Posts Tagged ‘ St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

St. Louis Symphony to perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams”

Original music from Mizzou will be heard once again next year at Powell Hall in St. Louis, as the St. Louis Symphony’s announcement last Tuesday of their 2015-16 season schedule included the news that they’ll perform Stefan Freund’s “Cyrillic Dreams” as part of a concert on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Stefan Freund

Freund is associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Missouri and co-artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative. The Memphis native also is a cellist and founding member of the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and is the music director and principal conductor of the Columbia Civic Orchestra.

“Cyrillic Dreams,” composed in 2008 with a commission from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, was inspired by Freund’s trip to Russia that year. It was premiered by the Columbia Civic Orchestra by the Columbia Civic Orchestra on March 24, 2009 in Vienna’s Minoritenkirche with the composer conducting, and subsequently has been played by orchestras including the Tennessee Tech University Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts.

The St. Louis Symphony will play Freund’s composition on a program that also includes well-known works such as Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The concert is part of the St. Louis Symphony’s new “Music You Know” series conducted by music director David Robertson, which aims to connect listeners to classical music by presenting “familiar tunes we’re certain you know, and others that you’ll long to hear again and again.” “Cyrillic Dreams” also is one of just eight works by living composers on the orchestra’s schedule next season.

“When I wrote “Cyrillic Dreams,” I imagined the rich acoustic of the three huge churches in Austria where the piece was to be performed,” said Freund. “I think it will sound equally glorious in the majestic setting of Powell Hall.”

Tickets for the St. Louis Symphony’s 2015-16 season are on sale now via their website at stlsymphony.org.

St. Louis Symphony plays work by 2012 MICF resident composer Patrick Harlin

Patrick Harlin takes a bow on stage at Powell Hall. (Photo courtesy of Adam Crane, St. Louis Symphony)

This past weekend, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performed Patrick Harlin‘s work “Rapture” as a part of their concerts on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis.

Harlin, who currently is working on a DMA at the University of Michigan, was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival. His work was brought to the attention of the SLSO and music director David Robertson though a new collaborative effort launched this year by the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.

Arriving in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Harlin was able to attend rehearsals with the orchestra during the week and discuss his composition in depth with guest conductor Stéphane Denève, who led the SLSO for the program. He also was interviewed about the concerts on Radio Arts Foundation – St. Louis, and by Michigan Radio, the NPR affiliate in Ann Arbor, MI.

During the concerts, Harlin was introduced from the stage by Denève, and got to take a bow before an appreciative audience (pictured, above left). The work also was heard on radio by listeners throughout the region as part of the orchestra’s Saturday night broadcast on KWMU (90.7 FM).

Reviewing the weekend’s program for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, classical music Sarah Bryan Miller had nice things to say about Rapture, noting the work’s “minimalist roots, jazzy elements and strong hints of the ‘Dies irae.’ ”

“It grows from simplicity into complexity, with a boffo finish, and it got a smart performance from all concerned: groovy indeed,” Miller wrote.

From left, Stéphane Denève, Jeanne Sinquefield of the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, and Patrick Harlin, backstage at Powell Hall

Harlin’s next project involves a trip to the Amazon River in South America, where he’ll record environmental sounds as part of his work toward his doctorate.

Here in Missouri,  the collaboration between MNMI and the St. Louis Symphony will continue when the orchestra plays “Ravish and Mayhem,” written by Mizzou alumnae and 2012 MICF resident composer Stephanie Berg, at concerts on January 10 and 11, 2014 at Powell Hall.