Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces winner of “Fanfare for the Hartford Woman” composition competition

Posted · Add Comment

Fanfare will have its world premiere with the HSO this month

(HARTFORD, CT, May 12, 2015) The Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is proud to announce Christopher LaRosa of Boston, MA the winner of its Fanfare for the Hartford Woman composition competition that was held this spring. The competition was a unique opportunity for composers to create a companion piece to Aaron Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man.  Applicants were invited to submit an original composition for consideration by the HSO’s Music Director, Carolyn Kuan, and artistic staff.

1337653976LaRosa’s Fanfare for the Hartford Woman will make its world premiere with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra during its Mahler’s Fourth concerts May 28-31 in the Belding Theater at The Bushnell. The Fanfare will also be performed during the HSO’s Lincoln Financial Discovery Series Heroes! Concert for students on May 20. The prize included travel and accommodations to attend rehearsals and concerts, and a $1,000 cash award.

“Chris LaRosa’s fanfare stood out from the field of 37 for several reasons,” said HSO Director of Artistic Operations and Administration, Steve Collins.  “The composer was able to cleverly pay tribute to Aaron Copland’s iconic work, Fanfare for the Common Man, while still establishing a strong identity of his own through skillful writing for the brass section and injecting colorful percussion flourishes, and also adding an element of visual interest in the staging of the work.   Additionally, I think Chris’s Fanfare communicates an optimism and savviness that celebrates the “Hartford woman” accurately.  This is no easy feat within the confines of a three minute composition!   I know our musicians and our audiences will enjoy discovering Chris’s Fanfare for the Hartford Woman as much as the competition committee and I already have.”

“I look forward to getting to know Chris and sharing his Fanfare for the Hartford Woman with our audiences,” said HSO Music Director, Carolyn Kuan.

“I am delighted to hear my newest piece, Fanfare for the Hartford Woman, and I look forward to meeting and collaborating with the musicians and administrative staff of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra,” said LaRosa.  “I am humbled and honored for the opportunity the HSO has given me to musically respond to Aaron Copland’s pithy but mighty piece.”

About Christopher LaRosa
Christopher LaRosa’s music has been hailed by Literary Magnet as “Amazing and innovative… variegated and fascinating, by turns vicious and lovely… it does what art should do: change things.”  Born and raised in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, LaRosa’s small town upbringing provides his music with an intimate and American style.  His music has been played throughout the continental U.S., Austria, and Mexico by ensembles such as the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, the Boston New Music Initiative, and CEPROMUSIC.

LaRosa composes for diverse instrumentations and media.  In 2014, LaRosa’s Sextet won the CEPROMUSIC/BU Composition Competition. In 2012, his Symmetries for two string quartets won the Frank Robert Abell Prize and the Louis Smadbeck prize, and his dramatic song cycle Vignettes of Two Lovers was selected for the Boston Metro Opera’s 3rd Annual Contemporary AmericanaFestival.  His flute preludes, Mythologies, won second place for the Louis Smadbeck prize in 2011, and in 2010 his song cycle Spring Giddiness won the Jack Downey Prize and was selected by the Boston Metro Opera’s 2nd Annual Contemporary AmericanaFestival.

LaRosa completed his Bachelor of Music at Ithaca College and Master of Music at Boston University.  During the 2012-2013 academic year, he taught as the Composition Instructor and Choir Director at IES Abroad in Vienna.  LaRosa will begin pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Indiana University this fall.

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

Marking its 71st Season in 2014-2015, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is Connecticut’s premier musical organization. The Hartford Symphony is the second largest orchestra in New England and is widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. We believe passionately in the performance of live symphonic music and its value in the community. To that end, the mission of the HSO is to perform live orchestral music of the highest quality for ever-expanding audiences and to increase, through its educational programs, the understanding and enjoyment of that music by residents of Connecticut. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra named Carolyn Kuan as its tenth music director in January 2011; she is the first woman and youngest person to hold this title. She began her tenure with the HSO in the fall of 2011. The HSO presents more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, Jazz & Strings, Lincoln Financial Discovery Concerts, Symphony in the Schools, Neighborhood Concerts, Musical Dialogues, Musical Connections, and more. In addition, the HSO presents the popular summer series, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival in Simsbury, which celebrates its 20th season in 2015.