Resonance Works announces the return of live performances


Resonance Works will be back on stage with “Back to the Future”, live at Cabaret Greer at Theater Square, on Saturday and Sunday November 13 and 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm. The Resonance Chamber Orchestra, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Maria Sensi Sellner, performs Pittsburgh premieres of works by Missy Mazzoli, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jessie Montgomery and Chen Yi. Jeffrey Turner, former principal bassist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, heads the program as a guest soloist in Mazzoli’s Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra, Dark with Excessive Bright. The program shines a light on past musical traditions from around the world in a colorful array of compositional styles and themes that represent the breadth of new music created by living composers today.

“Missy Mazzoli is one of the most exciting composers working today, and when I saw that she had written a bass concerto in 2018, I immediately thought of building a program around the piece with the hope of collaborating with Jeffrey Turner ”, explains the artistic director. and conductor Maria Sensi Sellner. Dark with Excessive Bright treats the double bass like a historian, rethinking the musical traditions of the Renaissance and Baroque periods and capitalizing on the instrument’s rich spectrum of sounds. “It’s a piece that celebrates extremes – of color, sound quality, register and dynamics – all in the service of what Missy calls ‘the effects of dark and shine’,” said Turner. , who will perform the piece with the Resonance. Chamber orchestra. “One of the major challenges of this job is the very unusual re-tuning of the bass so that there are different intervals between the strings,” says Turner. “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to play a role in introducing pieces that have a significant impact on the development and history of our instrument.” Turner joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1987 and became Director of the Double Bass Section in 1992. He was for many years Director of Orchestral Studies at Duquesne University and now teaches at the Jacobs School of Music from Indiana University.

Composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery was recently named Mead Composer in Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a role she sees as essential in “centralizing new music” as part of the ensemble’s programming. Source Code exemplifies Montgomery’s style, which blends vernacular linguistic and musical elements with improvisation and themes of social justice. “Source Code’s earliest sketches began as transcriptions from various sources by prominent African-American artists during the height of the civil rights era,” describes the composer in her program note for the piece. “I experimented by reinterpreting the gestures, phrases and musical syntax (the bare bones of rhythm and inflection) of choreographer Alvin Ailey, poets Langston Hughes and Rita Dove, and great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald in musical phrases and tonal paintings. ” This process brings her back to the spiritual, which inspires the melodic and structural material of the piece.

The second half of the program presents the large-scale work of composer Gabriela Lena Frank, Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout. The piece embodies Frank’s musical language, a colorful mix of his Peruvian, Lithuanian, Jewish and Chinese ancestors, put together in a way all of his own: folkloric, punchy, and full of instrumental mimicry and lyricism. “Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout is inspired by the idea of ​​interbreeding as envisioned by the Peruvian writer José María Arguedas, where cultures can coexist without being subjected to each other”, describes the composer in his preface to the work. Frank’s work earned him a Latin Grammy and a nomination for Best Small Ensemble Performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards. A dedicated educator, Frank founded the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music in 2016, an initiative that invites emerging music creators to better understand their role as custodians of the arts in their communities.

Composer Chen Yi’s music draws on her Chinese heritage and blends Eastern and Western traditions. Distinguished Lorena Cravens / Millsap / Missouri Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City since 1998, Chen Yi has received some of new music’s top honors, including awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of arts and letters, the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Shuo, for string orchestra, mimics an expressive style of Chinese folk singing with a melody that flows seamlessly through the ensemble in lyrical canon and evolves into a brilliant, dance-like theme in the middle of the work. The title translates into English as “initiate” and represents the first day of each month in the lunar new year. Shuo opens the “Back to the Future” program, initiating Resonance Works’ highly anticipated return to the concert scene and a new start for the organization as she returns to events in person.

Ticket information

Tickets for “Back to the Future” are currently on sale on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website, https://trustarts.org/production/77192. Resonance Works will offer virtual ticket options for digital reminders of all live season performances, which will go on sale after the in-person events.

Resonance Works’ on-demand library continues to include its acclaimed opera film collaborations with the Decameron Opera Coalition, “Tales from a Safe Distance” and “HEROES”, as well as “Verdi by Vegetables” and “March of the Women: Four centuries of song. ” https://bit.ly/ResWorksOnDemand


Kenneth T. Shippee

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