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Sean Shepherd's Magiya Gets Rave Reviews from International Press

(August 2013)

Sean Shepherd’s new concert opener sees performances in the US and Europe

The first performances of Magiya, Sean Shepherd’s new work written for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), has been met with praise in both the United States and Europe. Shepherd’s ferocious eight-minute concert opener reflects a Russian sentiment (magiya being the Russian word for "magic"), his "humble nod to a brilliant musical tradition." Shepherd joined the NYO-USA on an international tour, making stops in Purchase, NY (Purchase College, SUNY), Washington DC (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Moscow (Moscow Conservatory), St. Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), and London (Royal Albert Hall).

What critics are saying about Magiya:

"This exuberant piece of just over seven minutes began with an assertive, brassy four-note motif that set off the whole orchestra into teeming, suspenseful activity. The musicians dispatched the harmonically crunchy music with glittering sound and crackling energy. The string playing had both warm, rich sound and articulate agility … This episodic piece alternates assertive outbursts of fleeting themes with restless passages of suspense, where strings and woodwinds swim around and the percussion section percolates. The performance exuded vitality and confidence."
The New York Times

"…a lively, bubbling collection of sounds."
The Washington Post

"Entitled Magiya, this colourful curtain-raiser was meant as a homage to the magic, exotic strain in Russian music, and in the very first bar Stravinsky’s Firebird seemed to shoot into the air … The orchestra captured the precision and balletic exuberance of this piece with ease."
The Telegraph

"…it woke the place up."
The Independent

Photo: Jamie Kingham

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