Call For Proposals
Seeking New Works for Violin
James Sanders is seeking new works for violin that are grounded in classical composition, yet allow for improvisation to complete their artistic intent.
Sanders holds a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from Yale University. He is a longstanding member of the innovative Chicago Sinfonietta, where he has served as both a soloist and concertmaster. Soon after graduation, his attention was also drawn to the idea of improvisational music, and he has developed a successful parallel career as a jazz violinist, both leading his own ensembles and collaborating with others. Sanders has also collaborated with choreographers on new dance works.
These careers are not mutually exclusive, and Sanders has repeatedly sought ways to bring them closer together. As he has done so, his approach to the violin has constantly evolved, be that through playing the written notes of a classical score or leading a totally free improvisational experiment. Chicago, where Sanders resides, is home to many musical traditions and musicians of exceptionally high quality. They often travel and work in different circles, but a hallmark of Sanders approach has always been a more inclusive human portrait that takes in a fuller range of expression.
In previewing a recent Chicago Jazz Festival performance, Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich called Sanders “A free thinker who is expanding the possibilities of the violin.” A concert review in which Sanders was a featured soloist prompted the Tribune's classical critic, John von Rhein, to write "Sanders was the epitome of cool."
It is in this spirit that James Sanders is launching this quest to expand the repertoire of violin works that rely on both the formal rigor of classical composition and the freedom of improvisation. In an effort to open up possibilities, format is not relevant. Thus, everything from duos to chamber works to non-traditional instrumentation is encouraged.
Sanders is seeking composers with similar artistic views or simply those who want to stretch their own definition of what classical music is. He is a recording artist who has released five albums of jazz, Latin jazz, and free improvisational music as a leader and is committed to recording and producing more in order to showcase new music.
In order to open up a collaborative dialog, please submit a proposal with your ideas and samples of your work to James4Violin@gmail.com. MIDI files, audio recordings, YouTube and SoundCloud links are all acceptable formats. Successful submissions will result in further discussion, potentially leading to a commission for a new work. Upon completion, an agreed upon commission fee will awarded along with a commitment to record it for album release and perform it live.
This call for proposals has no fixed deadline, as the intent is continual growth and exploration.
The journey, not the destination.