‘Beloved….’’ for solo violin was written in 1997 as a birthday celebration for Australian violinist David Saffir, commissioned by his wife, writer Anna-Maria dell’Oso. The first performance, by David Saffir, was subsequently given in Sydney.
Bright Silence, for solo violin, is an evocation of Central Otago, the high plateau between the Southern Alps and the coastal plains in the South Island of New Zealand. The area is treeless, rocky, sparsely populated, and the piece reflects the sounds, silences and ghosts of the area.
Bright Silence was written while Gillian Whitehead was composer-in-residence with the Auckland Philharmonia, as the solo violin competition piece for the inaugural Michael Hill World Violin Competition (now the Michael Hill International Violin Competition) held at Queenstown, New Zealand, where it received its first eighteen performances in June 2001. The piece is dedicated to Michael Hill.