Concerto for trumpet and orchestra or symphonic band.
Fuji-san was originally commissioned in early 2019 for Principal Trumpeter Ryan Anthony and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Recently the concerto was commissioned by Southern Methodist University to be adapted for Symphonic Band.
When Ryan approached me in 2018, he had the idea that I write a work based on his epic climb of the iconic behemoth, Mount Fuji. Ryan, who is a survivor and currently battling Multiple Myeloma, is an inspiration and symbol of courage and strength. This work represents his personal battle with cancer and his continued fight and positive outlook on life.
Having first-hand experience working with Ryan, I knew the concerto needed to be bold and dramatic. The music will take you to the historic breathtaking beauty of Japan and its multifaceted culture.
For this particular performance, Ryan will perform the 1 st and 3 rd movements. When the first movement starts, imagine yourself soaring over the Fuijigoko lakes towards the great mountain. The soloist enters after a brief and vibrant opening filled with fast flourishes and Taiko drums. I chose the piccolo trumpet since it sounds closest to the Japanese Shakuhachi flute and is an instrument that Ryan triumphs with ease. The music has a sense of beauty and security as both the soloist and accompaniment propel the listener closer to Mt. Fuji.
The second movement (not being performed) has a more ominous feel representing Ryan’s slow climb and what I would imagine to be his personal thoughts of mortality. Performed on a cornet, the contrasting warmth carries a dramatic and bewitching quality capturing the arduous ascension to the mountain’s apex.
The third movement has a playful and percussive feel of jubilation as the descent begins. I chose the traditional trumpet which has a brighter and more exuberant sound capturing the explosive feeling Ryan must have felt accomplishing this heroic climb.
Today, Ryan continues his fight with cancer and remains an inspiration to us all. We have known each other for years and I consider Ryan my brother. He was at my side through my own personal battle with cancer and I continue to be in awe of his talent and enduring drive.