboard controller (with laptop &  audio interface) running Apple MainStage.

About the Artistic Team

Our collaborators for Inferno are pretty extraordinary.

Joel Phillip Friedman

Joel Phillip Friedman – composer

Joel’s varied portfolio includes work for small and large ensembles, musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. His music is characterized by rhythmic energy, a fine balance between expressive power and playful wit, a sense of dramatic narrative and formal clarity, and melodic and harmonic inventiveness.
Hear from Joel | Visit Website

Murray Horwitz – lyricist

Murray is a Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist, who has worked with a variety of classical, jazz, and pop music composers.  His work has appeared on and off-Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, and in theaters and symphonies around the country.

Barbara Day Turner

Maestra Barbara Day Turner – founder and music director of the award-winning San José Chamber Orchestra, lead commissioner.

Maestra Barbara Day Turner co-commissioned Joel’s string orchestra piece Movable Home in 2015. She is both a consummate musician and a visionary, and it’s exciting to have her and her San José Chamber Orchestra jump aboard early once more.
Hear from the SJCO | Visit Website

Jonathan Moerschel – viola soloist

Recipient of the 2014 Avery Fischer Career Grant, Jonathan is probably best known as a member of the stellar Calder String Quartet. He is also Lecturer of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of California Santa Barbara and a very active studio session player in Los Angeles.
Hear from Jonathan | Visit Website

Jennifer Kloetzel

Jennifer Kloetzel – cello soloist

Fulbright winner and celebrated cellist with the renowned Cypress String Quartet, Jennifer is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. She is a colleague of Jonathan’s at University of California Santa Barbara where she is Assistant Professor of Cello and Head of Strings.
Hear from Jennifer | Visit Website

Download the Electronic Press Kit

Download Bios & EPK Materials

Our Pitch

Join Us!

We are looking for 2-3 additional partners for our commissioning consortium for the 2020-2021 (or 2021-2022) season (after the slated premiere of March 29, 2020). It’s going to be a unique, exciting, and timely project featuring fantastic soloists. Consortia are such a win-win for everyone involved: shared costs make the project cost effective, multiple performances help ensure a work’s dissemination, and opportunities for cross-promotion between orchestras over the extended time-frame of the regional premieres are a great opportunity to generate real buzz for all parties involved.

Consortium & Budget Details

  • A consortium of 3-4 chamber orchestras (the minimum number of partners is 3).
  • The lead partner is the award-winning San José Chamber Orchestra (Maestra Barbara Day Turner, Conductor/Music Director, COMMITTED)
  • Composer Fee
    • $12,000 total fee for the commission (half upon signing, half on delivery)
    • $3,000 total fee for performance materials preparation
    • Total Composer Fee: $15,0000
    • NB: 3 partners=$5K each, 4 partners = $3.75K each
  • Additional
    • Soloists fees per performance to be negotiated with artists/manager.
      Fee for audio equipment (mics for soloists, 1 MIDI keyboard controller,
      basic PA system, optional engineer)

Contact Information

Joel Phillip Friedman (composer)
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 347-731-3471

Maestra Barbara Day Turner (Conductor/lead commissioner)
Email: [email protected]

Jonathan Moerschel (viola)
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 213-200-0668
Website: and

Jennifer Kloetzel (cello)
Email: [email protected]

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