Brand New Year, Brand New Music: January Premieres

Brand New Year, Brand New Music: January Premieres
Stookey and Sō Percussion perform 'Junkestra' at Kennedy Center; photo: Tracey Salazar

Happy New Year to all! Please enjoy the following summary of orchestral premieres commencing the new decade.

To inaugurate the 250th Anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birth, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has commissioned Nathaniel Stookey to compose a short prelude to Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21, which Stookey has titled Spire; its world premiere takes place January 10-11, with Krzysztof Urbański conducting the ISO.
Read the composer's note | View the score

Across the pond in Glasgow, Bent Sørensen's Enchantress receives its world premiere January 11 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard's direction. Inspired by Walter Scott's “Enchantress Farewell,” these five intermezzi pay homage to the Scottish jig and also to Ludwig van Beethoven, who set the same Walter Scott poem in his Op. 108 Scottish Songs.
Read the composer's note | View the score

Nico Muhly's Shrink, a violin concerto for Pekka Kuusisto, commissioned by an international distinguished consortium of chamber orchestras, receives its North American premiere January 10-12 with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Read the composer's note | View the score

January 9-12, Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in the world premiere of his Rilke Songs, a six-part song cycle based on the lyric poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny.

Maestro John Storgårds conducts Outi Tarkiainen's Midnight Sun Variations with three different American orchestras this season; its US Premiere takes place January 17-19 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, followed by performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (February 21-23) and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (April 3-5).
Read the composer's note | View the score | Listen on YouTube

Jeff Beal's original score to F. W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans receives its world premiere live-to-film at Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 26. In creating a new soundtrack to this iconic silent film, which took home multiple Oscars at the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, Beal recontextualizes the romance and allure of Sunrise for a 2020 audience. Sunrise was commissioned and will be premiered by the LA Master Chorale under the musical direction of Grant Gershon.
Watch the composer discuss Sunrise

For more information, please contact Andrew Stein-Zeller:

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