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Cleveland Orchestra to Give World Premiere of Sean Shepherd's Tuolumne

(April 2013)

Franz Welser-Möst leads the Cleveland Orchestra in a work inspired by the photographs of Ansel Adams

The Cleveland Orchestra, under the baton of esteemed conductor Franz Welser-Möst, sets out to give the world premiere of Sean Shepherd’s Tuolumne at Severance Hall on April 18, with additional performances April 20 & 21. The work, running approximately 24 minutes, is Shepherd’s largest contribution to the orchestral repertoire thus far. Inspired by select photographs taken by visionary photographer Ansel Adams, Tuolumne encapsulates the iconic imagery of the American landscape.

Three movements associated with three different Adams photos outline the structure of Tuolumne: Water Over Rock, Winter Sunrise, and Merced Lake Country. The photos that served as inspiration for the first and third movements, Water Over Rock and Merced Lake Country, were taken near the Tuolumne Meadows (near the crest of the Sierras and Tioga Pass) by Adams on an excursion he made with his friend Georgia O'Keeffe and others in 1938. The second movement, Winter Sunrise, comes from an iconic Adams image of Mount Whitney from the east—a view that is essentially identical to what it is today.

Sean Shepherd completes his residency at the Cleveland Orchestra as the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow in 2013. He also is composing a new work for the inaugural performances of Carnegie Hall’s newly established National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in summer 2013, under the baton of Valery Gergiev, and another for the New York Philharmonic, to be performed in 2013–14, for his appointment as the inaugural Kravis Emerging Composer. Recent performances include those with the National, BBC, and New World symphony orchestras; at festivals in Aldeburgh, Heidelberg, La Jolla, Lucerne, Tanglewood, and Santa Fe; and with leading European ensembles including the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. His piece Blur received its US premiere on March 28 by students from The Juilliard School and Sibelius Academy, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, and the world premiere of Quintet was given by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble on March 3.


> Further information on Work: Tuolumne

Photo: Jamie Kingham

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