Paul Moravec & Terry Teachout to Create New Work Honoring John V. Sinclair's 25th Anniversary with Bach Festival Society of Winter Park
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is pleased to announce the commissioning of a new work in celebration of conductor and artistic director John V. Sinclair's 25th anniversary with the Society. The piece, titled Music, Awake!, with music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and words by distinguished author Terry Teachout, celebrates the universal power of music. It will be premiered during concerts with the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra on April 16 and 17, 2016. Terry Teachout and Paul Moravec are experienced collaborators, having premiered three operas in recent years for companies such as The Santa Fe Opera and Philadelphia's Center City Opera Theater.
Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed numerous orchestral, chamber, lyric, and operatic works. Frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, Mr. Moravec's current project is The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel, which will be premiering at Minnesota Opera in 2016. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia universities, Moravec is University Professor at Adelphi University and recently served as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Other honors include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and election to the American Philosophical Society. Recent CD releases include four albums on Naxos and an album of orchestral music on BMOP Sound titled Northern Lights Electric. His website is www.paulmoravec.com and his works are published by www.subitomusic.com.
"I am delighted to be commissioned by the Bach Festival Society for this special anniversary and to be collaborating with my prodigiously talented friend Terry Teachout, with whom I've composed three operas," says Moravec. "We intend Music Awake! to be not only a tribute to John Sinclair and the Festival but an homage to all who dedicate their lives to the miraculous art of music."
Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of "Sightings," a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. His books include Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Pops: The Life of Louis Armstrong, All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, and A Terry Teachout Reader. He served on the National Council on the Arts from 2004 to 2010. Teachout's first play, Satchmo at the Waldorf, had a successful off-Broadway run in 2014. Originally written and workshopped at Rollins College's Winter Park Institute, it has also been produced in Lenox, New Haven, Orlando, and Philadelphia and will be staged next season by San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, Chicago's Court Theatre, and Palm Beach Dramaworks.
"John Sinclair and I go back a long, long way," says Teachout. "We went to college together, and I owe an immense debt of gratitude to him for the close relationship that I've developed in recent years with the Bach Festival and Rollins College. So it means the world to me that Paul and I should have been invited to write a piece in honor of John's great musical achievements with the Bach Festival. He's a first-class artist and the best of all possible colleagues. Our work couldn't be in better hands."
Dr. John V. Sinclair was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park in 1990. Under his tenure, the Bach Festival Choir has achieved international recognition by touring extensively in Europe, producing nationally released CDs, and performing with the London Symphony Orchestra during its Florida residencies. Musically he is known for creative interpretations, an expressive conducting style, and innovative programming.
Dr. Sinclair is one of Florida's most visible musicians. In addition to his work with the Bach Festival Society, Sinclair conducts the Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional at EPCOT, directs the Moravian Music Festivals, and participates in recording projects for the Walt Disney Corporation and other entertainment companies. He conducts over 100 performances each year, including appearances as conductor, clinician, or lecturer throughout the United States and overseas, including conducting a principal mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
"To be involved in a commission and the subsequent first performance of a new piece is unto itself an exciting adventure," said Sinclair. "But when the new composition is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec with text by award-winning author Terry Teachout, the journey has now made the turn to exhilarating. I can promise the musicians and the audience alike are in for a profoundly emotional and intellectual experience. It doesn't get any better than this: conducting a premier of a work from these two creative minds."
This commission is the third for the Bach Festival Society, which is committed to continuing the musical legacy of J.S. Bach through a variety of musical avenues. The Society worked with Jaron Lanier to premiere Symphony for Amelia in 2010. The Society also commissioned a short piece composed by Vijay Iyer that was premiered to Orange County students in 2012 by string quartet Brooklyn Rider and recorded by the quartet.