Kernis' Third Symphony

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Photo credit: Kim Pluti for Parallel Productions
Courtesy: Dworkin & Company
Aaron Jay Kernis

Kernis' 3rd Symphony

On June 25, Aaron Jay Kernis’ third symphony, Symphony of Meditations premieres, led by Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony, soprano Hyunah Yu, tenor Paul Karaitis, bass-baritone Robert Gardner and the Seattle Symphony Chorus.

Based on texts by the 11th century Andalucian Hebrew poet Solomon ibn Gabirol, as translated by Peter Cole, Kernis explores issues of spirituality and of Judaism in this massive new work. The first movement, Invocation, conjures calling to God throughout the day. In the second movement, Meditation on Oneness, more meditative and gentle music accompanies the recitation of the phrase “You are one,” which calls up the Jewish belief of God as Oneness. Finally, in the third movement Supplication, Kernis looks at mans’ failings and our desire to be absolved for our cruelties and weaknesses. A melding of many harmonic languages that Kernis has explored over his compositional career, Symphony in Meditations is a lyrical and singing work that delves into an extremely profound element of the human condition.

Aaron Jay Kernis serves as the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the Seattle Symphony. Music Alive is a national residency program of the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet The Composer. The premiere of this piece marks the culmination of that successful partnership.

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