CANCELED: Perry, Tchaikovsky, and Sheng
Emmy Award-winning, Grammy-nominated conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya (’91) leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in an afternoon of firsts and favorites, with a powerful Romantic classic, an exhilarating world premiere viola concerto, and one of the most popular orchestral works in the repertoire.
Curtis kicks off the program with trailblazing neoclassical composer Julia Perry’s dynamic Study for Orchestra (also known as A Short Piece for Orchestra, 1952). This fiercely raucous, high-octane work shifts gears between intensely dramatic moments reminiscent of a menacing Bernard Hermann film score and quiet, poetic passages. In 1965, Perry’s energetic piece made history as the first work by a woman of color to be performed and recorded by the New York Philharmonic and only the third by a female composer.
The program continues with Of Time and Love by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor, and pianist Bright Sheng. Co-commissioned with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra of China, this exciting new concerto for viola and orchestra features the virtuosity of internationally acclaimed violist Roberto Díaz (’84). Hailed by the MacArthur Foundation as “an innovative composer who merges diverse musical customs in works that transcend conventional aesthetic boundaries,” Sheng’s new work will showcase more of the lyrical, limpid melodies and striking dramatic gestures that have made him one of the most sought-after composers of our time.
The final portion of the program is dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s explosive Symphony No. 4, often considered one of the Russian Romantic composer’s greatest orchestral works. Written in the aftermath of a short-lived, catastrophic marriage that nearly destroyed his creative core, this powerful piece depicts an epic battle between unbridled joy and fate, an ominous, inescapable force that threatens the fragile beauty of life itself. Over four intensely dramatic movements, the audience is drawn into Tchaikovsky’s turbulent mind as he grapples with the torment of his inner demons and triumphs in a finale of musical fireworks, proclaiming that we all should “rejoice in the happiness of others.”
|Study for Orchestra
|Of Time and Love, Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
|Symphony No. 4