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For Orchestral Conductors, Music Directors and concert programmers

Works list for orchestra

This webpage includes feature works for orchestra, with full recordings and scores, in a variety of sizes and scale (short overture, to full concert event) as well as collaborations and concert design, with short descriptions for thematic programming, and technical/rehearsal needs and considerations.

Works - no soloist

Le Baiser – 18:00 

           (2*222 / 4231 / tmp / 2perc / pno / hrp / strings)

Evening - 6:00  

         (*3*3*3*3 / 4331 / 3perc / tmp / hrp / pno / strings)

Resonance Unfolding 2: Homage to Olivier Messiaen  - 12:00 

          (*22**4*2 / 2221 / 3perc / cel / pno / 66442 / amplification)

What the Chickpea Said to the Cook - 6:00

          (*22*22 / 4231 / 2perc / hrp / strings)



Between the Rooms - Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra - 25:00

          (solo Trumpet / 2222 / 4231 / tmp / 2-4perc / hrp / strings)

Anguished Grief - 14:30

          (solo Violin / strings 43221)

Babbitt Concerto for Saxophone(s) and Orchestra 26:00

          (solo Saxophone (SATB)/ *2*2*2*2 / 2221 / tmp / perc / pno / hrp / strings)


The Sleepers  - 1:15:00  

    Text by Walt Whitman

    (solo Baritone, choir (*2222 / 221 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings)


Children - Family

The Caboose Who Got Loose - 26:00 

     Children’s story and images by Bill Peet

     (Narrator, solo Cello /*2*222 / 4231 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings) + slides / soundfiles)


Silent Film

The Hands of Orlac - 1:55:00  

    Score for the 1928 silent film directed by Robert Wein, on a story by Maurice Renard.

    (solo Soprano, solo Piano /*2*2*22 / 4231 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings) + amplification


Collaborations and Concert Design

Tiferet  - 40min without pause

    A conversation between the music of Ernest Bloch and Aviva Chernick

    Aviva (vocals) + (12*2*1 / 111 / tmp / perc / hrp / strings)

Winter Seasonal Concert with the Laila Biali Quartet - concert - 2hrs

    New arrangements of Biali's original songs, and Christmastime favorites.  

    Choir + (0000 / 211 / hrp / strings)

In Remembrance - Remembrance Day concert – 60min

    Feature: Singer/guitarist soloist, Harmony singer, Soprano, Bag Piper, 2 poets



Rite of Spring - 40min

Pulau Dewata - 14min


Works - No Soloist

Le Baiser - 18:30 - Listen - Score

 (2*222 / 4231 / tmp / 2perc / pno / hrp / strings)


"I was kissed by so great a lover, he, who will never be separated from me, kissed my mouth, all trembling.

– from Dante’s The Inferno.


Inspired by Rodin’s masterpiece, Le Baiser (The Kiss) depicts adulterous lovers Francesca di Rimini and Paulo Malatesta, who would be killed for their infidelity, and spend eternity in hell, as depicted in Dante’s Inferno.


I saw this work at the National Gallery in Ottawa, several years before the National Arts Centre Orchestra commissioned me for a work – I wanted this remembrance of seeing this sculpture to be for an important work because the experience changed the way I see sculpture, art, and how I compose.  This seemed the perfect opportunity.


Lush and melodic, with extended tonality, this music depicts a journey through loneliness, seduction, lust, and betrayal. Numerous solos follow – bassoon, oboe, trumpet, violin, and cello. For best sound, it should have a minimum strings 98664, but can be compensated with fewer.


Evening  6:00 - Listen - Score

(*3*3*3*3 / 4331 / 3perc / tmp / hrp / pno / strings)

Reduced version



The dying trees reach out in the evening of their life - are they yearning for the last rays of sunshine or offering an invitation to join?


Inspired by the painting Evening, North Shore, Lake Superior by Franklin Carmichael, this sparse, intimate music is created to invite this contemplation – to view the vast majesty of life and growth, set against it's fragility, and cycle of decay and death, captured so perfectly in this painting.


