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UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, with composer Augusta Read Thomas

February 14 @ 7:30 pm

- Free

With Chad Hutchinson, conductor, with graduate conductors Michael Dolan and Ji Hyun Yim.

Jean Sibelius- Valse Triste
Augusta Read Thomas- Of Paradise and Light
Augusta Read Thomas- Prayer and Celebration
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart- Symphony No. 39 in Eb. Major, K. 543

Augusta Read Thomas will be in residence at UW-Madison for this concert. Join us for a master class with Ms. Thomas, Feb. 14, 2:00 to 5:00 PM, Music Hall.

“Of Paradise and Light” is Thomas’s setting of e e cumming’s poem “kiss me.” The composer describes the piece as being in a similar framework as Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” where the full capacity and color of the orchestral string section can be realized “as though a sliver of paradise and light came down to shine upon a garden of colorful flowers.” Her work “Prayer and Celebration” is described by the composer as “an intimate and resonant “song” which celebrates lyric, prayerful lines allied to warm harmonies. It is a kind of homage to Mahler, a composer whose music I deeply adore and revere.”

Also on the program will be graduate conductor Michael Dolan leading Sibelius’ “Valse Triste,” or sad waltz, a work that was originally created as incidental music for Arvid Jarnefelt’s play “Kuolema.” To close the concert, graduate conductor Ji Hyun Yim conducts Mozart’s monumental Symphony No. 39 in Eb Major. This work features a mature Mozart at the height of his faculties when composing his final three symphonies, numbers 39-41, in rapid succession in the summer of 1788.

The music of Augusta Read Thomas is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful — “it is boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

In February 2015, music critic Edward Reichel wrote, “Augusta Read Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today. Her music has substance and depth and a sense of purpose. She has a lot to say and she knows how to say it — and say it in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated.”

The New York Times article of March 6, 2015 states that Thomas had the distinction of having her work performed more frequently in 2013-2014 than any other living ASCAP composer, according to statistics from the performing rights organization. Former Chairperson of the American Music Center, she serves on many boards, is a generous citizen in the profession at large, and, according to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, “has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music.”



February 14
7:30 pm
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Mills Concert Hall
455 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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