Of Note
September 13, 2016: Savannah Philharmonic Violin Concerto Premiere
“…it was the second movement of the program’s three pieces that created an extraordinary night of symphonic music…The world premiere of a new violin concerto by Richard Sortomme… is a daring piece of postmodern symphonic music… Lonely, broken solos of strumming oscillated with excursions into a high range of staccato notes were as refreshing as they were nearly painful at times…The concerto received a standing ovation, duly deserved for a piece which was as daring and beautiful as it was lonely and desolate, coursing a wide swath of emotion and tonal embodiment…”

Joshua Peacock, Savannah Morning News
November 20, 2015: The Cleveland Orchestra Double Viola Concerto Premiere
“…Based on Smetana's "From My Life" Quartet, Sortomme's readily approachable second gift to Cleveland emerged as…a gripping, vigorously colorful re-imagining of the original…Despite its audible roots in an existing piece, the concerto was relentlessly unpredictable…the piece also kept listeners on their toes, shifting unexpectedly from the ponderous and melodious to the frenzied and rhythmic… Indeed, Sortomme knows how to write for orchestra, and must be permitted to do so again…”

Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
Gary Hanson, Exec. Dir. of The Cleveland Orchestra, 2004-15, reflects on Double Viola Concerto

“Richard Sortomme’s Double Viola Concerto was commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra to celebrate the distinguished tenure of retiring Principal Viola Robert Vernon. With Assistant Principal Viola Lynn Ramsey joining her colleague and conducted by Music Director Laurette, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sortomme’s unique and challenging composition was tailor-made for the performers’ soloistic and ensemble strengths. And even beyond Sortomme’s ample musical goals, his work evidenced a welcome sensitivity to the important institutional occasion.”

November 18, 2015: A chat with composer Richard Sortomme about his second World Premiere with The Cleveland Orchestra, Concerto for 2 Violas & Orchestra
July 26, 2007: Premiere of Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra
“Between Mozart and Tchaikovsky, however, came the highpoint of the evening: the world premiere of a Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra by a New York-based composer....Richard Sortomme....Here is a work that speaks to an audience with music for savoring rather than academic exercises or arcane technical experiments. There is not so much repertory for viola and orchestra that such an imaginative and listenable work cannot make its way in the wider concert world…..”
Projects and Performances

SORTOMME’S VIOLIN CONCERTO WAS PERFORMED SEPT. 23 & 24, 2017 AT LYNN UNIVERSITY, BOCA RATON FL, ELMAR OLIVERA VIOLIN SOLOIST AND GUILLERMO FIGUEROA CONDUCTOR, WITH THE LYNN PHILHARMONIA.

New American violin concerto satisfies at Lynn Philharmonia opener.
Palm Beach ArtsPaper
September 28, 2017

“…the work was inspired (according to the composer’s program note) by the Violin Concerto of Erich Wolfgang Korngold… The two works are of about equal length (30 minutes) and share elaborate and inventive orchestration… His orchestra glows and glitters appealingly…”

By Dennis D. Rooney

SORTOMME, COMPOSING A MAJOR SYMPHONIC WORK WITH VOICES BASED ON THE HOLIDAY THE DAY OF THE DEAD, IS JOINED BY WRITER/DIRECTOR ANDREI SEVERNY AND PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/VISUAL ARTIST DOUG FITCH TO CREATE A FILM THAT WILL BE MOUNTED WITH THE PRODUCTION.

The three are working toward a consortium in the upcoming seasons.