Kerry Turner began to write music at ten, winning his first competition at eleven. At seventeen he won first prize in Baylor University’s composition contest, which came with a generous scholarship. At this point in his career, he switched his focus to the horn, doing so well that he eventually won a Fulbright Scholarship to study his instrument in Europe. In 1985, he joined the American Horn Quartet. Because the repertoire for a horn ensemble was limited and uninspiring, he started composing for his group, soon turning out excellent works. After he twice won first prize in the International Horn Society’s composition contest, he began to receive commissions for works for other groups and organizations, and his career skyrocketed. His prize-winning works are now heard around the world.
About his virtuosic music, Kerry says, “When the muse comes, it flows like a deep, dark river. Nothing can stop it; not pseudo-intellectualism, or practicality, or pressure to conform to a certain style, nor the obligation to always find something ‘new’. My goal is to paint a musical picture as clearly as possible and then communicate it to the listener and the performer, that it might appear in their minds as vividly as if it were on a large movie screen.” So what kind of a picture did he paint?
Ricochet began as a single movement. He then expanded it to three movements, called Rodeo, Repose, and Ricochet, but then he reversed the outer movements, blended them all together, and voila, the evocative piece you will hear in this concert. He left us with a hint of its DNA, calling it a product of his “Texan heritage”. I can hear it, I can see it on my imagination’s big screen. Can you?