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Carter & Daugherty: Two Flute Concertos Premiered

Since February alone, two new flute concertos have entered the repertoire by two of America’s most sought after composers: Elliott Carter and Michael Daugherty.

On February 4, soloist Elizabeth Rowe and the Boston Symphony under the baton of James Levine presented the American Premiere of Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto.  This 13-minute work, premiered by Emanuel Pahud with the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Ensemble, explores the registral colors and contrasts unique to the flute, highlighting its capability for peerless agility. The 101-year-old composer was in attendance for the American premiere, and the piece was received with critical acclaim. Said Jeremy Eichler of The Boston Globe: “[Carter] has now upended expectations once again, writing a rigorous yet in its way ravishing concerto that seems to have been inspired by, of all things, the flute’s lyrical possibilities.”

On March 26, Amy Porter will be the featured flutist with the Omaha Symphony performing the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s new piece Trail of Tears.  Calling upon the first North American culture to embrace flutes in its musical heritage, Trail of Tears is inspired by the tragic history of Native Americans in the 19th century.  The three movements, entitled where the wind blew free, incantation, and sun dance blend cadential virtuosity with soulful expressivity in what Daugherty describes as “a musical journey into how the human spirit discovers ways to deal with upheaval, adversity and adapting to a new environment.” 

The new pieces are welcome additions to the flute concertos in the Boosey catalogues, joining the company of works by Christopher Rouse (Flute Concerto), Ned Rorem (Flute Concerto), Kalevi Aho [Fennica Gehrman], Isang Yun (Flute Concerto), Goffredo Petrassi [Edizione Suvini Zerboni/SugarMusic], Pascal Dusapin (Galim) [UMPC-Salabert],  Leonard Bernstein (Halil), Paquito D’Rivera (Gran Danzon), Andrezj Panufnik (Hommage a Chopin), Brett Dean (Siduri Dances), and more.

Visit www.boosey.com for further information on these favorites and other hidden gems.

In the Photo: Elizabeth Rowe and Amy Porter

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