On April 18, 1985, Sir Georg Solti led the world premiere of Morton Gould‘s Flute Concerto, which had been commissoned for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal flute, Donald Peck.
From Arrand Parsons‘s program note:
“The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra . . . was made possible by a generous gift to The Orchestral Association from Mrs. Katherine Lewis of Carmel, California. Mrs. Lewis was the wife of Herbert Lewis, a distinguished artist who was trained at the Chicago Academy of fine Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by a period of study at the Académie Julian in Paris. . . . [Herbert and Katherine] moved to Carmel, California in 1954 where he continued his prolific painting activity, oils and water colors. It was in Carmel that Mrs. Lewis became active in the annual Bach Festival and became acquainted with Donald Peck, who participated in the performances in 1970, 1971, and 1978. While Herbert Lewis died in 1962, the friendship between Mrs. Lewis and Donald Peck continued. After the arrangements to commission a flute concerto for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were completed, the selection of Morton Gould as composer was announced in June 1983. Morton Gould became acquainted with the artistry of Donald Peck during the several years he appeared as guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
“Recalling his long association, Morton Gould remarked, ‘Among my most pleasant memories are those years when I was guest conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and in recent years, as a listener, I have admired the “golden age” of Sir Georg Solti and the Orchestra. As a guest conductor I always admired the artistry of the members collectively and individually, and of course, the musical sensitivity and dedication of Donald Peck. . . . I cannot think of a better combination for a composer than Donald Peck, Sir Georg Solti, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.'”