American Composers Orchestra Presents Phenomenal Women at Carnegie Hall
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) will open its 2018-2019 season with a concert titled Phenomenal Women presented by Carnegie Hall in Zankel Hall on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7:30pm. The performance, conducted by ACO Music Director George Manahan, will feature the world premiere of Valerie Coleman's Phenomenal Women performed by the Imani Winds with ACO; as well as the world premiere of Alex Temple's Three Principles of Noir with singer Meaghan Burke, director Amber Treadway, and costumes by Storm Garner. Grammy and Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Joan Tower's Chamber Dance from 2006, which treats the orchestra as a chamber ensemble, completes the program.
Coleman's Phenomenal Women, a concerto for wind quintet and orchestra, is inspired by Maya Angelou's poem and book, Phenomenal Woman. Each member of Imani Winds will be featured in a solo interlude influenced by a different phenomenal woman - activist Malala Yousefai (oboe serenade), Brazilian Olympic Gold medalist Rafaela Silva (clarinet in choro style), athlete Serena Williams (bassoon virtuoso cadenza), and Michelle Obama (flute with urban/jazz elements). The Philadelphia Orchestra recently announced that a new work by Coleman will open its 2019/2020 season. Alex Temple's Three Principles of Noir with singer Meaghan Burke is a piece with a time-traveling Science fiction narrative centered around a Chicago historian who goes back in time to the 1893 World's Fair. This is ACO's second commission from Alex Temple, a composer who integrates love for pop culture and the Western classical tradition. The orchestra premiered her Liebeslied in 2011 during the opening concert of its SONiC festival that year. Joan Tower's Chamber Dance, written for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, weaves together solos, duos, and other combinations of instrumentalists, creating, as Tower puts it, "an ensemble that has to 'dance' well together."
Phenomenal Women Concert Program:
George Manahan, ACO music director and conductor
Imani Winds (Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Mark Dover, clarinet; Jeff Scott, horn; Monica Ellis, bassoon)
Meaghan Burke, voice
Amber Treadway, director
Storm Garner, costume designer
JOAN TOWER: Chamber Dance (2006)
VALERIE COLEMAN: Phenomenal Women Concerto for Wind Quintet and Orchestra (World Premiere, co-commissioned by ACO and Carnegie Hall)
ALEX TEMPLE: Three Principles of Noir (World Premiere, commissioned by ACO)
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Derek Bermel, Music Director George Manahan, and President Edward Yim, ACO continues its commitment to the creation, performance, preservation, and promotion of music by American composers, with programming that reflects the infinite ways American orchestral music illustrates geographic, stylistic, gender, and racial diversity.
"ACO is honored and excited to continue giving voice to American composers, both emerging and established," said ACO President Edward Yim. "In particular, that our premieres this season shine a light on issues of empowerment of women, the global refugee crisis, and powerful musical storytelling is at the heart of our mission to embrace the relevance of today's creative artists to contemporary issues."
ACO's next concert at Carnegie Hall will be April 11, 2019. The orchestra will give the U.S. premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winnner Du Yun's Where We Lost Our Shadows, a new multidisciplinary work for orchestra, film, and vocalists, co-commissioned by ACO, Carnegie Hall, The KENNEDY Center, Southbank Centre, and Cal Performances and supported by ACO's Commission Club. This is ACO's second commission from Du Yun, who created her piece Slow Portraits during ACO's coLABoratory research and development program in 2013. Du Yun is composing Where We Lost Our Shadows in response to film captured by Ramallah-based Palestinian visual artist Khaled Jarrar, which documents the refugee crisis in Europe. The piece will be performed by ACO with singer Helga Davis, Pakistani Qawwali singer Ali Sethi, and percussionist Shayna Dunkelman, with visuals by Jarrar. The concert also includes Gloria Coates' Symphony No. 1, "Music on Open Strings," from 1973, and Morton Feldman's 1980 work Turfan Fragments, inspired by a series of fragments of knotted carpets from the third and sixth centuries which were discovered in the SILK Road region.