The piece was written in 1959 on a commission from Buffalo University and more specifically by the then head of the music department (Cameron Baird who subsequently died) and is dedicated to his memory. The main concern was to use each of the eleven players over the course of the whole work as virtuoso soloists. Not all the players play all the numbers. Certain movements have as few as from two to five performers. So the sum total comprises normal sonorities of sonatas, trios, quartets and a chamber orchestra. Six of the eleven sections are Variations on a Theme. They are the first two and the last four.
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.