How did the first ideas for this work come together?

It was in Adelaide last Christmas, staying up in the Adelaide Hills, and I just started to write it – a couple of arpeggios and I was off. A couple of little upward motions. They were the first ideas and the piece just kept growing from there.

Did you have Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in mind when you began? 

Everybody knows the Bach. There aren’t actually that many double concertos, for two violins, I’m sure there’s Vivaldi and there’s the Malcolm Arnold, but that’s about it as far as I know – there may be some French Baroque ones, but it’s an interesting genre because you have the relationship of the soloists to each other, the relationship of the soloists to the orchestra, so it’s a very rich genre. You can do a lot with it.

Richard Mills, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra Composer Richard Mills. Photo: supplied

How have you managed those relationships in your work?

I suppose the short answer to that – without buying into it – is in what I hope is an interesting way! The longer version is I guess I’ve slanted the interest...