Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


LSU School of Music

Document Type



John Corigliano is one of the most famous American composers of modern times having gained global recognition over the course of his career. The focus of this dissertation is on one of his earlier works, the Sonata for Violin and Piano. This sonata is the first of his compositions to have gained international attention. In the Sonata for Violin and Piano, Corigliano uses traditional music elements that are accessible to the audience. Although it is based on the traditional composition, Corigliano uses ambiguous tonality, polytonality, complicated rhythm, and polyrhythm throughout the piece. These factors cause several technical issues which occur in the violin part and also in the ensemble between the violin and piano parts.

This dissertation will be presented in three chapters. The first chapter will provide biographical information about the composer and the transformation of his compositional approach in different periods. The second chapter will be the motivic analysis where I will provide new insight for performance practices. The last chapter addresses performance issues from two perspectives: violin technique and ensemble issues that I have encountered in performing the piece. I will explore some solutions and provide suggestions based on original markings on the score and recordings of different performers. I will give insight from a violinist’s point of view and seek to alleviate some of the inherent difficulties of the piece.



Committee Chair

He, Lin