Sheng: Never Far Away
9th September 2008
In his new harp concerto, Never Far Away, to be premiered 24 October by the San Diego Symphony, Sheng draws on a connection that exists at the crossroads of language and music. Music, like language, can develop hybrids — as can be seen in border cultures or other porous societies, like colonies. At these cultural intersections, certain evolutions develop both musically and linguistically from the co-mingling. For Sheng, this phenomenon can be applied to his compositional approach, “an evolving musical style, fused from several different ones, yet expressive enough for me to comfortably and effectively communicate my musical thoughts with the listener.”
As Sheng expresses in his program notes to the upcoming premiere, “if your native culture is still the inspiration of your work, you are never far away from home.”
Jahja Ling leads the San Diego Symphony in the 24 October premiere with Yolanda Kondonassis on harp. Subsequent premieres through 2009 include performances by co-commissioners the Dallas Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and the Oberlin Conservatory Symphony.