Maggie Duffy, Tampa Bay Times, 1st December 2022

The Florida Orchestra debuts the world premiere of Violin Concerto by Tampa native Michael Ippolito from Friday through Sunday. It was specifically written for concertmaster Jeffrey Multer and is part of the Masterworks concert series featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Ippolito, 37, is a graduate of Brandon High School who went on to study at the Juilliard School and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He now teaches music composition at Texas State University. His music has been performed by orchestras throughout the United States and has won awards.

In 2018, The Florida Orchestra commissioned him to compose a piece for its 50th anniversary season. The result was “Triptych,” which was inspired by Florida’s natural beauty and power.

“Triptych” contained a short violin solo, played by Multer. At the time, Multer was struck by Ippolito’s string writing throughout the piece. Multer said: “Well, if you ever write a violin concerto, let me know.”

Ippolito and Multer also discovered they had a mutual friend in Oscar Award-winning composer John Corigliano, who was Ippolito’s teacher at Juilliard. Multer plays Corigliano’s violin, which was passed down by his father, a famous violinist who played with the New York Philharmonic.

The seed was planted, and the rest is history. Or rather, it will make history when it debuts this weekend.

Music director Michael Francis, who is conducting the concert, said that a world premiere is a special event, and that Ippolino’s choice of a violin concerto, an old genre, connects to other great concertists.

“This music has never been heard,” he said. “And once there was the first time someone heard the Beethoven violin concerto.”