Boston Modern Orchestra Projects Ends Season With Free Concert in May

The concert will feature orchestral works by Harold Shapero, Henri Lazarof, and Leonard Bernstein, Including a World Premiere by Yu-Hui Chang.

By: Apr. 21, 2024
Boston Modern Orchestra Projects Ends Season With Free Concert in May
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, concludes its 26th season with a free concert at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. The daring program premieres Hawking Radation by contemporary female composer Yu-Hui Chang as well as orchestral works by three composers intertwined by Boston universities — Harvard University classmates Harold Shapero and Leonard Bernstein, and Brandeis University alumnus Henri Lazarof (under the tutelage of Shapero) — all led by GRAMMY Award-Winning Conductor and Artistic Director of BMOP, Gil Rose. 

Known for communicating a timeless aesthetic and philosophical view of humanity through her music, Taiwan-born composer Yu-Hui Chang (b.1970) showcases her diverse harmonic color, inventive timbre and ingenious effects in her latest work Hawking Radiation. Commissioned by BMOP, this world premiere musically interprets the phenomenon dubbed “Hawking Radiation”. Named after physicist Stephen Hawking, who derived the theorem in 1971, it remains one of the most fundamental revelations about black holes. “Conceived when the first black hole image was released, and completed during the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, Hawking Radiation is a search for hope,” explains Chang. “Hope that human goodness will prevail when the world is in turmoil, just like the glowing light surrounding the darkest black hole.” Chang received her graduate degrees from Brandeis University and Boston University. Now an associate professor at Brandeis University, she also serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Boston-based Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble. 

Harold Shapero (1920-2013) was a Boston composer through-and-through; born in Lynn and raised in Newton, he graduated from Harvard, taught at Brandeis University, worked with the Berkshire Music Center and became one of a loosely associated “Boston School” of composers. Shapero's first attention-garnering work was his Nine-Minute Overture, written while he was still a student in 1940 and premiered the following year in New York City. Shapero was a longtime friend of Leonard Bernstein, also featured on the evening's program. They met at Harvard University, where they joined forces to give piano concerts together.

Bulgarian Henri Lazarof (1932-2013) was a world-renowned composer who moved to America to study at Brandeis University under Harold Shapero. In 1958, during his Brandeis residency, his string quartet was awarded first prize in a competition sponsored by the Boston area's Brookline Public Library, and his Cantata was commissioned by Brandeis for its 1959 arts festival. He received his M.F.A. in 1959. His Three Pieces for Orchestra premiered in 1995 by the Utah Symphony.

Arguably the most famous conductor who ever lived, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and studied the Garrison and Boston Latin Schools, and later studied at Harvard University alongside Harold Shapero. Shortly after graduating from Harvard, he made a sketch for what he described as a “Hebrew song” based on Jeremiah, a major Hebrew prophet of great suffering. Around the same time when he made his historic conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein completed and conducted the world premiere of his Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah. It was a remarkable success. The symphony won him the New York Music Critics Award. With Jeremiah, Bernstein not only established himself as a major American symphonist, he began a musical and dramatic exploration of a theme. “The work I have been writing all my life is about the struggle that is born of the crisis of our century, a crisis of faith,” said Bernstein in 1977.

About Gil Rose       

Gil Rose is one of today's most trailblazing conductors, praised as “amazingly versatile” (The Boston Globe) with “a sense of style and sophistication” (Opera News). Equally at home performing core repertoire, new music, and lesser-known historic symphonic and operative works, “Gil Rose is not just a fine conductor, but a peerless curator, sniffing out—and commissioning—off-trend, unheralded, and otherwise underplayed repertoire, that nevertheless holds to unfailingly high standards of quality. In doing so, he's built an indefinable, but unmistakable, personal aesthetic” (WQXR). A global leader in American contemporary music, Grammy Award-winner Rose is the founder of the performing and recording ensemble the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), who “bring an endlessly curious and almost archaeological mind to programming…with each concert, each recording, an essential step in a better direction” (The New York Times), as well as the founder of Odyssey Opera, praised by The New York Times as “bold and intriguing.”

About BMOP          

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A unique institution of crucial artistic importance to today's musical world, BMOP exists to disseminate exceptional orchestral music of the present and recent past via performances and recordings of the highest caliber. Founded by Artistic Director Gil Rose in 1996, BMOP has championed composers whose careers span nine decades. Each season, Rose brings BMOP's award-winning orchestra, renowned soloists, and influential composers to the stage of New England Conservatory's historic Jordan Hall in a series that offers orchestral programming of unrivaled eclecticism. Musical America's 2016 Ensemble of the Year, BMOP was awarded the 2021 Special Achievement Award from Gramophone Magazine as “an organization that has championed American music of the 20th and 21st century with passion and panache.” The musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era.

Ticketing + Program Information:

Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. ET

New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA

Tickets: Free admission. Reservations strongly encouraged. To reserve, visit or call 718.324.0396.

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP)

Gil Rose, conductor


Nine Minute Overture (1941) by Harold Shapero
Hawking Radiation by Yu-Hui Chang (BMOP commission/world premiere)
Three Pieces for Orchestra (1994) by Henri Lazarof (New England premiere)
Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah (1943) by Leonard Bernstein


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor