. Interchanging Idioms: Pacific Symphony to Make its Carnegie Hall Debut for a Special Program Dedicated to one of Today’s Most Fascinating and Pre-Eminent Composers, Philip Glass

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pacific Symphony to Make its Carnegie Hall Debut for a Special Program Dedicated to one of Today’s Most Fascinating and Pre-Eminent Composers, Philip Glass


Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, has been invited to perform for the very first time at one of the world’s most prestigious venues, Carnegie Hall in New York City, in honor of one of today’s leading composers, Philip Glass. Joining them will be Pacific Chorale, also appearing at Carnegie Hall for the first time. One of America’s most revered composers, Glass is Carnegie Hall’s 2017-18 composer-in-residence, where he holds the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. With this season-long residency by Glass, Carnegie joined a yearlong celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday, presenting performances that feature his classics and premieres. As part of the residency, orchestras from across the United States were invited to submit programs featuring important works by Glass in illuminating contexts. Pacific Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra were the two orchestras chosen, in part by Glass himself, to perform during Carnegie’s upcoming season. Both orchestras emerged among competitors with what Carnegie called “very compelling programs.”

Pacific Symphony makes this significant debut on Saturday, April 21, 2018, when Glass’ famous collaborations with the Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar will be honored during a program that spotlights “Meetings Along the Edge” from “Passages,” a piece Glass recorded with Shankar, whom Glass first met in India in 1965. The eight-minute movement was composed by Glass on a theme of Shankar in 1990. Also on the program is the 40-minute “Concerto No. 3 for Sitar and Orchestra” by Shankar, which was written on commission from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and premiered in 2009 by his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, who will perform with Pacific Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

The final work on the program will be the New York premiere of “The Passion of Ramakrishna”—a work of quiet intensity and unforgettable power—scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra to celebrate the life of this incredible Hindu holy man. Mixing Eastern and Western traditions, Glass’ heroic musical homage paints an exquisite symphonic and choral picture of India emerging from centuries of foreign domination. The epic, 45-minute piece was commissioned by Pacific Symphony and given its world-premiere on Sept. 16, 2006, as part of the grand opening of the orchestra’s then-new home, the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Gramophone magazine reviewed the Symphony’s 2012 recording of the work, praising it as Glass’ “most thoughtful and inventive recent piece.”

Local Pacific Symphony enthusiasts will have the opportunity to hear the orchestra perform this concert in Orange County on April 12-14, 2018. Single tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance go on sale August 28 at CarnegieHall.org. In addition, Pacific Symphony will announce a patron trip to cheer on the orchestra in New York later this spring.

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