THE ORANGE COUNTY YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (OCYSO) PRESENTS WORLD WAR I: A CENTENARY PERSPECTIVE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE YOUNG MUSICIANS FOUNDATION DEBUT ORCHESTRA (YMF) IN JANUARY 2016
LA PHIL presents a WWI commemorative orchestral concert with OCYSO and YMF on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 7:30PM as part of the prestigious SOUNDS ABOUT TOWN series including the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s PASSCHENDAELE
LACMA hosts a chamber music concert as part of “Sundays Live” with OCYSO and YMF musicians featuring works by Schoenberg and Ravel and a World Premiere orchestration of Ives songs by composer Vera Ivanova Sunday, January 17 at 6PM
Los Angeles’s Central Library hosts a panel discussion in the Mark Taper Auditorium from 2-4 on Sunday, January 10 featuring a distinguished panel including WWI historian Dr. Jennifer Keene, poet and former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia with President and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County John Mangum
(Los Angeles, CA) – World War I: A Centenary Perspective presented by the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra and music director and conductor Daniel Alfred Wachs in collaboration with Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra and music director and conductor Yuga Cohler, brings together major Southern California area institutions to explore the musical and artistic response to wartime. Through two OCYSO and YMF collaborative concert performances including a major orchestral performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) as part of the LA PHIL’s Sounds About Town series and a chamber ensemble performance as part of Sunday Live at LACMA, along with a panel discussion presented by LA’s Central Library in the Mark Taper Auditorium, the week-long commemoration takes us on a journey of sound and speech in reflection of the Great War.
British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s work Passchendaele will be given its U.S. Premiere at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 10. This work was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war and comes on the heels of two previous works the composer has written about WWI. “The main thing the centenary should do is make you think for yourself,” the composer says. “The young musicians that will play the piece in Birmingham and L.A. are very distant from the First World War, but they should know what happened and make their own minds up for their generation.” The other works on the program include Carl Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, “The Inextinguishable” which was composed during World War I, and Ives’s well-known “The Unanswered Question” drawing us into contemplation and questions about war that often go unanswered, further encouraging one to explore one’s own response to conflict. In the words of composer Nielsen, “Music is life, and, like life, inextinguishable.”
Prior to the WDCH performance, there will be a symposium featuring a distinguished panel of guests presented by LA’s Central Library downtown in the Mark Taper Auditorium from 2:00-4:00PM. The discussion will feature distinguished WWI historian and Professor at Chapman University Dr. Jennifer Keene, acclaimed poet, Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC and former chairman of the NEA Dana Gioia, and President and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County John Mangum. Through literary and musical perspectives, the discussion will take us on a journey through differing artistic responses to war.
Finally, the commemoration will culminate with a featured performance at LACMA as part of Sundays Live with performers from both OCYSO and YMF in a special event exploring music written around WWI interspersed with readings of war letters to draw the audience further into that time period. This performance will feature a World Premiere orchestration by composer Vera Ivanova of Ives’s Three Songs of War, sung by a member of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alongside selections from Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2 and Verklarte Nacht and Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin.
“I consider artistic collaboration as a cornerstone of my tenure as music director of OCYSO”, says Daniel Alfred Wachs. “Under my leadership, OCYSO has collaborated with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg in a side-by-side at the Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall where we presented the U.S. Premiere of a work by Kurt Schwertsik; and with Chapman University, and the University of California-Irvine. We are now thrilled to be working with YMF, enabling us to present the U.S. Premiere and OCYSO co-commission of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Passchendaele to a wider audience in both Orange County and in Los Angeles. We are honored that the Los Angeles Philharmonic is presenting us on this prestigious series.”
“YMF’s partnership with OCYSO is unique in its scope, showcasing not only the combined power of our orchestras, but also featuring the voices of our individual musicians through the intimate chamber performance. We look forward to the challenges this repertoire presents, first for our musicians, who will heighten their awareness of ensemble playing, as well as achieve individual artistic growth. Finally, we look forward to their performance revealing the visions of our three composers, reminding future generations of the tragedy that was the First World War,” states Julia Gaskill, Executive Director of YMF.
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