Explore the mysteries of outer space and the inventiveness of percussion when Tuesday Musical and The Akron Symphony co-present “The Planets” plus So Percussion on Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m., at EJ Thomas Hall.
Using “found” instruments — twigs, tuned wine bottles, metal pipes, steel drum — So Percussion will play against the backdrop of the Akron Symphony, conducted by Christopher Wilkins, to create the concerto “man made” by composer David Lang. Lang and Wilkins will present the concert’s “Preview from the Podium” at 7 p.m.
Commissioned by London’s Barbican Centre and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lang wrote “man made” specifically for So Percussion. So premiered the piece with Gustavo Dudamel for the LA Phil’s 2014-15 season opener.
So has often performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Barbican in London, and recently collaborated with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish for the season opener of Da Camera of Houston. Lang, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee, is the co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can.
In the second half of the concert, the Akron Symphony and the Women of the Akron Symphony Chorus will perform Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The Akron Symphony Chorus is under the direction of new Chorus Director, Marie Bucoy-Calavan. The Planets is among the most popular works in the orchestral repertoire. This other-worldly music describes the influence of celestial bodies on human experience. The music of the war-like Mars, big-hearted Jupiter, and cosmic Neptune are vivid highlights of one of the most compelling orchestral scores of the twentieth-century.
“Secret of Wind and Birds” by Tan Dun, which incorporates bird songs activated by audience members’ cell phones, and “The Wasps” by Ralph Vaughn Williams are also on the program. Tan Dun—known throughout the world for his score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and for the arresting music he composed for the Beijing Olympics—is among the most versatile of all living composers. His 7-minute orchestral work, The Secret of Wind and Birds, takes its inspiration—in the composer’s own words—from “the way that birds fly, the wind blows, and the waves ripple.”
Single tickets are $20 to $55 and free for all students of any age. Visit www.akronsymphony.org or call 330-535-8131 for tickets and more information. Tickets will also be available at the door as long as seats are available.
ABOUT SO PERCUSSION
With innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern classics, and an “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), So Percussion has redefined the scope and role of the modern percussion ensemble.
Their repertoire ranges from “classics” of the 20th century by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Steve Mackey, and Paul Lansky, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall, including vocalist Shara Nova, electronic duo Matmos, the groundbreaking Dan Deacon, legendary drummer Bobby Previte, jam band kings Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, choreographer Shen Wei, and composer and leader of The National, Bryce Dessner, among others.
So Percussion also composes and performs their own works, ranging from standard concert pieces to immersive multi-genre programs – including Imaginary City, Where (we) Live, and their newest endeavor, A Gun Show, which will be performed throughout the current season, most notably in a multi-performance presentation as part of BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival.
So Percussion began the 2016-17 season with critically acclaimed performances at the Lincoln Center Festival. Recent highlights include a featured performance at Carnegie Hall with Glenn Kotche and Shara Nova; a collaboration with Dawn Upshaw and Gil Kalish for the season opener of Da Camera of Houston; international tours to Poland and Ireland; performances of David Lang’s percussion concerto “man made” with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil; Bryce Dessner’s “Music for Wood and Strings” at the Barbican in London, and the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival; and an original score for a live performance and broadcast of WNYC’s Radiolab with Jud Abumrad and Robert Krulwich at BAM.
ABOUT DAVID LANG
David Lang is one of the most-performed American composers writing today. His simple song #3, written as part of his score for Paolo Sorrentino’s acclaimed film YOUTH, received numerous award nominations in 2016, including the Academy Award and Golden Globe.
His “the little match girl passion” won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music. Based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen and Lang’s own rewriting of the libretto to Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, the recording of the piece was awarded a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Lang has also been the recipient of the Rome Prize, Le Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and Musical America’s 2013 Composer of the Year.
Lang’s music is also used regularly for ballet and modern dance around the world by such choreographers as Twyla Tharp, Susan Marshall, Edouard Lock, and Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed a new piece by Lang for the LA Dance Project at BAM in 2014.
Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can.
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