Steingrímur Rohloff: Doppelgängerkonzert - World premiere

On Thursday 2 February, Steingrímur Rohloff's Doppelgängerkonzert written for the Odense Symphony Orchestra and the two violists Rafaell Altino and Lawrence Power will be premiered.

In the piece, Rohloff explores the possibilities of having two unison virtuoso soloists, and he plays with echoes, shadows and resonance. We asked the composer a few questions about the work. 

How would you describe “Doppelgängerkonzert”?

"It has been very interesting for me to receive a commission initiated by the solo violist from the Odense Symphony Orchestra Rafaell Altino, to compose for him and Lawrence Power. Both are virtuosos that I admire. Both play an important role when it comes to commissioning new works of contemporary music.

The special thing is that the two solo instruments are the same: 2 violas. And I treat them exactly the same in terms of the level of difficulty. It is very virtuosic and very colourful. I look forward to hearing the result…"

How was your collaboration with the soloists, and is there anything about them that has made a particular impression on you?

"I have met with Rafaell Altino in Odense, and have investigated the possibilities of the instrument with him. Furthermore, I live with a violinist who also plays the viola. So we had an instrument at home that we tried a few things on: "How high-pitched can you play one thing or the other?" It turned out: quite high…"

How do you deal with the doppelgänger motif?

"The fact that both soloists play the same instrument inspired me to think of them as doppelgängers. This led to a small scenic and acoustic idea, which is especially noticeable in the last movement."

Did you have special references or sources of inspiration in the work process?

"I was particularly inspired by the great virtuosity of the soloists and the flexibility and colourful possibilities of their instruments. The starting point is to a large extent the diverse possibilities of the strings, which spread over the entire orchestra, so to speak. For me personally, the work is characterized by the joy of playing, the joy of life and the joy of the orchestra's colourfulness. The work also contains a joyful greeting to my two older brothers, who listened to a lot of Irish folk music in their youth."

"Doppelgängerkonzert stands in great contrast to a work that will be premiered on 4 May 2023 also by the Odense Symphony Orchestra. A war requiem, where the theme has unfortunately grown much darker and more relevant throughout the process of the composition."

Time and place

Doppelgängerkonzert is performed by Odense Symphony Orchestra with soloists Rafaell Altino and Lawrence Power, Thursday 2 February 19:30Odense Koncerthus.

Find more information about the concert here.