James MacMillan's Violin Concerto Receives its U.S. Premiere(February 2011)
Carnegie Hall to Showcase Works by James MacMillan in Making Music Program on March 2
James MacMillan's Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, will receive its U.S. Premiere with that orchestra at Philadelphia's Verizon Hall on Thursday, February 24 at 8:00 p.m. Following repeat performances on February 25-26, Philadelphia Orchestra Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit will bring the concerto to New York's Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, March 1. The work, labeled a "complete knockout" by The Independent (London), will be played by Vadim Repim, to whom the piece is dedicated. Mr. Repin also performed the world premiere in May 2010 with conductor Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance that The Guardian (London) called "thrillingly done."
The three movement concerto is imbued with the influence of Scottish traditional music as described by the composer: "Fiddle music has long been under my skin, and in writing a Violin Concerto it is inevitable that it would rise up to the surface. Its roots are in song and dance, and these most ancient modes of expression and storytelling are at the heart of my new work."
Directly following the Violin Concerto's New York premiere, MacMillan's music will be featured on Wednesday, March 2 at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, as part of the venue's Making Music program, a series that features conversations with today's leading composers alongside performances of their works. The performance will feature the U.S. premiere of Macmillan's Horn Quintet with Eric Ruske and the Brentano String Quartet. The program also features Mr. MacMillan conducting the U.S. premiere of his work Raising Sparks (for audio, click here) with mezzo-soprano Cristina Zavalloni and The Zankel Band, and pianist Inon Barnatan performing the Piano Sonata (for audio, click here). In addition to the performances, Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen will moderate a public discussion with MacMillan.
James MacMillan is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation. He first attracted attention with the acclaimed BBC Proms premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990). His Percussion concerto Veni, Veni Emmanuel (1992) has received over 400 performances worldwide by orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles philharmonics and the Cleveland Orchestra. Other major works include the cantata Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993) Quickening (1998) for soloists, children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra, and the opera Inès de Castro (2001).
He was featured composer at Edinburgh Festival (1993), Southbank Centre (1997) and BBC's Barbican Composer Weekend (2005). His interpreters include soloists Evelyn Glennie, Wayne Marshall, and Colin Currie; conductors Leonard Slatkin, Msitslav Rostropovich, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Ösmö Vänska, Marin Alsop, and Donald Runnicles; and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon His recordings can be found on BMG/RCA Red Seal, BIS, Chandos, Naxos, Hyperion, Coro and Black Box. Future highlights in 2011 include premieres of his Piano Concerto No.3 for Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Minnesota Orchestra, Seraph, for trumpeter Alison Balsom, and a new one-act opera, Clemency, commissioned by the ROH2, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Britten Sinfonia.
> For a score sample of MacMillan's Violin Concerto, click here.
> To watch a video featuring James MacMillan discussing his concertos, click here.
> To purchase tickets for the Philadelphia performances, click here.
> To purchase tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance, click here.
> To purchase tickets for the Making Music event, click here.
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Photo Credit: Eric Richmond
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