Deborah Pae, cello

Deborah Pae, cello

Jeffrey Mumford, composer

Matthew Szymanski, founder and music director of Phoenix Boston

A new Concerto for Cello and Orchestra titled 'of radiances blossoming in expanding air' has been written for cellist Deborah Pae by award-winning American composer Jeffrey Mumford.  This exciting project will be a wonderful addition to the contemporary cello concerti repertoire and enjoy its U.S. Premiere with the Boston based orchestral ensemble, Phoenix, with conductor Matthew Szymanski in May 2019.

'of radiances blossoming in expanding air' will have the following instrumentation:  solo cello, strings, single winds, single brass, harp, and one mallet percussion.  The 'cello, which is featured in a series of ongoing developmental relationships with soloists and ensembles within the orchestra, generates motivic and articulative materials which spread throughout its fabric.  What results are new timbral combinations, enlarging upon the central voice, thus increasing the number of sonic possibilities in an expansive space.  Much of the work's harmonic material is based on the letters of her first name:  D  Eb  Bb  or  A  h.

This Concerto will be available for performance during the 2018-2019 season and beyond.  

For any individuals and/or organizations interested in helping bring our project to life, tax-exempt contributions can be made directly to:


The Washington Conservatory of Music
1 Westmoreland Circle
Bethesda, MD 20816
attn: Mumford Concerto Project


Click HERE to view advance international publicity from Amati Magazine of London.

Special thanks to the Crickett Foundation for their generous support and contribution!

"Deborah Pae's sublime tone and deep musical insight have inspired me to create a new work which will showcase her talents. The new work will feature the 'cello's voice as one which will initiate and comment upon activity among the other instruments, providing for a variety of timbral interrelationships.

I am delighted to be working with an artist with such a profound musical vision."

                                                                                                         - Jeffrey Mumford, composer (2015)

About the Artists:

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “exceptionally gifted” and “breathtaking," cellist Deborah Pae is captivating audiences with her “elegance, poise, and beauty” (Transcentury Blog).  She has made concerto appearaces with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles, the Westchester Philharmonic, and has garnered praise from Diapason d’Or, Klasseik Central, Sonic Pizzicato, and de Classica Magazines for her recording of Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2 with Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.  She has been a performing artist at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, and Crans-Montana Classics; and has performed at major concert venues around the world including the Louvre in Paris, Muzeikgebouw in Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  To learn more, click here.

Jeffrey Mumford, former Composer-in-Residence at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Alba Music Festival, and the Composers Forum of the East, has received numerous awards including the "Academy Award in Music" from the American Academy of Arts  & Letters, a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an ASCAP Aaron Copland Scholarship. He has received commissions from the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, and the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress.  Mr. Mumford is published by Theodore Presser Co. and Quicklight Music.  To learn more, click here.

Matthew Szymanski is the founder and music director of Phoenix, a Boston-based orchestra with the mission of expanding the reach of classical music by creating an accessible and social concert experience. Before founding Phoenix he served as a conducting apprentice to Harry Christophers with the Handel and Haydn Society and was a finalist for the prestigious New World Orchestra Conducting Fellowship with Michael Tilson Thomas. After a successful Kickstarter campaign and two highly acclaimed concerts, Phoenix is in the midst of planning its second season in Boston. The learn more, click here.