Marin Alsop leads BSO in Doctor Atomic and “New World” symphonies
The young and accomplished violinist Stefan Jackiw returns to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Jackiw last appeared with the BSO in 2008 when he performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto to rave reviews. Music Director Marin Alsop will also lead the BSO in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto has been called the first truly Romantic violin concerto. Though generally considered conservative, Mendelssohn broke classical barriers by writing a score that alternates emphasis between soloist and orchestra. One of Stefan Jackiw’s past performances of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto was hailed by string music magazine The Strad as, “…truly sensational, showing a talent and maturity that belied his years.”
John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony is the symphonic score from his opera of the same name, which premiered in August 2007 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Set in the summer of 1945, the opera depicts the intense, long nights that led up to the testing of the atomic bomb. The composer of several other modern operas, Adams does not choose his subjects in an effort to be relevant or trendy. Instead, he seeks to bring out the universal and timeless elements in these stories.
Antonin Dvořák traveled to America in the early 1890s and became enraptured with American music and culture. The composer was especially inspired by African-American spirituals and supported the musical endeavors of African Americans. His Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” was influenced by many American classics, such as “Yankee Doodle” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Though the symphony revolves around American culture, Dvořák also infused techniques and sounds from his Czech roots. The BSO recorded this symphony on its first Dvořák album in 2007 and released a second Dvořák album of his Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 in 2010. This November, the BSO will release its final album of the cycle, which features Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6.