In retrospect, I got incredibly lucky that the very first GroundWork(s) concert featured composer Michael Ippolito. Every new initiative features a slew of stomach-turning unknowns and “what-ifs,” but this commission was a dream collaboration in every sense — the perfect way to begin a multiyear new-music project. I was so fortunate to have a musical partner like Michael, who was completely on board with every harebrained scheme and approached this collaboration with enthusiasm and curiosity.