Augusta Read Thomas: Frequent Flyer

Augusta Read Thomas: Frequent Flyer
© Lenny Bertrand, Tulane University Maxwell Music Library
Where in the world is Augusta Read Thomas? This month, she is feted everywhere from the Nordic Coast to the Great Plains, the Big Apple to the Bay State, and on to the Windy City, with the peripatetic composer in attendance.

First stop for Thomas is Helsinki. “It’s a joy,” Thomas exclaims, “to participate in Finland’s Music Nova Festival which [is] celebrating its 25th anniversary. Finland’s diverse and rich musical culture is an inspiration to all composers!” Thomas is a featured composer at this year’s festival, and at the opening concert on 3 March, Jonathan Stockhammer leads the Finnish Radio Symphony in the Nordic premieres of Credences of Summer and Words of the Sea.

Afterwards, Thomas returns to the States for a residency at Smith College (Northampton, MA) where her works will be presented by the Walden Chamber Players. On 25 March, she travels to prairie country as the Nebraska Choral Arts Society hosts a two-day composer symposium and premieres Berkshire Songs. Thomas then jets to Chicago for a residency sponsored by the American Composer’s Forum. Sandwiched in between these events is pianist Steven Gosling’s New York performance of Thomas’s Six Piano Etudes at Merkin Concert Hall. The program offers the first outing of the complete cycle and features the world premiere of Etudes Nos. 5 and 6.

Last month, Thomas traveled to Tennessee for the annual Music Library Association Conference, which celebrated the organization’s 75th anniversary with a co-commission with David Loebel and the Memphis Symphony who presented the premiere of her work Shakin’, Homage to Elvis Presley and Igor Stravinsky on 24 February. Next month, on 3 April, Oliver Knussen conducts the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW Ensemble’s premiere of Carillon Sky.

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