Augusta Read Thomas: CD-Series Launched on Nimbus Alliance

Augusta Read Thomas: CD-Series Launched on Nimbus Alliance
The CD “Augusta Read Thomas: Selected Works for Orchestra” is now out on Nimbus Alliance. This album is the first in a series of CDs of her music to be released by the label. The second CD — of solo and chamber music — will be released in spring 2014. The third CD will feature the world premiere and first recording of the saxophone concerto Prisms of Light by soloist Frederick Hemke with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra led by William Boughton.

Thomas is a prominent American composer who was the Mead Composer-in-Residence for nine years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. She currently holds the prestigious position of “University” Professor at The University of Chicago (an honor bestowed upon only six university-wide professors).

The first disc opens with a recent orchestral work, Aureole (2013); it includes works as far back as 1995, namely a live concert performance of Words of the Sea with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez. Along with these orchestral works, the dominance of the concerto throughout her career is represented by the glistening bell-like Carillon Sky (2005) for violin and chamber ensemble as well as Silver Chants the Litanies (2004) for horn and 18 players, written in memory of Luciano Berio.

Described as having “extraordinary clarity and elegance with a bold resonant vitality” by the American Academy and Institute of Art and Letters, her compositions pull from an influence heavy in jazz as well as a diverse range of composers including Bach, Mahler, and Berio.

Read the review by Andrew Clements in The Guardian.

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