The Viola Commissioning Circle
Viola Commissioning Circle
The Viola Commissioning Circle

10 new concertos
in 10 years

an exciting opportunity
to become involved

Lawrence Power | Mark Anthony Turnage

10 new concertos
in 10 years

an exciting opportunity to become involved

Lawrence Power: my vision

I invite you to join me in supporting The Viola Commissioning Circle. It is an incredibly exciting opportunity for you to become involved with the composer and me in the birth of a new work: seeing how it develops from the initial idea, to the premiere and beyond as it gets performed by different musicians. I think it’s the most rewarding and important journey one can make as a musician and patron.

Working closely with composers really is one of the most important aspects of any career in music.


There are many reasons for this but for me the opportunity to work on a truly blank artistic canvas dealing with musical processes at their very infancy is inspiring and exciting. Without any previous performance tradition or history one is forced to react to the very building blocks of music (melody, rhythm and harmony) in a pure way. It is my experience with all the composers I have worked with that they thrive on a genuinely honest and vivid reaction to their scores. I cherish that ability and it actually gives me so much more freedom and confidence when returning to the classical repertoire.

I would like to be able to commission 10 Viola Concertos over the next ten years.

The first two of these by Gerald Barry and Anders Hillborg have already been commissioned. The Barry was premiered in 2019 and the Hillborg will be premiered in 2021. I’m very fortunate to have strong ongoing working relationships with some of today’s most important composers and among them I would like to commission concertos from Huw Watkins and Cassandra Miller (now in hand), Lera Auerbach, Magnus Lindberg and Salvatore Sciarrinno (these are under discussion), Julian Anderson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thomas Larcher, Kaija Saariaho and Thomas Adès.

I very much hope that these and the other works I have already premiered will go on to enter the repertoire. I can't think of any greater accolade for a musician than creating a real body of work for one's instrument that will be there for future generations of performers.

Lawrence Power

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Lockdown commissioning project

Lawrence Power is commissioning a series of short pieces for unaccompanied viola which will be filmed at various locations over the coming weeks.  This project is generously supported by Nicholas and Judith Goodison

Commission details

Lockdown Commission #1

The first Lockdown Commission, "Power", by Huw Watkins, has been filmed and is available to view on Lawrence Power's YouTube Channel

View film

Lockdown Commission #2

The second Lockdown Commission, 'Quartet for One' by Garth Knox, has been filmed and is available to view on Lawrence Power's YouTube channel

View film

Tim Jackson piece for viola and strings

Thomas Adès Three Berceuses

The UK premiere took place as part of a BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime concert at Wigmore Hall on 21 October 2019

Commission details

Gerald Barry Viola Concerto

The world premiere of Gerald Barry's Viola Concerto performed by Lawrence Power took place at Saffron Hall on 18 May 2019 followed by the London premiere at the Barbican Hall on 21 May. Thomas Adès conducted the Britten Sinfonia.

The Irish premiere performed by Lawrence Power took place on 1 March 2020 at National Concert Hall, Dublin. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra was conducted by Ilan Volkov

BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the London premiere

Commissioned Composers

  • Thomas Adès
  • Gerald Barry
  • Anders Hillborg
  • Huw Watkins
  • Lockdown commissions
Commissioned Works

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