The final program in the NSO's NEW MOVES: symphony + dance festival includes Adams's Violin Concerto featuring Leila Josefowicz--a violinist of "exceptional technical aplomb" (Baltimore Sun)--with original choreography by artistic director Jessica Lang performed by her company. Also on the program: Copland's Appalachian Spring and works by Daugherty and Walker.
Performance Timing: Part One - 48 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 32 min.
ADAMS'S VIOLIN CONCERTO FEATURING JESSICA LANG DANCE AND LEILA JOSEFOWICZ Choreographer Jessica Lang has been hailed as a "master of visual composition" by Dance Magazine. For the festival, Lang's eponymous New York City–based company makes its Washington debut with her new work set to Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams's melodic and colorful 1993 Violin Concerto. American Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz, who the Chicago Sun-Times says "plays with a zest and fiery personality," also joins the orchestra for this expressive, breathless work.
COPLAND'S APPALACHIAN SPRING From commercials to the cinema to the concert hall, if you live in America, you've heard the music of Aaron Copland. As the score for a Martha Graham ballet, one of the definitive dance works of the 20th century, Copland's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1945 masterpiece depicts optimistic scenes of pioneer life in 19th-century Pennsylvania, from a house-raising to a sermon to a festive party. Perhaps most famously, the work spins masterful variations on the traditional Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts."
DAUGHERTY'S RED CAPE TANGO Michael Daugherty's output overflows with American cultural allusions (Route 66,Sunset Strip, and more), and his Red Cape Tango is the final section from his 1993 Superman-inspired Metropolis Symphony. The medieval chant for the dead, "Dies irae," mixes with tango in this musical representation of Superman's fight to the death with Doomsday.
GEORGE WALKER ON HIS SINFONIA NO. 4 "STRANDS" George Walker was the first living African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, in 1996, and he spent many key portions of his training and career in Washington. He describes this piece, which premiered in 2012, as "complex, intense, and compact. I wanted to compose a work that was more than an overture or extended fanfare. The subtitle ‘Strands' refers to the intertwining of various melodic elements that are unrelated to each other. Two of those strands are the initial phrases of spirituals."
AfterWords: Fri., May 16 performance followed by a free discussion with the artists and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon.
NOTE: Sat., May 17, Leila Josefowicz will sign various CDs post-concert in the Grand Foyer outside of the Concert Hall.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL Across two weeks in May, the NSO presents a feast for the senses with this unique festival that combines soaring music and exhilarating dance performed on an extended Concert Hall stage. In three programs led by renowned conductor Thomas Wilkins, experience iconic music created by seminal American voices as well as new works by some of today's most exciting American composers--including two NSO co-commissions. Each program also features a world premiere dance commission from a leading American choreographer. Don't miss this thrilling series of performances that takes your Concert Hall experience to a whole new level!