What Happens Now

for violin and piano


commissioned by the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

The second verse of Franz Schubert’s “An die Musik” says:

“Often has a sigh from your harp - 

a sweet and holy chord from you - 

opened the heaven of better times.”

When I was asked to write something for a night celebrating the performing arts, 

my mind immediately went to this famous song. "what happens now" is a set of 

variations in three large sections, one for each of the performing arts: music, dance, 

and drama. I wanted to use Schubert’s music to celebrate little moments: the sighs, 

the sweet chords that are what I love so much about live performance. Small pieces 

of the song are used throughout the piece, finally appearing at the end in its original form.

In times of division and strife, the performing arts remain a space for communal 

experience and empathy. This piece is my tribute to the beauty of what happens now.