Spring Cadenzas Project

with Derek Bermel

“I wanted to bring a new music aspect to ORP and bring a piece to life which was written by a composer who was of the greatest artistry but also had a big passion for youth and education. 

It is a privilege to be able to work with a living composer on any piece – to work with someone from our generation and to hear directly from him or her. I wanted to bring that experience to ORP in the form of a piece that was substantial, of real depth and integrity, with real challenges that we can learn through together.”

- Midori

History of Spring Cadenzas

Spring Cadenzas was born during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult time, Midori wanted to create a project for youth to keep them inspired and motivated, and to keep them actively playing.

Many students were at home in isolation, perhaps recording some material that was to be put together later, but Midori wanted to create an opportunity to make music together safely yet in real time.

Derek wrote the piece initially taking into mind to embrace the online latency as part of the aesthetic. As he progressed through the piece, he also wrote separate movements for just strings and just winds as more youth orchestras were able to gather by instrument families.

Although there were several variations of each movement, he eventually fully orchestrated the entire work.

Midori explaining the piece
Derek explaining the piece

Premiere Information

Spring Cadenzas was premiered by 6 youth orchestras across the U.S. on Zoom and Cleanfeed platforms in Spring 2021:

MIDORI | soloist
DEREK BERMEL | composer
TREVOR NEW | executive producer/sound designer
CLARA KIM | coordinator

Partnering Orchestra:

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York
Director: Anthea Jackson
Conductor: Scott Stickley

Participating Orchestras
(selected by application):

Youth Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes
Director: Karen Dusek
Conductor: Augusto Diemecke

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
Director: Hanrich Claassen
Conductor: Hanrich Claassen

Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey
Director: Larisa Epps
Conductor: Nell Flanders

Boston String Academy
Director: Marielisa Alvarez
Conductor: Jorge Soto

Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Director: Irene Narotsky
Conductor: Dr. James Mick

“In Fall 2020, Midori contacted me about writing a concerto that she could perform remotely with youth orchestras and also live in subsequent seasons. During the winter of the pandemic it felt uplifting to compose music imbued with hope and energy. The piece takes the form of interlocking cadenzas, played without pause, in which Midori leads the orchestra through a series of musical episodes. The movement titles are derived from translations of Basho’s delicate, poignant haikus.”

 – Derek Bermel

Technical Information

Level: intermediate / advanced

Length: 23 minutes

1. Fields, Mountains
2. Wake, butterfly
3. Unknown spring

Flute 1
Flute 2 / piccolo
Oboe 1
Oboe 2
Clarinet 1 in Bb
Clarinet 2 in Bb / bass clarinet in Bb
Bassoon 1
Bassoon 2

Horn 1 in F
Horn 2 in F
Trumpet 1 in C
Trumpet 2 in C
Trombone 1
Trombone 2

Percussion 1
Percussion 2