My first employment as a young musician in the 1970s was as pianist with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, both as casual rank-and-file musician and occasional soloist. Relocating to the east coast for a decade or so, it was a thrill to return west in 1988 as composer (and unexpected rehearsal conductor!) of one of the orchestra’s “Bicentennial” ventures, the ballet Night of the Full Moonwith WA Ballet. My Sixth Symphony (Choral Symphony) was commissioned by my old high school, Guildford Grammar School (Perth), and premiered by WASO in 1996.

Carl Vine, Composer Carl Vine. Photo © Keith Saunders

Since then WASO has emerged as my most consistent supporter, commissioning the orchestral fanfare V(2002), the Seventh Symphony (2007) and Concerto for Orchestra (2014). This new work, Implacable Gifts(Concerto for Two Pianos) is therefore a complete homecoming, and like the 2014 concerto was sponsored by the generous philanthropist Geoff Stearn. As the project gathered momentum the Tasmanian Symphony joined as co-commissioner, and they will present the Hobart premiere a week after the first performances in Perth.

As I heard it, the idea of a concerto for two pianos arose from Geoff hearing...