North Carolina Symphony Premieres New Work
Grant Llewellyn will lead the North Carolina Symphony in the world premiere of a work by North Carolina composer Stephen Jaffe, "Cthera Mia" (Evocations): Spanish Music Notebook.
The piece was co-commissioned by the orchestra and Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art to celebrate the museum's current major exhibition, "El Greco to Velzquez: Art During the Reign of Phillip III."
Concerts featuring the work will take place on Thursday, Oct. 2, in Memorial Hall on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill and on Oct. 3-4 in Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh's Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. All concerts begin at 8 p.m.
"We're excited to be a part of this tapestry of events which weaves together so many parts of our artistic community," says Symphony president and CEO David Chambless Worters. "Partnerships like this, under the Nasher Museum's leadership, show the world how integrated the arts are into North Carolina culture."
Jaffe is the Mary and James H. Semans Professor of Music Composition at Duke. His growing reputation has led to commissions from the National Symphony Orchestra, Philadel-phia Chamber Music Society, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University and the Oregon Bach Festival.
"Our problem in modern culture," says Jaffe, "is not to purify culture, but to create, excitingly, in the context of pluralism. "Thus, in the musical mirror that is 'Cthera Mia' are found not only reflections forward to our contemporary life, but -- as in Velzquez's famous painting Las Meninas -- interior echoes."
The Spanish theme runs throughout the concert. Rounding out the evening will be Joaquin Rodrigo's popular impressionistic work, "Concierto de Andaluz" with the extraordinary Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, as well as Richard Strauss's "Don Quixote," featuring the Symphony's principal cellist Bonne Thron and principal violist Anton Jivaev.
The symphony's celebration of the exhibition continues into the following week.
In Meymandi Concert Hall on Oct. 10, at 11:30 a.m., the Symphony's Friday Favorites Series presents its first concert of the season, featuring guitarist Scott Tennant in another work by Rodrigo, "Concierto De Aranjuez."
Tennant, a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and renowned as a world-class performer, will also perform in Southern Pines on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. in Lee Auditorium and in Salisbury on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. in Keppel Auditorium at Catawba College. Other works on the program include Manuel de Falla's "Ritual Fire Dance" from "El Amor Brujo" and selections from orchestral suites by Tchaikovsky.
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