Composer: James Aikman
Instrumentation: Violin and Piano
Year Composed: 1986
Duration: 11 minutes
Cost: Purchase: $40.00
Note: This work is in calligraphic rather than computer notation.
The Sonata was written for violinist Mihaela Martin whom I had known from the 1982 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. My family had volunteered to be a host family for the event. The young Romanian
violinist was assigned to us, yet I remember there being a definite
question of whether the Romanian government would permit her to compete.
Finally, the week before the competition began, she was granted the
opportunity. A delightful person and extraordinary musician, Mihaela
triumphed through each successive round of the competition and eventually
won first prize. It was an exciting time for all and before she left, I
boldly promised that I would write a piece for her.
Thereafter, Mihaela called and said that she and her family had defected
from Romania and had found refuge in Germany. This became inspiration for
the Sonata. I planned the second movement to represent the drama of their escape and the Adagio to reflect their loss of home, country and many good friends.
Mihaela returned to Indianapolis as a member of the jury for the 1986
competition. After it was over, she and my wife, Deanna, premiered the
work in Indiana University's Recital Hall and later recorded it in TRC
Studios. It was this recording that Joshua Bell heard while judging the
1987 Carmichael Composer's Competition. He and Charles Webb, pianist
and Dean of the Indiana University School of Music, recorded the Sonata in a live broadcast from the university's radio and television studio.