Enrico Chapela's Electric Violin Concerto for Pekka Kuusisto to Premiere at Seattle Symphony in November

Performances run from November 3-6.

By: Sep. 24, 2022
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Enrico Chapela's Electric Violin Concerto for Pekka Kuusisto to Premiere at Seattle Symphony in November

Enrico Chapela's Antiphaser, a concerto for electric violin, performed by renowned violinist Pekka Kuusisto, the Seattle Symphony, and conductor Alexander Shelley will have its world premiere from November 3-6 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The November 3 performance will be available to livestream on Seattle Symphony Live and will be viewable on demand for two weeks following the initial airdate.

Antiphaser studies the ever-shifting, ever-complementary relationship between the Earth and its moon: When one waxes, the other wanes; if one is new, the other is full; when the Earth casts a shadow over the moon, we witness a lunar eclipse while the moon experiences a solar eclipse. The work's four movements represent different planetary phases, from the complementary perspectives of the Earth and Moon: I. The Earth-Full / The Moon-New; II. The Earth-Waning / The Moon-Waxing; III. The Earth-New / The Moon-Full; IV. The Earth-Solar Eclipse / The Moon-Lunar Eclipse.

Chapela describes the vibrant imagery that inspires the score:

"At totality, solar rays bend through Earth's atmosphere coating the full face of the Moon with a gloomy red glow, which is seen at the near side as a fiery halo engulfing the darkened planet ... Earthlings inside the gloom zone can see the bloody moon rising at dawn."

Antiphaser continues Chapela's boundary-breaking writing for electronic instruments. MAGNETAR, his acclaimed 2011 electric cello concerto for cellist Johannes Moser, was inspired by Chapela's fascination with the electromagnetic energy of the electric cello, leading him to write the piece around magnetars, the biggest magnetic fields in the universe. Other works exploring Chapela's fascination with the universe and the solar system include his 2016 orchestral work Antikythera, inspired by an ancient device used to calculate the position of stars and planets in the sky, and Lo Nato es Neta (2003) for rock trio and acoustic quintets, which explores Chapela's own astral chart.

Following the world premiere of Antiphaser, Chapela sees additional performances in the US this season: conductor Eckart Preu leads the Long Beach Symphony in Chapela's Rotor on November 19 and brings the piece to Portland Symphony Orchestra on April 2-3, 2023.

Photo Credit: Bernd Uhlig