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The Boston Modern Orchestra Project Ends Its Season With Works By John Corigliano

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project Ends Its Season With Works By John Corigliano

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, celebrates the rich, unusual, and widely celebrated work of composer John Corigliano. Led by Artistic Director and Conductor Gil Rose, BMOP performs the Boston premiere of Troubadours, featuring guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk, followed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony No. 2.

"John Corigliano is perhaps one of the most important symphonists of our time," says Gil Rose. Corigliano's scores, now numbering over 100, have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, five Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. Attentive listening to his music reveals an unconfined imagination, one which has taken traditional notions like "symphony" or "concerto" and redefined them in a uniquely transparent idiom forged as much from the post-war European avant garde as from his American forebears. "The depth and breadth of his extraordinary imagination is a national treasure. BMOP is delighted and fortunate to perform Corigliano's unique and unmistakable musical language."

Corigliano (b.1938) serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York, which has established a scholarship in his name.

BMOP's evening-long dedication to Corigliano begins with the Boston premiere of Troubadours: Variations for Guitar and Orchestra. It was written and commissioned for Sharon Isbin who gave the world premiere in 1993 with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Their world premiere recording for EMI/Angel received many honors, including Guitar Player's Best Classical Album award, and Gramophone's Critics' Choice Recording of the Year. The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed the work as a "wildly heterogeneous piece that purposely juxtaposes elements that can never fit...a time-warp melding of the composer's 20th-century harmonies and a 12th-century troubadour melody. Amid novel effects like an offstage wind band, the piece also has integrity, an interior balance of invention, logic and drama - the climax is fabulously apocalyptic - that make it a miniature opera without words."

Inspired by the courtly love tradition of the medieval French troubadours, Troubadours is a lyrical concerto performed in three parts of free variations on an original troubadour-like melody. According to Corigliano, writing this guitar concerto was "like a nostalgic return to all the feelings I had when I started composing-a time when discovery and optimistic enthusiasm ruled my senses. Lyrical, direct, and introspective, the guitar has a natural innocence." BMOP will be joined by the world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk (b.1954). A charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire, Fisk teaches at the New England Conservatory and lives in Boston. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the 13-year old Boston GuitarFest.

Also on the program is a significant addition to the modern string orchestra repertory: Symphony No. 2, a rethinking and expansion of Corigliano's surreal and virtuosic String Quartet (1995). Written in honor of the 100th anniversary of Boston's Symphony Hall, it was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2000 and earned Corigliano the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The Boston Globe raved: "It is a work of great complexity, but it also communicates primal force of feeling. The details spin out into astounding arabesques of elaboration, but the basic architecture is strong, striking, and always in perspective. The piece is an amazing adventure in sound." The 35-minute work is in five movements that deals with the string orchestra as a whole body of sound unique in itself, transforming the string quartet to symphony and the string section to string orchestra.

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 unmatched diversity. Named Musical America's 2016 Ensemble of the Year, the musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era. For more information, please visit BMOP.org.



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