Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra And Cincinnati Pops Launch THE FANFARE PROJECT
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops today announced a new initiative, The Fanfare Project, borne of the Orchestra's heritage as a champion of the music of its time and of the role of music to unite us in uncertain times. The inspiration for the initiative is Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, commissioned by CSO Music Director Eugene Goossens in 1942 in support of Allied efforts and as a testament to the American spirit during World War II. The Orchestra gave the world premiere on March 12, 1943.
CSO Music Director Louis Langrée and Pops Conductor John Morris Russell have spearheaded The Fanfare Project, in which more than a dozen composers, representing a diverse range of personal and musical backgrounds, will write one-minute fanfares for individual musicians of their choice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each composer was asked to approach their new fanfare as an homage to the people, things, or ideas that are important and relevant to them at this time, and to choose a CSO/Pops musician or other soloist with whom they are excited to collaborate.
There are thirteen commissions in the first wave of The Fanfare Project, with additional artists to be announced as they are confirmed. The initial set encompasses a wide range of composers, some with pre-existing ties to the Orchestra, such as Matthias Pintscher, the CSO's new Creative Partner; Caroline Shaw, who has had two previous CSO commissions; Cincinnati native Bryce Dessner, founder of The National and creator of the MusicNOW Festival; Peter Boyer, whose In the Cause of the Free is on the Grammy-nominated Pops recording American Originals: 1918; and Georgia Stitt, the Broadway composer who is also leader of "The Maestra Project." This will be the initial collaboration with other composers such as Hollywood composer Laura Karpman; the MacArthur Genius, multi-instrumentalist and multi-genre composer Tyshawn Sorey; and Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun. The complete list follows:
Composer: Writing for: Michael Abels Christian Colberg, CSO Principal Viola Marcos Balter Michael Culligan, CSO Associate Principal Percussion Peter Boyer Elizabeth Freimuth, CSO Principal Horn Bryce Dessner Ilya Finkelshteyn, CSO Principal Cello Ted Hearne Nathalie Joachim, Flute and Voice Gabriel Kahane Pekka Kuusisto, Violin (2020-21 season soloist) Laura Karpman Chris Olka, CSO Principal Tuba Missy Mazzoli Stefani Matsuo, CSO Concertmaster Matthias Pintscher Dwight Parry, CSO Principal Oboe Caroline Shaw Charles Morey, CSO Acting Associate Concertmaster and Voice Tyshawn Sorey Robert Sullivan CSO Principal Trumpet Georgia Stitt Christopher Pell, CSO Principal Clarinet Du Yun Gillian Sella, CSO Principal Harp
The world premieres will be video recorded by the soloists from their homes and will be released one- by-one over the coming weeks, along with the score for each piece, at cincinnatisymphony.org/fanfareproject over the Orchestras' digital platforms and social media. To launch the project, the CSO and Pops have released a new video over social media channels and on cincinnatisymphony.org and cincinnatipops.org.
The Fanfare Project harkens back to a similar undertaking catalyzed by the Orchestra in a previous era of global disruption. In 1942, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and music director Eugene Goossens commissioned 18 fanfares to be performed in response to and in support of the Allied effort in World War II. These fanfares included Fanfare for the Fighting French (Walter Piston), Fanfare for American Heroes (William Grant Still), Fanfare for Paratroopers (Paul Creston), among others, though the most enduring example of that initiative is Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. Just as Fanfare for the Common Man paid tribute to all of humanity in its struggle for peace, the new commissions are intended to pay homage to those on the front line of our society who are working tirelessly to keep us safe, as well as the ideals we stand for in uncertain times.
"Much of the music we chose for the CSO's 125th anniversary season had references to the Orchestra's remarkable history of collaborations with important composers of their time, from Alexander Scriabin and Richard Strauss to Bryce Dessner and Daníel Bjarnason" said Louis Langrée. "To pay homage to this legacy, and to make our own ongoing contribution to the art form, we had also commissioned world premieres from Gabriella Smith, Julia Adolphe, William Winstead, Sebastian Currier, and Christopher Rouse. Unfortunately, we couldn't complete this season because of the pandemic. I can't imagine a better way to continue our anniversary celebration than using Aaron Copland's iconic masterpiece to inspire today's composers to write new work that helps us reflect on this time and to unite around music at a time when we cannot be together in person."
"I have always wondered what it must have been like to hear Fanfare for the Common Man for the first time, in the midst of the global crisis that was the Second World War. What did it feel like, between the anxiety and exultation, the moment after the last note evaporated into the walls of Cincinnati Music Hall?" said John Morris Russell. "We are at such a moment now, when our composers and musicians have an opportunity to bring us all together again, with a diversity of expression and style that speaks to the entire world. Our new age has brought us remarkable connective technology, and a musical palette of extraordinary depth and endless possibility; I am thrilled to discover what wonders will come."
About the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra With a rich tradition that dates back 125 years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America's finest and most versatile ensembles. Currently led by Louis Langrée, the Orchestra's distinguished roster of past music directors includes Frank van der Stucken, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Goossens, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Michael Gielen, Jesús López Cobos, and Paavo Järvi.
Since its beginnings, the CSO been a proponent of the music of its time, performing the American premieres of works by important composers including Claude Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel and Béla Bartók, and commissioning many works that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Aaron Copland's iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. Additionally, the CSO has a longstanding of inviting composers to perform their own work with the Orchestra, from Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Camille Saint-Saëns, Alexander Scriabin and Richard Strauss in the beginning of the 20thcentury, and later with Ottorino Respighi, George Gershwin, Béla Bartók, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Leonard Bernstein and Krzysztof Penderecki. The CSO proudly continues to uphold this tradition, with recent appearances by John Adams, Bryce Dessner, James MacMillan, Caroline Shaw, and Matthias Pintscher, the Orchestra's Creative Partner beginning with the 2020-21 season.
With groundbreaking initiatives including CSO Proof, CSO Look Around, LUMENOCITY and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra champions innovation. As an ambassador for Cincinnati, the region, and for the U.S., the CSO has toured extensively, most recently to Asia and Europe in 2017, and sold millions of recordings around the globe. Two of its most recent recordings with Langrée were Grammy-nominated in the "Best Orchestral Performance" category: Concertos for Orchestra, with world premieres of CSO commissions from Zhou Tian, Thierry Eschaich, and Sebastian Currier, and Transatlantic, featuring world premiere recordings of two versions of the new George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition of An American in Paris. Committed to inclusion and relevance, the Orchestra serves the community and elevates the City's vibrant cultural scene not only through CSO and Cincinnati Pops performances, but also by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.