Kuefner Scores Performance: Junior Composes Original Piece for Orchestra

Kuefner Scores Performance: Junior Composes Original Piece for Orchestra

Kevin Fong, Staff Writer

Titled “Envy,” Junior Luther Kuefner’s original musical composition will be performed at the upcoming November orchestra concert.

Originally a duet for two violins, soon after hearing Keufner’s creation, music teacher and conductor Harvey Benstein approached him about arranging the piece for an entire orchestra. Kuefner then worked to expand the musical piece over the summer.

Kuefner looks forward to his composition being performed by his peers, and fellow orchestra member Junior Jiwon Lee is also “pretty excited about it.” She said that Kuefner is a good composer and violinist. Having never played a student piece before, she said that “it’s pretty cool.”

Kuefner first began his composition last year for the final project in AP Music Theory, a class which has students analyze as well as compose musical pieces. In this last assignment, students were given free range to compose what they wanted. Kuefner wanted to address something that people struggle with everyday. He said that “Envy” is “full of passion” with its tango rhythm. Kuefner plans on playing the violin solo featured in the piece himself.

Inspiration for “Envy” came from Jeremy Cohen, a violinist from Quartet San Francisco, who joined the orchestra last year on their trip to China.

Cohen, also a composer, helped Kuefner with ideas and the process of creating a musical composition. Cohen often uses Latin upbeat tempo in his work, an influence which Kuefner said resonates in his composition. Kuefner also said that “La Valse” by Maurice Ravel inspired him with its avant-garde waltz themes.

One of the first people to hear “Envy” was Junior Annie Guo, a fellow AP Music Theory Student from last year. When she first heard it, Guo was “very impressed” by Kuefner’s composing skills. She found the piece to be “virtuosic.”

She is excited to hear it played by the orchestra, especially because student pieces are not frequently featured in the school productions.