Orchestral Highlights

Orchestral Highlights
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Gravity, a new orchestral work by Stuart MacRae, will be premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under its Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles at Glasgow’s City Halls on April 7 2011. The twelve-minute piece is a BBC commission for the orchestra’s Flights of Inspiration series and has been composed as a response to Brahms’s Symphony No 2, with which it shares the programme.

The world premiere Manyworlds by Rolf Wallin took place in Bergen on September 23 2010 with the Bergen Philharmonic conducted by John Storgårds. Following this the German premiere will be given on June 22 2011 in Cologne with the NDR Radiophilharmonie conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen.

The clarinet concerto D’OM LE VRAI SENS by Kaija Saariaho premiered in Helsinki on September 8 with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, clarinet soloist Kari Kriikku conducted by Sakari Oramo. Numerous further performances follow across Europe. The general idea of this piece is based on the famous medieval tapestries called La Dame à la Licorne. The subject matter is the five senses and the ‘sixth sense’.

Simon Holt is the Composer in Association at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and this autumn audiences can hear the third commission of his residency, Centauromachy – Double Concerto for Clarinet and Flugelhorn, the previous works being St Vitus in the Kettle and Troubled Light . Holt has also recently been writing chamber works and forthcoming pieces to hear include those commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia, BCMG and the Nash Ensemble in the UK and Europe.

In honour of Music Director Gerard Schwarz's Farewell Season, Seattle Symphony has commissioned eighteen new works by leading American composers to be premiered throughout the 2010-2011 season. Each composer has a long-standing relationship with Schwarz, including Augusta Read Thomas (Of Paradise and Light for String Orchestra, September 8–10), Aaron Jay Kernis (On Wings of Light, September 30, October 2–3), Gunther Schuller (December 29–31), Bright Sheng (January 6 & 8), Richard Danielpour (April 2 & 3), and Philip Glass(June 16 & 18).

Michael Nyman will be in residence at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (above), Australia in 2011, including the WP of a new work. The premiere will take place in concerts on May 27 and 28 including the Poulenc Gloria.

Avner Dorman serves as the Alabama Symphony’s 2010-11 Composer-in-Residence, with four of the Symphony’s ten week Masterworks series to include works by Dorman. The Symphony will present the world premiere of his Saxophone Concerto with Joshua Redman, the US premiere of Azerbaijani Dance (October 28), performances of the Concerto Grosso (November 5, 6) and Ellef Symphony (February 25, 26), and the world premiere of a newly commissioned orchestral work (March 25, 26). The San Francisco Symphony has also commissioned and will present the world premiere of Dorman’s Uriah with David Robertson on the podium in January 2011.

Joan Tower is the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-2011 Composer of the Year, and will have six of her works performed in subscription programs, including the world-premiere of an orchestral work commissioned by the PSO and her Clarinet Concerto, "For the Uncommon Woman." As Composer of the Year, Tower also participates in masterclasses with local university composition students, coaching, lectures, and other audience outreach. These activities are designed to familiarize listeners with her and her work, creating a connection between living composers and our audiences.

The New Haven Symphony is one of the oldest orchestras in the US and also one of the few to have an ongoing Composer-in-Residence. This season their composer is Augusta Read Thomas who has composed Radiant Circles for the New Haven musicians and their Music Director William Boughton for premiere on March 10-11, 2011. Also in New Haven’s programming this season are Thomas’ Daylight Divine for soprano, children’s chorus and orchestra (December 1,2) and Absolute Ocean for soprano, harp and orchestra (February 2,3).

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