The music is moody and delicate.  Abstract, but rich.  It is demanding in tone and tuning, but not speed. Prominently Features the Cor Anglais.


Resonance Unfolding 2: Homage à Olivier Messiaen - 12:00

Listen -  Score

 (*22**4*2 / 2221 / 3perc / cel / pno / 66442 / amplification)


A Modernist work utilizing spectral perspective in shaping the materials.  Created under a Chalmer’s Artistic Development grant to explore theoretical ideas in composition.  It was premiered by the Esprit orchestra.


It is intense, frenetic, and colourful – it sparkles and surges.  The music is inspired by Messiaen's epic work for organ, Diu Pami Nous.  As a young person, was haunted by the final 4 chords, and at how powerful a subtle change in a harmony of moving just 1 voice could have such profound sense of transformation to the whole.  Resonance Unfolding 2 is an exploration of creating an entire piece around these organ chords, but with rhapsodic orchestral scoring, often loose and chaotic.   Requires amplification, and live sound processing.


Complex to put together, often aleatoric, but not overly demanding on each part - does require ¼ tone tuning for most players, and a sensitivity to modern composition technique.  

What the Chickpea Said to the Cook

What the Chickpea Said to the Cook - 7:00 - Listen - Score

(*22*22 / 4231 / 2perc / hrp / strings)


“My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled”

 - Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

Inspired by the poem Chickpea to Cook by Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. It tells the story of chickpea complaining about his fate as he boils in the pot.  He is slapped down by the cook and told to boil more and become something greater, and fulfill his purpose.

An energetic orchestra feature – sparkling and virtuosi. I was taken with the idea of orchestral training, of boiling through in the practice room, when writing this piece. Rumi's words so often inspire me, and the Chickpea poem has many times - it is exciting - inspires me to boil!  

Quite tonal and romantic in style with minimalist flavour, and some unusual twists and turns, including use of high hat. Challenging metric and tempo demands. To do at written metronome requires some attention.



Between the Rooms - Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra - 25:00  


(solo trumpet / 2222 / 4231 / tmp / 2-4perc / hrp / strings)

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night—We talked between the Rooms—Until the Moss had reached our lips—And covered up—Our names—” – Emily Dickenson.

A major work for trumpet in the grand concerto style in three movements.  The inner movement is inspired by the poem I Died for Beauty by Emily Dickenson, as was suggested by the soloist Larry Larson.  I was immediately struck by the words. In few lines she conjures such deep reactions - a mixture of emotion and philosophy about foundational ideas of who and what we are only a great poet can achieve -  and I ended up using a short phrase from it as the title of the piece.


Significant orchestral music, with some metric challenges.  Emotional, and romantic, with fire and bravado in the outer movements. The solo trumpet part is quite demanding.  It is recommended that Adam Zinatelli perform as soloist.


Anguished Grief  - 14:30 - Listen

(solo violin / strings 43221)


“Et si ne puis ne garir ne morir”

And from these I can neither be healed nor die. - de Pizan


Inspired by the poem of Christine de Pizan (14th c) grieving after the death of her husband. Originally a work for soprano and string quartet, this is a re-imaging, inspired by Part's Fratres and Byrd's Lachrymose, features elaborate ornamnentation for the soloist around the original theme.


 Lyric and mournful in a mock baroque style, with both modern and ancient accents. Accessible and has moments of virtuosity and power for the violin and ensemble for an enriching emotional experience.


Moderate challenge for the soloist. I recommend Bénédicte Lauzière as soloist.


Babbitt – Concerto for Saxophone(s) and Orchestra - 26:00

Listen - Score

(solo saxophone (SATB)/ *2*2*2*2 / 2221 / tmp / perc / pno / hrp / strings)


Inspired by the novel of Sinclair Lewis which tells the story of a middle-aged real estate agent going through a mid life crisis. It is also a humorous and cynical commentary on the inequities of the time, and the power of social conformity.


