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Did Old Yeller Really Fight a Bear? (2020)

Technical Information:

cello solo

Duration: 6'

Commissioned by Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music

Premiered summer 2021

David Dietz, cello


Program Note:


Did Old Yeller Really Fight a Bear? was written during the peak of Pandemic. I was fascinated by the old Western American movies during this time and Old Yeller was one of my favorites that I watched in this period. The movie begins with a fantastic theme song that puts you right in this positive, friendly atmosphere that I really needed during the lockdown. I lived with a cellist during the quarantine period, and we were desperate to make music together. Through a very close collaboration, I was able to write the work Did Old Yeller Really Fight a Bear? I wanted to create something that we all needed during the pandemic—a little fun, and a little joy.

– Nicky Sohn

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