Lawrence Power performs in the Coliseum. Photo: Jessie Rodger (detail) View full image

Viola Commissioning Circle

Redefining the Viola Canon

Lawrence Power set up the Viola Commissioning Circle with the initial aim of creating ten new viola concertos and the wider mission of expanding the repertoire for his instrument. Since the beginning of the Covid crisis he has also commissioned several short solo pieces as part of his Lockdown Commissions project, underwritten by the Viola Commissioning Circle, which he has filmed in empty venues and released through social media.

The Viola Commissioning Circle looks for co-commissioners such as orchestras, chamber ensembles, concert halls, festivals, broadcast and print media and funding bodies. At the same time, it underwrites commissions to ensure that the whole process is continuous and successful.

  • Works under discussion include by Lera Auerbach, Magnus Lindberg and Salvatore Sciarrinno
  • Recent premieres include pieces by Thomas Adès, Gerald Barry and Huw Watkins
  • Lockdown Commissions have been composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Martyn Brabbins, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Cassandra Miller, Huw Watkins, William Marsey and Garth Knox

‘The opportunity to work on a truly blank artistic canvas is inspiring and exciting. One is forced to react to the very building blocks of music in a pure way. My hope is that these works will enter the repertoire. I can’t think of any greater accolade for a musician than to create a body of work for their instrument that will be there for future generations’

Lawrence Power

‘Perhaps the most striking piece of work I experienced during the pandemic was this series of beautifully filmed and produced performances of new commissions for solo viola by Lawrence Power... The compositions are gorgeous and technically demanding, the interpretation masterful, and their urgency is captured on film‘

Financial Times