Piano Sonata No. 1 was composed between August and November, 1995, and was first performed by pianist Martha McCarroll in Austin, TX, on November 13 of that year. This virtuosic work is cast in five short movements that explore the technical and coloristic possibilities of the instrument. Homage is paid to many earlier composers for the piano, including Brahms, Chopin, Scriabin, Ravel, Schumann, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich. The first movement contrasts an assertive first theme with a more wistful second theme before launching into a telescoped development and recapitulation. It leads without pause into the second movement, a brooding fugue. The third movement elides with the return of the opening material of the second movement, its delicate, quicksilver character contrasting with the heavy, plodding mood of the second movement. Further contrast is offered in the fourth movement, a mystical meditation on trill-like figures in the upper register of the piano. Occasional brash interjections interrupt this otherwise tranquil movement. The fifth and final movement begins explosively in the lowest register of the piano. It quickly loses momentum then gradually builds throughout the rest of the movement to finally attain and surpass this initial energy in its bravura coda.