The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's leading orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning, and recording new music of the 21st century, spearheads its premiere-packed, cutting-edge season with "Re-Inventions: Glorious and Subversive Music for Keyboards" at Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street), on Friday, November 2nd @ 8:00pm. The kaleidoscopic mix of piano concerti includes: a special appearance by composer/pianist Anthony Davis performing his own piece Wayang V; the world premieres of Piano Concerto by David Rakowski and Chamber Concerto #3 by Elliott Schwartz; and the US premiere of Side by Side by Michael Colgrass. This concert is made possible in part by M. Steinert and Sons and the Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.
BMOP joins hands with some of today's top contemporary pianists including Boston's own Nina Ferrigno (piano) of the AUROS Group for New Music, versatile Joanne Kong (piano/harpsichord), Marilyn Nonken (piano/toy piano) of Ensemble 21, and Anthony Davis (piano) who is known for oscillating between classical and jazz genres. This marks BMOP's first piano-centric program in its 11-year history. "40 fingers, 352-plus keys, an electric harpsichord, and a toy piano thrown with plenty of fireworks to go around," exclaims Gil Rose, Artistic Director and Conductor of BMOP. "A truly electrifying program!"
Bringing rhythmic improvisational piano solos to the program is Anthony Davis's Wayang V (1984). Davis is an internationally known composer and pianist known for his virtuoso performances as a soloist. Wayang V is one of a number of his compositions inspired by the Balinese Gamelan; each of his Wayang pieces employs polyrhythmic repetition and improvisation. According to Davis, improvisation has always been central to his aesthetic conception. "Improvisation is a revolutionary idea which allows for the creativity of the performer within a dynamic musical structure." Wayang V premiered with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, was performed and recorded by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra in 1988, and premiered in Boston in 2002 with BMOP.
Opening the program is the world premiere of David Rakowski's Piano Concerto, commissioned by BMOP and the Koussevitsky Music Foundation. Featuring pianist Marilyn Nonken, Piano Concerto is the latest addition to Rakowski's continuing set of high-energy etudes for piano. As one of the most exuberant and popular personalities in Boston's new music scene, his strong personality is portrayed in his rock-influenced, complex, and highly serial music. The evening's second world premiere presents Elliott Schwartz's Chamber Concerto #3, with guest pianist Nina Ferrigno. Known for his wildly eclectic music, Schwartz reflects the influence of post-modernism and bridges the gap between the contemporary composer and his audience. Though he has experimented with synthesizers, tape, jazz and other trappings of the avant-garde, he remains committed to composing concert music using traditional instruments such as the piano. All three works—Wayang V, Piano Concerto, and Chamber Concerto #3—will be recorded for future commercial release on BMOP's record label, BMOP/sound.
Rounding out the program is guest artist Joanne Kong playing both piano and electric harpsichord in the American premiere of Side by Side (2007) composed for her by Michael Colgrass, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy-winning composer. Side by Side for harpsichord, altered piano and orchestra, is co-commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), The Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Esprit Orchestra. The world premiere took place this past summer under conductor Alex Pauk with the Esprit Orchestra at St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, the composer's current hometown.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has had an outstanding reputation amongst Boston's most innovative and performing arts organizations for attracting multi-generational audiences and providing thematic, diversified programming, and a national reputation for performing and recording new orchestral music at the highest level. Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Gil Rose, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project strives to illuminate the connections that exist between both contemporary music and society by reuniting composers and audiences in a shared concert experience. The 2007-2008 BMOP season offers no fewer than 10 world premieres. In Spring 2008, BMOP launches a new curatorial collaboration with the 10th annual MATA Festival (Music at the Anthology, Inc.), the leading global catalyst for emerging composers and contemporary music co-founded by Philip Glass. In addition, BMOP launches its signature recording label BMOP/sound with the 2008 release of five new albums by composers Charles Fussell, Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, and Gunther Schuller.
In just 11 years, BMOP has received nine ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Orchestral Music including the 2006-2007 ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music, and the 2006 American Symphony Orchestra League's John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music. BMOP has appeared at the Bank of America Celebrity Series, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Tanglewood, the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), and Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA). In Boston, BMOP performs at Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall, and has performed in New York at Miller Theater, the Winter Garden, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. BMOP recordings are available from Albany, New World, Naxos, Arsis, Oxingale, and Chandos, and are regularly reviewed by national and international publications including The New York Times ("Best CDs of 2003"), the Chicago Tribune ("Best CDs of 2004"), Gramophone, Fanfare, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out New York ("Best CDs of 2004"), The Boston Globe ("Best CDs of 2003"), Paris Transatlantic Monthly, LA Weekly, Opera Now, BBC Music, and American Record Guide. BMOP is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Meet the Composer and other private foundations, and individuals.
Gil Rose, Artistic Director, Founder, and Conductor for BMOP, is recognized as one of a new generation of American conductors shaping the future of classical music. Since 2003, Rose has served as Music Director of Opera Boston, launching the much-celebrated Opera Unlimited, a ten-day contemporary opera festival performed with BMOP. He was chosen as the "Best Conductor of 2003" by Opera Online and was recently awarded the 2006-2007 ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music. The Boston Globe claims he "is some kind of genius; his concerts are wildly entertaining, intellectually rigorous, and
What: Boston Modern Orchestra Project's Re-Inventions: New Concertos for Keyboards
When: Friday, November 2nd @ 8:00pm. FREE Pre-Concert Discussion @ 7:00pm.
Where: Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston. Train E to Symphony stop.
How: General Tickets $48, $35, $25, and $10. Students 50% off general ticket price (except $10).
Contact BMOP at 617.363.0396.