Perhaps the most challenging concerto for saxophone put to paper for the soloist! Requires playing of all 4 primary saxophones.  This was composed for the virtuosi saxophonist Wallace Halladay, and he is recommended for future performances.


Wild, post-modern, quirky with both lush romantic and abstract modern sounds. I felt strongly influenced by Alban Berg’s music, a favorite composer of Wallace and I, and consider this a monodrama, with the "actor" playing 4 roles of himself, much like Wozzeck’s split personality.  I was drawn to Babbitt as a multi-instrumental soloist’s protagonist – his sleazy real estate salesman schtick is the baritone sax -he beautifully yearns for the fairy princess with the soprano. His sense of heroism is played on the alto, and his anger, fear, and resentment on the tenor. 


Challenging for the entire orchestra – prominent drum set part with swing feel at times.  



The Sleepers - 1:15:00 - Listen

 Text by Walt Whitman

(solo baritone, choir (*2222 / 221 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings)


I wander all night in my vision, Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and stopping, Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers.” – Whitman


Epic poem by Walt Whitman, musically structured in the form of oratorio.


The subject is global unity through what unites all – we all sleep – we all die – we all have a soul - we are all beautiful. Whitman explores these ideas through 8 sections using narrative and philosophy, bound with his unique poetic sensitivity, and formal direction. Upon first read, I was immediately moved, and felt it would make an ideal Oratorio, as the nature of it is spiritual, structured like a lesson in the with a narrative arch – a journey of discovery and awakening to a better world.


Perhaps the most bountiful of his poems to summarize his cannon in a single work. 


I was drawn to the variety in writing style represented, not only between sections, but within them as well – it mapped well for musical variety – rhapsodic, or repetitive – referential, or tangential– intimate or sensational – stillness and excitement.  It also divided beautifully into texts which would be sung by choir, and soloist - perfectly balanced when logically laid out – it was a text wanting to be set to music!

Major work for the choir.  A recording online can be shared with the choristers. It will require significant devotion from them.


It is moderately challenging for the orchestra, with many solos and instrumental tuttis. The music is lush and tonal, with some dissonance, but throughout accessible, and composed idiomatically so it can be put together quickly and musically.


The baritone solo is expansive, requiring a wide range of skills – delicacy, intimacy, power, drama.


Children - Family

The Caboose Who Got Loose - Listen/Watch - Score

26:00 - Story and images by Bill Peet

(Narrator, solo Cello /*2*222 / 4231 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings) + slides / soundfiles)


When Katy Caboose rambled down the train tracks,

The Engines were steamers with puffing smokestacks,

She was a caboose who disliked being last

With an endless black cloud of smoke rolling past.

A narration of the endearing story for children by beloved author and illustrator Bill Peet (One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone), and an engaging concert for all ages.

It tells the tale of Katy Caboose, who pines for a quiet and simple life, wistfully looking upon barns and  country homes, but wishing to more than anything be a “little log shack half-covered with vines, perched on a slope in a forest of pines”. Instead, she is yanked down the tracks, passing through scary tunnels and under foreboding boulders, ending up in a noisy, smoky train yard.  In the end, she finds hope, and miraculously fulfills her dream. 

I read this story to my boys many times, and was drawn to its strong protagonist, and emotionally engaging journey filled with fast paced adventure!  Perfect for a musical show piece, and beautifully constructed by Peet over 3 acts.  Inclusion of the projected images is crucial for the presentation, as they so connected with the story and the music.

Challenging, but playable in 1 rehearsal + dress including another shorter work – an ideal choice was made by the creative team at the Calgary Philharmonic at the premiere, with conductor Karl Hirzer – Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

All orchestra sections are featured throughout – designed as an engaging showpiece to thrill. An ideal choice for a family concert.  Young audiences will attach to Katy’s story, and all can enjoy the orchestra, narrator, and soloist performing a dynamic and emotional score.

Silent Film


The Hands of Orlac - 1:55:00 - Listen/Watch 


Score for silent film directed by Robert Wein, on a story by Maurice Renard.

