Former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills premiered his new, original violin concerto on Friday, June 17th with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Written with composer David Mallamud, “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra” features Mills on bass and piano, Macon-based violinist extraordinaire Robert McDuffie (pictured here with Mills), and a trio of Mills’ musical Athens pals comprising the “rock band”: John Neff on guitar, William Tonks on guitar, and Patrick Ferguson on drums. Mills and McDuffie go way back as well, having met in the choir of Macon’s First Presbyterian Church long before either achieved fame and acclaim with their respective musical endeavors.
A fall tour of performances of the concerto is planned, including a Sunday, Oct. 16th date in Atlanta at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Arts, and another on Thursday, Oct. 27th at the Macon City Auditorium (both in collaboration with the Wordless Music Orchestra).