Saxophone Concerto (WORLD PREMIERE)
AARON JAY KERNIS
Concerto with Echoes
Symphony No. 4, "Italian"
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This concert is a portrait of Pulitzer-Prize-winning American composer, Aaron J. Kernis. Kernis serves as the Albany Symphony's "Mentor Composer" during the 2011-12 season. Kernis, who was for many years the Minnesota Orchestra's Composer-in-Residence, is a Yale professor whose music has been played by most of America's leading performing ensembles.
Albany Symphony Music Director, David Alan Miller, was an early champion of Kernis' music, commissioning and premiering his second orchestral work and performing his music extensively early in Kernis' career. This concert features two recent Kernis works, his set of 5 orchestrations of Claude Debussy's luminous, impressionist Piano Etudes and his recent homage to Bach, the "Concerto with Echoes." "Concerto with Echoes," commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of its "New Brandenburg Project," takes its inspiration from Bach's Sixth Brandenburg Concerto. Kernis' work is a thrilling distillation of baroque gestures re-imagined in modern terms, prominently featuring the brilliant members of the Albany Symphony's viola section, as does the Sixth Brandenburg which is also on the program.
Mr. Kernis has invited his former student, Kathryn Salfelder, a recent graduate of Yale, to join him on the program with a new Concerto for Saxophone commissioned especially for this concert, and featuring the dazzling young Saxophone virtuoso, Timothy McAllister. Rounding out the program is one of Kernis' favorite works, one that exerted a powerful influence on his compositional development, Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony.