On May 31, 2009, Miranda’s Waltz, for orchestra and narrator/actor, commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, premiered at the Kennedy Center. The two concerts in the big, beautiful concert all were well attended and very, very well-received. With an original story and text by youth theater expert Mary Hall Surface, Miranda’s Waltz tells the story of a little girl whose mind is opened to the music around her by a very special little mouse. I call it a “symphonic adventure.” We already have several works that introduce the instruments of the orchestra to young listeners. In composing this piece, I have chosen to emphasize the orchestra as a whole in a celebration of specifically American music of the last century or so. I want to introduce children to the wide array of American styles and composers that they will encounter throughout their lives and which I believe are in themselves enduring contributions to the world. These include Charles Ives, Duke Ellington, John Adams, Loony Tunes, jazz, contemporary big band, folk song and American musical theater. What a blast to write! The NSO’s express intent is to commission a work that will be useful to orchestras across the country in their Family and Outreach concerts where new repertoire is sorely needed. I am very pleased to have been invited to make a contribution. Score and parts for Miranda’s Waltz will be available from Subito Music in the fall.
Keith Phares sings Five Movements for my Father at Wolf Trap
Keith is doing a recital as part of the Discovery Series at The Barns January 16, sharing the program with his fabulous wife, mezzo-soprano Patricia Risley. Kim Witman, artistic director of the series, will lead the instrumental ensemble from the piano.
One False Move in Capetown
I’m happy to report that the performances, described below, were so successful that Capetown Opera is programming the opera again, for several more performances this coming April, 2009.
One False Move in Capetown
I am extremely pleased to report that Cape Town Opera, in South Africa, will be presenting several performances in August (their winter) of my opera One False Move. This will mark “CTO’s first venture in tackling through the medium of opera, the controversial and relevant problem of bullying in schools. Not only will it address the situation through discussions prior to the performance with a psychologist on this hot topic, but it will also serve as an introduction to the performers on how to create an opera performance….Our production of One False Move will be the pilot programme which will tour several schools [including the Zolani Centre in Nyanga in the heart of the townships] and will be the first of many operas dealing with social issues of the day.”
The concert at Weill Hall to introduce my new CD was a great success, and received a lovely review from Anthony Aibel. Read it here.
The album is finished and available. Visit the RECORDINGS page to hear excerpts, read liner notes and to purchase it. Thanks again to the marvelous musicians, engineers and aiders and abetters who made it happen.
In Other News…
I can now reveal the secret commission that was delivered as a surprise birthday present to its recipient, David Sogg, co-principal bassoonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: The Lunch Counter, a musical play in seven movements for solo bassoon. The piece presents a tableau of character studies of the customers at a diner, presided over by Lorraine, the waitress. It was a blast to write. As I noted before, a musical commission makes a fabulous and personal present.
I am very excited about my newest commission, a twenty minute work for full orchestra from the National Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with youth theater expert Mary Hall Surface. The premiere will be June 2009 at the Kennedy Center. The NSO’s express intent is to commission a work that will be useful to orchestras across the country in their Family and Outreach concerts where new repertoire is sorely needed. I am very pleased to be invited to make a contribution.