Sean Hickey profile


flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass
2/06/11 Max Lifchitz - North/South Consonance - Christ at St. Stephen's Church, New York, NY

Commissioned and premiered by Max Lifchitz and North/South Consonance. Dedicated to Max.

Program Notes

My Sinfonietta was composed in 2010 upon commission from Max Lifschitz and North/South Consonance, an artist and collective whose recordings and activities I have been following since I was a teenager, especially those of Latin American composers, an obsession of mine for many years. In fact, a North/South concert was the first performance I attended after moving to New York in the 90s. It was an honor to compose a new work for this ensemble.

                  In three relatively short movements and scored for wind and string quintets (somewhat similar to my recent Mandolin Concerto), the Sinfonietta gets underway with a movement titled Treadmill, a short, lively motive repeating loudly, and which further gets truncated into its most elemental building block, an accented sixteenth note followed by an eighth note.  Solos and moments of virtuosity mark the movement as the block more or less disintegrates. The movement ends rather conventionally as if in relief. Titled El Efecto Deseado, the second movement is concerned more about sonority and instrumental blend. Set off by a cautious tempo, the desired effect peaks at the midpoint of the movement and retreats to the chords of the start at a soft dynamic. High-wire, the third movement, begins with a fragmented set of triplets thrown across all ten instruments, when a more reflective section gives way to a purposeful 7/8 statement, followed by a brief and veiled quote from Planos, a thrilling work by Silvestre Revueltas. The opening triplet material returns and whips quickly up and down the ensemble before settling into a section of entirely different character, bi-tonal and littered with accompanimental sextuplets. The piece ends emphatically. The Orchestra Pardubice, led by maestro Marek Stilec, gave the European premiere in 2016 in the Czech Republic.


  • News

    Watch this space for news of performances in New York, Chicago, Sao Paolo, Stockholm and St. Petersburg, where we will record my Clarinet Concerto with Alexander Fiterstein, along with Vladimir Lande leading the St. Petersburg Philharmonic at the end of November.


    The North/South Consonance gave the successful premiere of my Sinfonietta in New York on February 6, 2011 and I’m still working on the premiere of my Mandolin Concerto with Avi Avital with target date of late 2011 in Berlin. December 2010 saw three performance of my solo cello work, Beara, by two different cellists in Chicago and New York. I'm extremely pleased to announce a commission from arguably the greatest recorder player in the world, Michala Petri, for a new concerto for recorder and orchestra, to be premiered in 2012 and with a recording to follow.

    I’m also nearing completion of a new commission for the amazingly diverse Swedish ensemble,The Pearls Before Swine Experience. The new work is called Unintended Consequences and will be premiered in Sweden. I've also been commissioned by an interesting New York cello duo, 2VC, for a new work for that combination.

    But perhaps the highlight of 2011 is the recording of several works of mine, solo piano, chamber and orchestral, each performed and recorded by some leading names and excellent proponents of my work. Recordings will take place in Princeton, New York and St. Petersburg.