Monday, June 1, 2009

Jennifer Higdon's Music Live & On-Line

Though the official Market Square Concerts season is over and SummerMusic 2009 is just around the corner – can you believe it’s June already?! – I just wanted to post a little something about a composer whom you may have heard with the Harrisburg Symphony when they played her Percussion Concerto in March 2008. You can hear her “Blue Cathedral” on WITF-FM frequently (it was one of the 89½ Classics the first year, the only work on the list of audience favorites by a living composer).

Next season, January 2010 will be Jennifer Higdon Month in Harrisburg. A week before the Harrisburg Symphony plays “SkyLine” from her CityScape, Ms. Higdon will be in town when Market Square Concerts presents the Cypress Quartet who will perform her “Impressions,” a work she composed for them.

Right now, however, I want to tell you a little about her most recent world premiere, the Violin Concerto she composed for one of the great violinists on the scene today, Hilary Hahn (who had been a student in Higdon’s 20th Century Class at Curtis).

Since she premiered it in February in Indianapolis, Ms. Hahn has been performing it around the country and – last week – in England.

This week, it’s coming to Baltimore when the Baltimore Symphony performs the concerto with Hilary Hahn this Thursday & Friday evenings and Sunday afternoon at the Meyerhoff Hall and Saturday evening at the Strathmore Center. The program opens with Beethoven's Egmont Overture and ends with the Symphony No. 5 by Antonin Dvořák.

If you can't make any of those performances, you can hear the one recorded this past Thursday with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (its European premiere) on-line live today at 2pm at BBC-3 with a program that begins with Gershwin’s American in Paris and concludes with Elgar’s 1st Symphony. If you can’t listen to it then, you can find it on the BBC web-site where it will be available for the next 7 days.

The Concerto was also recorded in Liverpool by Deutsche Gramophone for future release.

Check out this video of violinist Hilary Hahn talking with her former teacher at Curtis about the Violin Concerto she wrote for her.

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You can also read my post at Thoughts on a Train about it and find a few more links there, including an NPR interview between conductor Marin Alsop and composer Jennifer Higdon.

Then I'll be back to tell you about July's SummerMusic concerts and take a look at the up-coming 2009-2010 Season!

- Dr. Dick

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