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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 will 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. False Prophets Sing So Seductively
  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. 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 will be written by Joel’s long-time collaborator, the award-winning writer/lyricist Seth Friedman; in the 3rd Movement the soloists will use amplification and effects pedals to modify their tone and instrument’s character as 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
    • Additional regional premieres: 2020-2021 season or 2021-2022 season
    • Length: Ca. 20 minutes
    • Forces: viola solo*, cello solo*, chamber orchestra: Fl+picc, Ob, Cl+bcl, Bsn, 1hn, 1 tpt, 1 tbn, hp, pno/synth**, 1 perc (mar, toms, susp cym, keyboard for samples**, etc.), strings

*Soloists: Each soloist will employ contact mic enabling sound enhancement via a Multi-effects Pedal (e.g. Boss ME-80 Multi-effects Pedal) on their instrument. 2 additional mics (on stands or as headsets) are also required for the soloists’ singing in the 2nd movement. **1 (possibly 2) MIDI keyboard controllers with an audio interface and Kontakt.


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


Seth Friedman

Seth Friedman – lyricist

Seth is a frequent collaborator of Joel’s (Personals, Let Freedom Sing!, Fallings), is a Grammy, Outer Critic Circle and Drama Desk award-winning author.


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
Website: www.joelfriedman.com

Maestra Barbara Day Turner (Conductor/lead commissioner)
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://sjco.org

Jonathan Moerschel (viola)
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 213-200-0668
Website: http://www.music.ucsb.edu/people/jonathan-moerschel and https://calderquartet.com

Jennifer Kloetzel (cello)
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://jkcello.com

Link to this page: https://joelfriedman.com/consortium-commissioning-partners-wanted