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News - Augusta Read Thomas ::::: Schirmer News Spring 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010


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On April 30, The Juilliard Orchestra and Xian Zhang, conductor present the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ newest orchestral work, Jubilee, which was commissioned with the generous support of the Francis Goelet Trust. Dedicated to fellow composer and friend Christopher Rouse, Thomas’ new work is in four movements (fanfare: awaking rituals; caprice: effervescent arabesques; reverie: prayer for a departed friend; and gambol: whimsical virtuosic romp) and has a total duration of 18 minutes. Each of the four movements can be played independently of the rest of the work, as short stand-alone orchestral compositions.

Augusta Read Thomas © Michael Lutch

Thomas comments on the premiere:
I am deeply grateful to The Juilliard Orchestra and Xian Zhang for giving the world premiere and greatly look forward to working together during my week-long visit in the Juilliard community. Although my music is highly notated, precise, carefully structured, thoughtfully proportioned, and so forth… and although we will have 90 to 100 musicians elegantly working together, from the very specific text, I like my music to have the feeling that it is organically being self-propelled — on the spot. As if we listeners, the audience, are overhearing a captured improvisation. I like my music to be played so that the "inner-life" of the different rhythmic syntaxes is specific, with characterized phrasing of the colors and harmonies, etc.- keeping it ultra alive –such that it always sounds spontaneous.

Thomas has recently been adding to her vast contribution to the orchestral genre with works such as Absolute Ocean for soprano and orchestra and the Helios Choros triptych for orchestra which depicts Helios, the sun god and son of Hyperion as he drives his chariot across the sky from east to west lighting up the day.

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