DBR: Voodoo in Baltimore

On September 27, Marin Alsop opens the Baltimore Symphony’s 2019-2020 season, leading violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) in this weekend’s performances of his Voodoo Violin Concerto. The three-movement, 24-minute concerto is one of DBR’s most popular, signature works. Originally composed for chamber ensemble, Voodoo Violin Concerto was commissioned in 2002 by The Kitchen House Blend. In 2006, the Vermont Youth Orchestra asked DBR to arrange the work for full orchestra, and the resulting work showcases a drum kit and hip-hop/jazz beats throughout. Subsequent performances follow in Baltimore on the 28th and 29th.

Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during a dress rehearsal, 11/11/10. Photo: Chris Lee

“In the earliest stages of planning the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert,” Alsop shares, “the dynamism of Daniel Bernard Roumain immediately came to mind – not only for his incredible virtuosity as a musician, but also for his dedication to serving the community at large. As the BSO continues our commitment to perform new works, his very own stunning and spirited Voodoo Violin Concerto was a must, and I am thrilled to have him join us for our opening weekend.”

DBR describes his concerto. “This violin concerto is most concerned with the notion of the ritual, or our collective rites of passage. From the current state of a highly technological country in the United States of America (the techno textures and rhythms of ‘Filtering’), to my own relationship with Catholicism (the meditative tonality of ‘Prayer’), I find ‘Tribe’ in all of its primitive repetition, to, perhaps, be the most accurate depiction of where we are right now, as a collective, civilized society; a collective, civilized world.”