Composition Department

Ukrainian Fantasy

New Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Vol. 8
Life Goes On-The Music of Don Freund, Vol. 2

Steven Moeckel, violin
Don Freund, piano

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Ukrainian Fantasy was written for Ukrainian-American violinist Adrian Bryttan, who requested a violin and piano piece employing Ukrainian folk melodies in a work similar to Ravel'sTzigaine . However, as I listened to this folk music, particularly in recordings of unadulterated folk performances, I became too intrigued by the actual sound quality of the music to be happy with a translation to piano. I convinced Adrian that what he really wanted was a piece which used the actual sound of these recordings as a context for a violin fantasy. So the piece emerged as a work for violin with a collage "tape" of material assembled from a wealth of folk recordings. The main compositional enterprise was to design a form and a sound fabric which would allow the violinist and the audience to revel in the high spirits, humor, nostalgia, frenzy, and lyric emotional power this music evokes.

 Biography: Steven Moeckel

Steven Moeckel, the son of a violinist mother and violist father, was surrounded by music as a child, so it's no wonder he started playing violin when he was 4 years old. His mom taught him, and two years later, he played his first recital. By the time he was 8, playing violin was second nature.

Born in Germany, Moeckel spent part of his childhood in Florida, when his father taught at Florida State University. They returned to Germany, and young Moeckel put the violin on hold and pursued his second love, singing. He landed a spot in the Vienna Boys Choir, where he spent two years before enrolling at age 14 in the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Armed with his bachelor's degree, Moeckel returned to the United States to study with preeminent violinist Miriam Fried at Indiana University.

His post-graduate resume includes performances throughout the United States and Europe, including on French and Italian television. He has been with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since being named concertmaster in 2002.

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