The concerto began with a guitar soloist playing a cadenza over slow, unrelenting strings, which were joined by a driving rhythmic force that crescendoed in the middle; then the guitar returned to the start of the piece, reborn.
Music faculty member John Yannelli introduced his new composition, Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, to the Sarah Lawrence community in a December concert conducted by Martin Goldray, the Marjorie Leff Miller Faculty Scholar in Music. The piece was performed by the SLC orchestra, with Oren Fader (member of the Cygnus Ensemble, in residence at the College) as soloist.
The 24-minute piece is unconventional because it uses the electric guitar instead of a more traditional concerto instrument like the clarinet, flute, piano, or violin. Since the early 1980's Yannelli has wanted to mix the elements of a classic symphonic orchestra and soloist from a less conventional genre.
As to the concerto's future, Yannelli simply says, "I hope it will take on a life of its own."