“It was an exciting challenge and thrilling experience to perform in the 3rd & 4th California Andriasov Festival. Arshak’s Torch #1 is one of those rare pieces that looks treacherously difficult on the page but then comes together beautifully and naturally owing to its gorgeous melodies and ingenious orchestration. What a delight it was to work with an ensemble of such virtuosi!
I have thought for a long time that Iosif Andriasov’s Concertino for trumpet and orchestra should have a more prominent place in the standard trumpet repertoire. Performing it with the composer’s son was a real honor and deepened my appreciation for this amazing piece. Iosif has created a technically demanding solo that is just as aesthetically rewarding as it is difficult. It has that magic combination of spectacular flourish and heart-aching beauty. He’s not afraid to ask the trumpet to play violinistic cadenzas and to sing softly in the upper register. Every performance seems to reveal something new in the piece for me. I can’t wait until my next opportunity to perform it!
Recently I hosted the 5th California Andriasov Festival as a faculty recital at California State University, East Bay. In addition to the Concertino we also performed several of Arshak’s and Iosif’s vocal works transcribed for trumpet and trombone. These beautiful and poignant pieces are subtle but powerful expressions of the poems they set. The emotions of love, humor, wistfulness, existential angst and sadness all ring clear even without the words. My concert partner, Victor Romasevich, was an inspiring collaborator being a former student of Iosif’s. I am humbled by the connection I now have to Arshak and the legacy of Iosif!”