If you have allowed pop-ups, Program Notes will load within your browser. If you have blocked pop-ups, a PDF of the notes will automatically download.
Maestra Marin Alsop leads the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in West Coast premieres by TJ Cole and Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as a concerto by Jennifer Higdon featuring special guest artists Time for Three. All three composers join us for the occasion! The young composer TJ Cole, who is currently studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, wrote Megalopolis during her first year living in Philadelphia, in reaction to the hustle and bustle of urban life. “At first, city life can be very exciting,” writes Cole. “But it quickly became very crowded, loud, overwhelming, and even a little scary. Across the street from where I lived there was a church with a little courtyard… Sometimes at night, I would go out into the courtyard to find some peace within all of the chaos.”
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon returns to the Cabrillo Festival with Concerto 4-3, a three-movement piece that combines the language of classical music with dashes of bluegrass technique. Concerto 4-3 was written specifically for the inspiring string ensemble Time for Three, who were Higdon’s students at the Curtis Institute. Featuring Nick Kendall and Zach De Pue (violins) and Ranaan Meyer (double bass), Time for Three draws upon bluegrass, jazz, rock, folk and classical influences. The ensemble has an eclectic style and rich flavor that complements Higdon’s own roots in Mountain Music, which she cultivated growing up in East Tennessee.
The program closes with the West Coast premiere of British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s monumental Speranza. Turnage explains that Speranza was intended to be “a big, dark, despairing work…[but] I started brightening things up and it soon became more upbeat, extrovert and optimistic…Although Speranza shimmers a lot, I suspect the dark heart of the original idea still peeks through.” Known for his skillful blend of classical and jazz idioms, Turnage incorporates subtle touches of Arabic and Jewish music, as well as blues and jazz, into Speranza. The composer also brings in instruments that are unconventional to classical works–including the cimbalom, the oboe-like duduk, and the soprano saxophone. “This is Turnage’s Tragic Symphony–Mahlerian in scale, orchestration and mixture of cosmic and quotidian,” wrote the Financial Times.
MEETUP! A Talkback Session with Marin Alsop and the evening’s guest artists and composers immediately follows the concert.