Release Date: March 11, 2016
Catalog #: NV6032
Format: Digital
21st Century

Concerto For Soprano Saxophone & Orchestra

Jonathan Sheffer composer
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra | Petter Sundkvist conductor
Anders Paulsson soprano saxophone

I met the Swedish saxophonist Anders Paulsson in the early 90s through my friend and mentor John Corigliano. Anders, always a very entrepreneurial sort of musician, was to be the focus of a 1996 concert on Swedish Public Television. Fortunately for me, the program included funding for a commission of a new concerto, and Anders kindly asked me to compose something for soprano sax and large orchestra.

The resulting piece, which I later subtitled Romp, is a sort of hero’s journey in the manner of the maximal sorts of tone poems of an earlier century. It is in a three-movement structure: sonata form; ballade; and rondo. After I had completed it, it took on the character of a narrative piece for me, as though some imaginary protagonist faced difficulties, enjoyed blissful happiness, and finally grew in maturity.

The first performance took place at the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, a concert hall/radio studio and a center of Swedish broadcasting, as part of the concert featuring Anders that was broadcast live. The miraculous Swedish Radio Orchestra was

conducted by Petter Sundkvist, which produced a performance that matched every idea and musical gesture that I had

imagined with absolute fidelity.

– Jonathan Sheffer


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Artist Information

Jonathan Sheffer


Jonathan Sheffer is a Grammy-nominated composer and conductor whose diverse career in music spans the worlds of classical, opera, dance, and film and television. Born in New York City, Sheffer graduated from Harvard University, where his teachers included Leonard Bernstein, and later attended The Juilliard Extension School and the Aspen School of Music. Sheffer’s range of works comprises television and feature film scores, works for orchestra, solo piano, concertos, musicals, and short operas. In addition to several scores for Hollywood films, including Encino Man, Pure Luck, A Shallow Grave and others, his most recent films include the documentaries Mann v. Ford (HBO) and the German/Israeli film, The Decent One, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.