From an actual press release:

“La Jolla, Calif. (February 22, 2011) – La Jolla Symphony and Chorus (LJS&C) stretches the conception of the concerto on March 12-13, 2011 in Mandeville Auditorium on the UCSD campus. Conductor Steven Schick begins the program with Serge Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 for Violin, with the brilliant 16-year-old Hannah Cho as soloist, and concludes the program with the greatest orchestral concerto of them all – Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. In between, a complete surprise: the world premiere of Mark Applebaum’s Concerto for Florist and Orchestra, featuring ornamental horticulturalist James DelPrince as soloist.

“Composer Mark Applebaum (b. 1967), associate professor of music composition and theory at Stanford University, says the idea behind Concerto for Florist and Orchestra originated in a chance encounter with floral designer James DelPrince on an airplane. As Applebaum describes it, four things happened during that ride, all in the span of about 20 seconds: “I learned that Jim was a florist; I instantaneously had the idea of a concerto for florist; I asked him if he’d ever thought about being a performance florist; and he responded ‘Yes–I’ve always dreamed about being a performance florist.’” Earlier versions of the concerto were written for an ensemble of improvising musicians with James DelPrince simultaneously sculpting magnificent and idiosyncratic floral displays. After performing in the ensemble version as percussionist, Steven Schick proposed to Applebaum that he write an entirely new piece for symphony orchestra. The Concerto for Florist and Orchestra (Thomas Nee Commission) is a three-movement work where the musicians perform a traditionally notated composition, but the soloist is free to improvise his part spontaneously. Soloist DelPrince is associate professor of floral design at Mississippi State University and author of two books on floral design.”

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