(solo Soprano, solo Piano /*2*2*22 / 4231 / perc / tmp / hrp / strings) + amplification


A macabre thriller/romance from the golden age of silent film, concert pianist Orlac loses his hands in an accident, only to be replaced with those of an executed murderer! A twisted tale ensures with captivating acting by Conrad Veidt and Alexandra Sorina.

I was interested in writing a score for silent film and was drawn to horror as it would allow me to create a more modern and abstract score – colourful and dynamic, with lots of dissonance!  This movie seemed the perfect choice, due to the profession of the protagonist, and has a perfect blend of creepiness' and romance to provide a platform for a dynamic score.  

Moderately challenging for the orchestra, performed to a click track (conductor, soloists, harp, percussion 1 on click is suggested). Can be put together in 2 rehearsals + dress, but 3 would be more secure.  The solo pianist requires a concert grand + an upright which is prepared and amplified. Using two pianos allows for the soloist match the evolving insanity of Orlac on scene!  The amplification of the prepared piano allows it’s abstract, strange sounds to be heard mingling with the orchestra, like one might hear on a macabre soundtrack.  It is recommended to enlist pianist Greg Oh and soprano Stacie Dunlop.  It is important to note the solo piano part is both improvised and composed, requiring special skills.


The music moves between Romantic/lush, and modern/abstract.  It is an ideal choice for a Halloween concert, or even Valentine’s Day. PG rating – a bit creepy, but quite tame by modern standards.


Collaborations and Concert Design

Tiferet  - 40min without pause - Watch (excerpts)

A conversation between the music of Ernest Bloch and Aviva Chernick

 Chernick Trio + (12*2*1 / 111 / tmp / perc / hrp / strings)


She calls out.

From the depths, she calls out

                – Hear my Voice


Including music, story, and poetry Tiferet, explores Jewish composition and spirituality.  The word Tiferet is complex in nature, but stands as a foundational principal regarding beauty, and glory, and inspires the arc of the program.  This program is designed as a first half of a symphony program.  Other works (traditional and original) are available for a full length concert featuring Aviva Chernick.

If there is interest in this program, but you request a different orchestration, I am open to both expansion and reduction.

Chernick – Eili

Bloch – Concerto Grosso #1 – mvt 1

Chernick  - Min Hamietzar

Bloch Suite Modale – mvt 1

Chernick – Hashievenu

Bloch – From a Jewish Life – Prayer

Chernick – Zeh Heyon

Bloch – Renouveau, from 3 Evocations.

Winter seasonal with Laila Biali (2 hr concert) 

Biali Quartet + (0000/211/hrp/strings) – optional choir.


Winter seasonal – Christmas extravaganza with the multi-talented Laila Biali and her quartet and original arrangements of classics and original songs, with orchestrations by Scott Good and Drew Jureka.


Covers: River, Let it Snow, Sleighride, A Child is Born, If We Make it Through December, My Favorite Things, Do You See What I See?, Carol of the Bells, Hymn to Freedom, Joy to the World

Originals: Radiance, Outside, Snow, Joy

Reasonably challenging for the orchestra.  Can be put together in 1 rehearsal, and a dress rehearsal.  

Laila Biali

In Remembrance - (1hr concert)

Feature: Singer/guitarist soloist, Harmony singer, Soprano, Bag Piper, 2 poets



A powerful presentation featuring music of many traditions. Music and poetry are continuous throughout, without pause - it only a part of Appalachian Spring.


I was stirred to find the perfect music and poetry for this solemn occasion.  I wanted for everyone to feel a part of the experience - connected.  I hope to respect the tradition and the soldiers sacrifice, but also allow for some questioning of that sacrifice so beautifully put in Mark Knopfler's rock ballad Brother's in Arms.

The Soprano only sings in the Gorecki.  The lead voice-guitar sings 3 songs (Lynn, Bogle, Straits)



Part – Spiegel im Spiegel

Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again

Eric Bogel – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Traditional - Flowers of the Forest 

Henrik Gorecki – 2nd Movement, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms 

Aaron Copland – Appalachian Spring

Traditional - The Last Post 

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