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Video transcript

I've known Ellen's Willits I guess first as a violin it's not as a composer at all when I was 18 and she was probably a similar age we both played in the American Symphony together with Leopold Stokowski in fact Allen was a wonderful violinist and I got to know her quite well we were very close friends she all actually produced one of the last recordings I ever made as a trumpet player she wrote a trumpet quartet that when I was teaching at Julliard I had some of my students play I premiered a lot of pieces of hers over the years and she's remained a dear friend all these years so clearly when I was interested in asking composers I've known for a long time to write pieces from my last year's music director of the Seattle Symphony I asked Ellen the piece I wrote called Avanti is taken from a larger piece of mine called fanfare reminiscence and celebration and that piece actually has 18 offstage brass players so I compressed the score a bit and I added a little bit of this and that to the fanfare movement and I thought Avanti was really a good name for a piece for Jerry because Jerry will be jumping into the next thing with with both feet you know avanti move on move on to the next chapter let's get going and that's how well she knows me but I'm against the idea of telling somebody listen for this or listen for that I prefer the open air the the willing ear sometimes called you start a piece now the curiosity should lead to listen and what's going to happen next when I'm writing a piece for Orchestra I always have a full score and I do all my sketching on a full score now maybe I'll change I'll add an instrument or take one away or something but I like to have the feeling of this whole Orchestra sitting in front of me and now that I work on computer it's not I still I still do it that way exactly all my sketches are on the full school I just love writing instrumental music and I love writing for Orchestra because it's so I mean I always say the orchestra is like a jellyfish it's not a single organism it's a collection of organisms that sort of magically work together and just the beauty of the way the the jellyfish moves and when you think about it it's not one thing but it it registers as one thing and that's that marvelous moment where everything sort of gels and the orchestra becomes one giant thing larger than you know the sum of the parts