When I was asked to write a double concerto for Pinchas Zukerman’s 70th birthday year I immediately said yes. He and his wife, the cellist Amanda Forsyth, love playing together, but there aren’t many mainstream concertos apart from the Brahms and some works by Vivaldi.

Avner Dorman Avner Dorman. Photo © Dan Seltzer

My father played in the Israel Philharmonic forever, so I grew up hearing Pinchas. I’ve always loved his playing. There’s something about his tone and phrasing that is, I think, unmatched and unique. There’s a certain sweetness that means on radio or record I can tell it’s him from miles away. There’s also something very special in the hall where it’s a huge sound.

Writing this piece and working with him, he’s an incredible musician to talk with about music. It’s been a great experience to learn from his analytic abilities and knowledge, as well as from the point of view of someone who’s played so many concertos so many times. Throughout the process, he has been very thoughtful. Some people who are that busy and legendary just don’t have the time or inclination to get so deeply into a piece,...