For both personal and financial reasons, this concerto was begun on one side of the Atlantic and finished on the other. The composer’s trip abroad began when he accepted a teaching position at an American conservatory. He was hired, in part, to encourage young American composers to draw from their own folk music. At a salary of more than twenty-five times what he had been earning at home, the composer could hardly refuse! But eventually homesickness, writers’ block, and his employers’ inability to pay him his salary all forced him to return home.