American composer James Stephenson wrote his violin concerto for violinist Jennifer Frautschi (past CSO guest artist) as a commission for the Minnesota Orchestra, titled “Tributes”, in appreciation for all who helped in its creation. CSO’s concertmaster Holly Mulcahy takes on the challenging work. Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra was his final completed work and his most popular. The work treats the various sections and solo instruments of the orchestra as if they were protagonists in a concerto, mysterious and expressive. Most of the CSO’s principal musicians will be featured. A note from Holly Mulcahy: "It was during the summer of 2012 in Grand Teton Music Festival that I met Jim Stephenson. I was introduced to him through a mutual friend and we ended up hiking for the better part of a day. When I won the concertmaster job with Chattanooga Symphony the following year, Jim said: You know I have a new violin concerto…. Jim sent me the music to his concerto and I looked it over, listened to it, and tried it out. It captured my imagination immediately. Even though the concerto, titled Tributes, isn’t programmatic, after learning that the second movement was a direct quote from a Louis Armstrong tune, Hotter Than That, it set up a storyline in my mind. The scat from Hotter Than That was taken way down in speed and given to the violin solo. The tune was now slow and evocative yet it still had the distinct essence of the year and location it was recorded: Chicago 1927. There are unmistakable nods to jazz whether it’s a sliding trombone or pulsing bass drum. Even a piano adds color to the cabaret feel. What sold me on the work was how Jim cultivated curiosity. From the opening question-like chords to the mysterious and smoky entrance into the second movement, Jim’s concerto kept my attention to the end! But beyond the music being outstanding, performing a friend’s work offers so much more meaning to the concert experience for both performer and audience."