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Boston Landmarks Orchestra to Celebrate 20th Season With Return To Live Music

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Landmarks Orchestra will present a six-week summer concert series which showcases a diversity of music and cultures both at the Hatch Shell and in Boston neighborhoods.

Boston Landmarks Orchestra to Celebrate 20th Season With Return To Live Music

Boston Landmarks Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Christopher Wilkins celebrates its 20th anniversary season with the return of live orchestral music to the iconic DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade this summer-the first live and free professional symphony concerts in Boston since the pandemic began. Landmarks Orchestra will present a six-week summer concert series which showcases a diversity of music and cultures both at the Hatch Shell and in Boston neighborhoods.

Programming this summer celebrates the authentic musical and community partnerships Landmarks Orchestra has built over its 20-year history. Rooted in uniquely American music, audiences will hear works by composers such as Jessie Montgomery, George Gershwin, John Philip Sousa, Nkeiru Okoye, Aaron Copland, William Grant Still, Florence Price, Omar Thomas, J. Rosamond Johnson, Duke Ellington, and more. Music from Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela light up the summer nights, alongside masterworks such as Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Music Director Christopher Wilkins says, "We can't wait for our season to start. It will be a mix of well-loved classics and the kind of discoveries that help us aspire to be a voice for the whole community."

The season begins with two performances at historic churches, Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain and Arlington Street Church in the Back Bay July 16 and 18 before the first performance on the Esplanade on August 4.

Choreographer Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM) will bring his "Postcards From the Front" to the Hatch Shell stage in the August 11 "Music & Healing" performance. This piece pairs the recorded experiences of those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with the movement responses of PDM collaborators. These "postcards" use the words of invited guests - medical workers, teachers, bartenders - each offering a postcard's worth of thoughts on what they need and want to hold onto from this time. Joining Landmarks for the first time is Urbanity Dance, showcasing one of their signature programs "Dance with Parkinson's."

Longwood Symphony Orchestra and Mercury Orchestra co-present a concert on August 18 before the world premiere commission, "A Walk in Her Shoes" by composer and Berklee College of Music professor Francine Trester gives voice to Boston women who lived along the Women's Heritage Trail at the season-closing concert on September 1.

American Sign Language (ASL)

An ASL interpreter will be present at the performances on August 4, 25, and September 1.

Lift Ev'ry Voice

Friday, July 16, 2021, 7:00pm ET | Bethel AME Church, 40 Walk Hill St, Boston, 02130
Sunday, July 18, 2021, 4:00pm ET | Arlington St. Church, 25 Arlington Street, Boston

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Annie Rabbat, violin

Thomas Cooper, violin

Jason Amos, viola

Francesca McNeeley, cello

Ralph Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

J. Rosamond Johnson Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing) lyrics by James Weldon Johnson, arr. William Grant Still)

William Grant Still Danzas de Panama (string orchestra version)

Clarice Assad Fusion: Dança Brasileira from Impressions

Aldemaro Romero Fuga con Pajarillo

Jessie Montgomery Strum

Michael Abels Delights and Dances

To celebrate the return of live music, the strings of the Landmarks Orchestra perform in two historic Boston churches. The welcoming tones of Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis offer inspiration and comfort. Then, a string quartet joins the orchestra in music rooted in American soil.

TUNE UP PARTY/COMMUNITY DAY

July 31, 2021, 2-5pm ET | Mozart Park, 10 Mozart St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Landmarks annual Tune Up party moves to Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain for an afternoon of family fun and musical games. Attendees can try out an instrument at the "Musical Playground" hosted by Johnson String Instruments, learn to conduct at "Maestro Zone," enjoy a performance by Aashka Dance Company, visit interactive bucket drumming exhibits from the Beat Bus, and explore the jungle gym hosted by Knucklebones. All ages are welcome.

BEETHOVEN'S FIFTH & AMERICAN ICONS

August 4, 2021, 7pm ET | Hatch Shell

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Sigourney Cook, soprano
Adrian Anantawan, violin

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

George Gershwin Strike Up the Band Overture
Florence Price Concert Overture No. 2
William Grant Still Spirituals: A Medley
Nkeiru Okoye I am Harriet Tubman, Free Woman
James P. Johnson Drums
Jules Massenet Thaïs: Méditation

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony begins with the most famous notes in history. The symphony moves from despair to joy as if tracing a "hero's journey." In America, the journey of Black artists has shaped our national sound. American music grew from the spirituals, blues, R&B, and the dance tunes George Gershwin heard in Harlem.

RACHMANINOFF TO ELLINGTON: MUSIC & HEALING

August 11, 2021, 7pm ET | Hatch Shell

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Boston Ballet II
Boston String Academy
Jean Appolon Expressions
Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion
Urbanity Dance

Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances

Bedřich Smetana Dance of the Comedians from Bartered Bride
Camille Saint-Saëns The Swan from Carnival of the Animals
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Danse nègre
Duke Ellington The River
Arturo Márquez Danzón No. 2

Partners from Boston's dance community explore connections between music, movement, and well-being. Ellington's "river ballet" portrays human life, flowing from its source to the ocean beyond. Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances rock and sway with unbounded vitality in the composer's final orchestral work.

Choreographer Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM) will bring his "Postcards From the Front" to the Hatch Shell stage. This piece pairs the recorded experiences of those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with the movement responses of PDM collaborators. Joining Landmarks for the first time is Urbanity Dance, showcasing one of their signature programs "Dance with Parkinson's."

Bach and Beethoven

Longwood Symphony Orchestra & Mercury Orchestra
August 18, 2021, 7pm ET | Hatch Shell

Ronald Feldman, Music Director, Longwood Symphony Orchestra
Channing Yu, Music Director, Mercury Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

Johann Sebastian Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043
Aaron Copland El salón México
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin: Polonaise

Two of our favorite collaborators, Longwood Symphony Orchestra and Mercury Orchestra, share a program of orchestra favorites including works by Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.

AMAZING GRACE & SOUSA MARCHES

LANDMARKS ORCHESTRA SYMPHONIC WINDS
August 25, 2021, 7pm ET | Hatch Shell

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor

John Philip Sousa The Free Lance
John Philip Sousa Semper Fidelis

Gustav Holst Second Suite for Military Band
Steven Stucky Funeral Music for Queen Mary (after Henry Purcell)
Omar Thomas Come Sunday
Ralph Vaughan Williams Folk Song Suite
William Grant Still Animato: Humor (from Afro-American Symphony)
Frank Ticheli Amazing Grace

The Landmarks Orchestra forms a concert band for the first time. Beginning with English masterpieces, the music moves across the pond to the States. In addition to well-loved Sousa marches, American influences range from jazz to "Amazing Grace." Composer Omar Thomas' Come Sunday marks the central role of the Hammond organ in the Black church.

RHAPSODY IN BLUE & AMERICAN PORTRAITS

September 1, 2021, 7pm ET | Hatch Shell

Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Brianna Robinson, soprano
Carrie Cheron, mezzo-soprano
David Coleman, piano

George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Aaron Copland Lincoln Portrait

George Chadwick Jubilee from Symphonic Sketches
William Grant Still Symphony No. 2 'Song of a New Race'
Priscilla Alden Beach City Trees
Francine Trester A Walk in Her Shoes (World Premiere)

Rhapsody in Blue has captivated listeners since its premiere nearly a century ago. Audiences still love it for its freshness and fusion of styles. Copland's Lincoln Portrait accompanies some of Lincoln's best-known speeches, including the Gettysburg Address. The world premiere of Francine Trester's A Walk in her Shoes conjures the memory of key women in our city's history.


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