Monday, March 30, 2015

American Symphony Orchestra & Cornell University Glee Club & Chorus: World Premiere of Roberto Sierra's 'Cantares' at Carnegie Hall, 2 PM Sunday, April 19

Roberto Sierra (b. 1953)

AfriClassical has been writing about the Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra for years.  Most recently, we posted on February 6, 2014:

Inverne Price Music Consultancy:

The American Symphony Orchestra celebrates the grand relationship between Composers and Ivy League Universities in "Music U."

Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra are joined by the Cornell University Glee Club and Chorus at Carnegie Hall, on Sunday, April 19 at 2pm, Conductor's Notes Q & A at 1pm

World premiere of Cornell University Commission from Roberto Sierra – sung in Qechua, Lucumi and Spanish

Five Ivy League composers featured
Once it was monarchs of mighty empires and princes of religion in Europe who called the tunes. The United States never had a king, nor archbishops with wealth beyond measure, but its great universities appreciated and encouraged composers to enrich American society with their art. It is this enlightened tradition that Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra – along with the Cornell University Glee Club & Chorus - will celebrate at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, April 19 at 2pm (note early start time).

Music by five Ivy League composers will be played, including a world premiere by Roberto Sierra, which Cornell University specially commissioned for this concert in celebration of their 150th Anniversary. Sierra, a Cornell professor, presents Cantares – a work that, he says, “evokes lost voices in time.” Among them, a 17th century book of prayers published in Peru, Afro Cuban ritual music of West African origins, and a 16th century Spanish poem about the conquest of the Aztec Empire. The work is, tantalizingly, sung in Qechua, Lucumi, and Spanish. It features tenor Phillip Fargo from the Cornell University Glee Club.

The Cornell University Glee Club & Chorus, conducted by their choral director Robert Isaacs, perform Randall Thompson's Alleluia, a choral work. Alleluia consists of only two words – “Alleluia” and “Amen.” Thompson was a teacher at both Princeton and Harvard, as well as the director of the Curtis School of Music. 

Dream-King and his Love by Horatio Parker, one-time Dean of Music at Yale (where he taught Charles Ives), won first prize in its category in a competition judged by Dvořák himself. This fantastical cantata depicts a fairy-tale with a tragic end.  George Rochberg ran the music department at the University of Pennsylvania, and the “hard romanticism” (as he termed it) of his Symphony No. 2 deals with his coming to terms with his years as an army captain in World War Two.

And where some pupils give favorite teachers apples, Yo-Yo Ma asked his to write a piece for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Three years after retiring from Harvard, Leon Kirchner duly composed Music for Cello and Orchestra. Harsh and gentle sound-worlds collide in the lushly scored piece, which here will feature cellist Nicholas Canellakis.

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