I Still Dance

For Orchestra (2019)
circa 8 min.

Joshua Robison, husband of Michael Tilson Thomas, was a gymnast in high school and in later life became an expert swing dancer. I asked him not long ago about it, and he replied “I still dance.” As is frequently the case with me, I thought “that’s a title that needs a piece,” and thus this high-energy, eight-minute virtuoso orchestra work was born.

Upon completing it, I realized that the music has more in common with a toccata than any particular dance form. The meters are largely in four or 6/8, and the energy surges forward, barely relaxing at all until the final moments when we experience a “soft landing” to close the piece.

The orchestration includes a demanding part for bass guitar and a percussion section with taiko drums.

Share This

World premiere,
September 19, 2019
Davies Symphony Hall,
San Francisco

San Francisco Symphony,
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

European premiere,
March 7, 2020
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, John Adams, conductor

Dedication: “for my longtime friends, Joshua and Michael”