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Aaron Jay Kernis

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Musica Celestis (1990),
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Sub Category
String Orchestra
Year Composed
11 Minutes
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Programme Note
Aaron Jay Kernis Musica Celestis (1990),

  • Conductor
    Hugh Wolff
    Phoenix USA:
  • Ensemble
    Seattle Symphony
    Gerard Schwarz
    Hear Music:
  • Ensemble
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Hugh Wolff
  • Ensemble
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Eiji Oue
    Virgin Classics:
  • G. Schirmer / AMP:
  • Ensemble
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Truls Otterbech Mørk, cello
    Eiji Oue
    Virgin Classics:
  • Ensemble
    New York Chamber Symphony
    Gerard Schwarz
    Phoenix USA:
  • 12 OCT 2018
    Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis, IN
    Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
    Matthew Halls, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 October - Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis, IN
  • 22 SEP 2018
    Powell Hall, St. Louis, MO
    St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
    Gemma New, conductor
  • 08 JUN 2018
    Chelsea Music Festival
    St. Paul's German Lutheran Church, New York, NY
    Ken-David Masur, conductor
  • 25 MAR 2018
    South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
    Civic Orchestra of Chicago
    Tito Munoz, conductor
  • 24 MAR 2018
    Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL
    Academy Orchestra of the Music Institute of Chicago
    James Setapen, conductor
  • 24 MAR 2018
    Tilson Auditorium, Terre Haute, IN
    Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra
    David Bowden, conductor
  • 10 FEB 2018
    Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York, NY
    Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra
    Chris Whittaker, conductor
  • 07 NOV 2017
    Embassy Suites Hotel, Winston-Salem, NC
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro - Gate City Camerata
  • 17 OCT 2017
    Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, MO
    Kansas City Symphony Orchestra
    Jason Seber, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18,20,24 October - Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, MO
  • 12 OCT 2017
    NJPAC, Newark, NJ
    New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
    Zian Zhang, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 October - Richardson Auditorium, Princeton, NJ
    14 October - Count Basie Theater, Red Bank, NJ
    15 October - NJPAC, Newark, NJ
  • 17 SEP 2017
    St. Anne's Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro - Gate City Camerata
  • 11 AUG 2017
    Grand Teton Music Festival
    Walk Festival Hall, Teton Village, WY
    Donald Runnilces, conductor

    Other Dates:
    12 August - Walk Festival Hall, Teton Village, WY
  • 23 JUL 2017
    Tanglewood Festival
    Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox MA
    Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Ken-David Masur, conductor
  • 30 JUN 2017
    Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Las Palmas G.C.
    Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria
    JoAnn Faletta, conductor
  • 24 MAY 2017
    Konstanz, Germany
    Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz
    Thomas Dorsch, conductor
  • 24 APR 2017
    Western Washington University PAC Concert Hall, Bellingham WA
    Western Washington University Symphony Orchestra
    Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel, conductor
  • 11 DEC 2016
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Sinfonietta de Lausanne
    Alexander Mayer, conductor
  • 16 OCT 2016
    Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX
    Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Brendan Townsend, conductor
  • 14 OCT 2016
    Cambridge, MA
    MIT Symphony Orchestra
    Adam Boyles, conductor
  • 08 OCT 2016
    Wheaton, IL
    Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra
    Daniel Sommerville, conductor
  • 14 MAY 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
    Daniel Hege, conductor
  • 08 APR 2016
    Boston, MA
    Symphony Nova
  • 18 MAR 2016
    Penfield, NY, United States
    Rachel Lauber, conductor
  • 17 MAR 2016
    Raleigh, NC
    North Carolina Symphony
    Karen Strittmatter Galvin; Grant Llewellyn, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18,21,22 March - Raleigh, NC
  • 11 MAR 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Northwest Sinfonietta

    Other Dates:
    12,13 March - Seattle, WA
  • 06 FEB 2016
    Fairfax, VA
    Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
    Christopher Zimmerman, conductor
  • 04 FEB 2016
    Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Paavali Jumppanen; Eugene Tzigane, conductor
  • 22 JAN 2016
    Springfield, IL, United States
    Illinois Symphony
    Alastair Willis, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23 January - Springfield, IL, United States
  • 20 JAN 2016
    Ultraschall Berlin - Festival für neue Musik
    Berlin, Germany
    Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    Kristjan Järvi, conductor
  • 15 JAN 2016
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Utah Philharmonia
    Robert Baldwin, conductor

Even more moving was Aaron Jay Kernis’ “Musica Celestis,” a kind of outer-space exploration of eerie hymnlike harmonies building to first one climax and then another before receding to deep space. Nakahara suggested a parallel with Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Kernis’ music shares a mystical quality with Barber’s together with a superb command of instrumentation. But Kernis’ projects an unmistakable individuality.
Travis Rivers, The Spokesman Review,22/03/2009
The piece is punctuated by soaring melodic strings...and bursts of striking dissonance and palpable tension.
Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star,24/10/2008
An indelible memory was formed by Aaron Jay Kernis’ 1990 Musica Celestis. Like Barber’s ubiquitous Adagio, it began life as the slow movement of a string quartet, and was quickly arranged for full string orchestra. Its evocations of endless hymns of praise to God included whispered strings in exquisite soft harmonies, with a gradual accretion to treacherously high, keening string tessitura. A quick cutoff drops instantly back into slow, lush harmonic thoughts where gentle consecutive falling intervals coalesce to form a hauntingly spiritual and deeply satisfying conclusion.
Herman Trotter , The Buffalo News,16/03/2008
Musica Celestis stands in comparison to Barber's famous Adagio. Like the Barber piece, Kernis's work is a string-orchestra transcription of an adagio movement from a string quartet and is effectively solemn and mournful. Kernis's music is about melody, harmony, technique - and relaxation. This is a superbly engineered CD. A highly recommended CD.
It is a relief after such vehement and splenetic music to encounter Kernis’s most famous piece. This is the middle movement of his First String Quartet transcribed by the composer for full string orchestra...certainly anyone needs to see this out. This writing is gentle, yielding, supplicatory and emphatic yet never hectoring...
Rob Barnett,,01/01/0001
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