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Dylan Mattingly: Sky Madrigal [World Premiere]
Andrew Norman: Play [West Coast Premiere]
Béla Fleck: The Impostor Concerto (Béla Fleck, banjo) [West Coast Premiere]
(Please note that the program order has changed)
The Festival season kicks off with works by Dylan Mattingly, Béla Fleck and Andrew Norman and Opening Night promises the thrill of all three composers in the house! The world premiere of Dylan Mattingly’s Sky Madrigal invites audiences to experience the work of an exceptional young composer whose music has been celebrated as “an audacious blend of post-minimalism, traditional modernism, rock, jazz and more.” (San Francisco Chronicle) Sky Madrigal is, in Mattingly’s words, “a piece about perfection.” Narratively it tells the story of an ascent–Mattingly was especially drawn to the account of Mallory and Irvine, two mountaineers who disappeared while attempting to climb Mount Everest. The composer writes, “Whether or not Mallory made it to the top, his journey into the sky, like the building of a cathedral and the tuning of a lyre to the laws of the universe, captains our imaginations toward a destination that could only be the result of the bliss, terror, inspiration, and yes—perfection—of a human life. That is the kind of perfection I want to chase.”
After winning over Marin Alsop and Cabrillo Festival audiences with Gran Turismo in 2012 and Unstuck in 2013, Andrew Norman returns with the West Coast Premiere of Play, a sprawling orchestral cycle and the most ambitious and personal piece the composer has written to date. “Much of this piece is concerned with who is playing whom,” writes Norman. Play was fertile ground to delve deeply into some of the inspirations that drove Norman’s compositional process, including interpersonal relationships, video game dynamics, live performance; the piece also explores the many definitions of the word “play,” ranging from the innocent and light-hearted to the dark and malevolent.
Famed banjovirtuoso and 15-time Grammy Award-winner Béla Fleck performs as soloist in the West Coast premiere of his own composition, The Impostor, a concerto for banjo and orchestra. Dedicated to banjo master Earl Scruggs, The Impostor is Fleck’s first large-scale work for orchestra. (Some may say that any musician born, as Fleck was, with the names Béla [for Bartok], Anton [for Webern], and Leos [for Janacek] was destined to play classical music!) The Impostor highlights the banjo’s familiar fireworks as well as its rarely captured ability to produce songlike melodies; the orchestra shines with vivid colors and harmonies as Fleck’s bluegrass influences come to the forefront. [The documentary film Béla Fleck: How To Write A Banjo Concerto will be screened on July 30, followed by a Q&A with Béla Fleck. Details below.]
MEETUP! The 2014 season begins with an outdoor Pre-Concert Talk by Marin Alsop and a special ticketed dinner prepared by Feast for a King and served alfresco at the Civic Auditorium. Reservations required.
FILM SCREENING w/ Q&A The documentary film Béla Fleck: How To Write A Banjo Concerto will be screened at the Del Mar Theatre on Thursday, July 30 at 7:30pm, and followed by a Q&A session with Béla Fleck. $10 tickets available through the theatre.