Monday, August 16, 2004

Last concert

OK, the summer is coming to a close! I had my final concert last night, and this last week will consist of attending other concerts, singing in a few masterclasses, and getting started on next season's rep. I'm conisdering it a "working vacation," because there will also hopefully be a fair amount of sleeping in and lying out on the beach at the lake. Not to mention a cocktail or two...

Last night was the penultimate concert in the week-long Festival of Contemporary Music, an annual Tanglewood event celebrating concert music written by composers who can actually attend the performances. For example, on the program last night was a piece by a friend of mine who was a composition Fellow last summer. Every year TMC issues a commision to one of the comp Fellows for a piece to be performed the following year. (Since the early days of Tanglewood, "new music" has been important here. Leornard Berstein? Tanglewood Fellow...) My piece last night was an incredible work for soprano and chamber orchestra. The work is very long, about half an hour, with 15 movments, so it was divided among five of us. Lucy Shelton is a faculty member here and one of the best contemporary music sopranos in the world; she sang five of the movements, the rest of us had two or three. I was lucky to be assigned three very hard, very showy movements, so I feel like I really got to shine. Of course, I really like this kind of music, and would have enjoyed singing any of it. In fact, I would love to try and sing the whole piece some day.

The conductor of the piece was Gil Rose, with whom I worked while I was in Boston. He directs the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and they needed a few extra singers for a contemporary opera they were staging while I was in school. (We actually came to Tanglewood in 2002 and did a performance as part of the Festival, so my first Twd performance was in a professional capacity.) It was good to work with him again, since I know I have improved as a musician since we worked together last. We've had dinner a couple of times this week, and he has really exciting seasons coming up wth his organizations (he also leads Opera Boston). I hope to get another chance to work with him soon.

He had a friend with his this weekend, a New York based composer named Lisa Something (starts with a B...). She talked with me last night about a piece she wrote this year for soprano and orchestra that is having its premiere at Carnegie Hall this fall. While that performance already has its ensemble lined up, she would like to look at the piece and think about performing it again in the future. That's two pieces in the past ten days that have come my way after new music concerts. Maybe there's something to that...

1 comment:

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