Season opening program includes works by Adams, Bruch and Dvo?ák
HARTFORD, CT September 4, 2015 – Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-2016 Masterworks Series opens with New World Visions, Thursday, October 1 through Sunday, October 4 in the Belding Theater at The Bushnell in Hartford. The concerts will be conducted by HSO Music Director, Carolyn Kuan, and feature guest violinist Caroline Goulding, as well as the work of video and projection artist, Christopher Gerson. The concerts will include John Adams’ Shaker Loops, which will be accompanied by projected moving imagery created by Mr. Gerson. Other featured works will be Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26, featuring guest violinist Caroline Goulding, and Antonin Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World. This concert is sponsored by the Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming and MetLife Foundation. The 2014-2015 Masterworks Series is sponsored by The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation.
About the Program
Pulitzer Prize-winner John Adams is one of today’s most acclaimed composers. Audiences have responded enthusiastically to his music, and he enjoys a success not seen by an American composer since the zenith of Aaron Copland’s career.
In his compositions through the early 1990s, Adams was closely allied with the style known as “Minimalism,” which utilizes repetitive melodic patterns, consonant harmonies, motoric rhythms and a deliberate striving for aural beauty. In his notes for the recording of Shaker Loops on Philips, Michael Steinberg, a close associate of the composer for the premiere of the string orchestra version of the work by the San Francisco Symphony in 1983, wrote, “The punning title of the work, written as a string septet in 1977-1978 and adapted for string orchestra in 1982-1983, refers to the members of the Millennial Church, called the Shakers, whose worship led them to ecstatic shaking and trembling; to ‘shake’ in the sense of trill; and to tape loops and thus the constant repetitions of musical units, their ends attached to their beginnings.”
Max Bruch, widely known and respected in his day as a composer, conductor and teacher, received his earliest music instruction from his mother, a noted singer and pianist, and began composing at 11.
His Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 brought Bruch his earliest and most enduring fame; it is a work of lyrical beauty and emotional sincerity. The Concerto was an enormous hit, spreading Bruch’s reputation across Europe and, following its first performance in New York in 1872 by Pablo de Sarasate, America. Its success, however, hoisted Bruch upon the horns of a dilemma later in his career. He, of course, valued the notoriety that the Concerto brought to him and his music, but he also came to realize that the work’s exceptional popularity overshadowed his other pieces for violin and orchestra. Bruch’s vehemence in this matter was exacerbated by the fact that he had sold the rights to the G minor Concerto to the publisher August Cranz for a one-time payment, and he never received another penny from its innumerable performances. In a poignant episode at the end of his life, he tried to recoup some money from the piece by offering his original manuscript for sale in the United States, but he died before receiving any payment for it. The score is now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. Though a true showpiece for the master violinist, the G minor Concerto also possesses a solid musicianship and a memorable lyricism that make it a continuing favorite with both performers and audiences. Sir Donald Tovey succinctly summarized the talent of the composer of this work by simply saying, “It is not easy to write as beautifully as Max Bruch.”
When Antonín Dvo?ák, aged 51, arrived in New York on September 27, 1892 to direct the new National Conservatory of Music, both he and the institution’s founder, Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, expected that he would help to foster an American school of composition.
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World was not only Dvo?ák’s way of pointing toward a truly American musical idiom but also a reflection of his feelings about his own country. His most popular symphony (and the recording Neil Armstrong took along for the first moon landing), From the New World’s influences include the melodies of Beethoven and Schubert, the rhythms of African-American spirituals and Longfellow’s epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha. “I should never have written the Symphony as I have,” he said, “if I hadn’t seen America,” but he added in a later letter that it was “genuine Bohemian music.”
About Caroline Goulding
Named “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
In the past season, Caroline made recital debuts in Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” Series, Museé du Louvre in Paris, and at the Rheingau Musik Festival and Bad Kissingen’s Sommerfestival, in addition to orchestral debuts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and her Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. The 2015 season brings forth engagements in Europe, and North America with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Houston Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and marks her recital debut at the Tonhalle-Zurich. Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label, and has appeared on NBC’s “Today,” “MARTHA” hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s “Stars von Morgen” hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s “Performance Today” and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
NEW WORLD VISIONS
Thursday – Sunday, October 1-4, 2015
Belding Theater at the Bushnell
Thursday 7:30pm?Friday & Saturday 8pm?Sunday 3pm
Tickets starting at $38; $10 for students with ID
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Caroline Goulding violin
Christopher Gerson video and projections artist
Adams Shaker Loops
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Dvo?ák Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World
Masterworks Series Sponsor:
The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation
Concert sponsors: The Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming and MetLife Foundation
HSO programs are funded in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Upcoming HSO Concerts
Hartford Symphony Orchestra POPS! Series
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME with special guest SHEENA EASTON
Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell
Tickets starting at $28, $10 for students with ID
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
The name is Bond…James Bond. Dashing and debonair, his movie themes evoke international intrigue, glamour and suspense. Two-time Grammy® Award-winner Sheena Easton, the featured singer on the James Bond soundtrack For Your Eyes Only, will enchant, entice and seduce you into the world of Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker, plus “spy” songs from Mission Impossible, Get Smart, Austin Powers, and more, conducted by Laura Jackson. So, how do you like your martini?