New York Premiere of DREAMS OF THE FALLEN Honoring Veterans at Carnegie Hall
The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony Orchestra (PACS) will honor veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a large-scale gala concert at Carnegie Hall on November 19. The performance will feature the New York premiere of Dreams of the Fallen - the
much-admired new work by award-winning composer Jake Runestad and the poet and United States Army veteran Brian Turner. The work probes the way veterans are forever psychologically changed by their experiences of war. The program concludes with a performance of Beethoven's uplifting Symphony No. 9.
PACS will be honoring the NYC Department of Veterans' Services, the newly created New York City agency that is dedicated to improving the lives of New York City veterans and their families. Marshaling the collective resources of the City of New York, DVS's objectives are to ensure that all veterans have permanent affordable housing and access to the support services needed to find and maintain their home; implement the VetsThriveNYCintegrative health program to foster the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of veterans and their families; expand education and career opportunities for veterans through a rapidly growing network of City, public, private, and non-profit partners; and provide the human and technological infrastructure for veterans and their families to gain City-wide access to benefits, resources and care through a leading coordinated service network.
Dreams of the Fallen creates a haunting sonic landscape, as the music and poetry progress through the three stages of the soldier's experience: pre-deployment, overseas service and the return. The coupling with the Beethoven is key to the whole concert experience, says PACS Music Director David Bernard, "Jake Runestad's scarring view of the impact of war on our soldiers long after they leave the battlefield, followed by Beethoven's testament to universal brotherhood not only gives voice to soldiers' struggles, but also represents our aspiration for peace." said David Bernard. "Through this concert we hope to not only honor those who have served, but also honor what they have served for; a better tomorrow."
For Jake Runestad, the work underlines an important truth. "While we, the public, are familiar with epic stories of heroism and of intense loss, we hear very little about the 'afterwards' of the war experience," he says, "thousands of veterans struggle to assimilate back into everyday life after living through a traumatic wartime experience. We hear very little of the continued struggles that these soldiers face and so I hope to shine a light on their stories with this new musical work."
Led by David Bernard, the orchestra will be joined by the leading pianist Jeffrey Biegel, soprano Kristin Sampson, alto Edith Dowd, tenor Cameron Schutza and bass David Leigh. A vast chorus of 200 voices will be comprised of the vocal forces from the West Point Glee Club, New Amsterdam Singers and Young New Yorkers Chorus. Terrance McKnight, WQXR Evening Host, will host the event.
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Tickets will be available for $18-$250 at carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800), and at the Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue).