Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Daniil Trifonov Piano
Gershwin Piano Concerto in F
Clyne This Moment
Still Symphony No. 4 (“Autochthonous”)
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue represented a turning point in classical music and brought a uniquely American sound to the art form, leaving audiences and fellow artists hungry to hear more from this daring young composer. After hearing Rhapsody, Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, immediately commissioned a piano concerto from the composer. The result was the Piano Concerto in F, a spectacular showcase and an exhilarating mix of sinuous jazz, mournful blues, and a bit of Broadway bravura. Performing this American classic is Daniil Trifonov, “one of the finest pianists today,” whose “revelatory performances” (The Guardian) leave audiences breathless.
London-born, New York–based composer Anna Clyne is a creator of “uncommon gifts and unusual methods,” hailed for works that are “immediate, mystical, and vibrant” (The New York Times). She draws inspiration from an array of art forms including dance, painting, film, and poetry. This program features one of her newest works. This Moment is “a meditative reflection on [Zen Master and peace activist] Thich Nhat Hanh’s words ‘The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.’” The piece is also inspired by Japanese and Buddhist calligraphy.
Capping the program is a mood-boosting, melodic work by the great American composer William Grant Still. He created the work to represent the spirit of the American people, and in each movement you hear the qualities he ascribed to them: optimism, energy, humor, and warmth. Still’s daughter Judith wrote that of all her father’s works, this one is a tribute to “people who came ‘from the soil,’” who “rose up and acquitted themselves, bringing along their unique songs, humor, and distinctive, vibrant culture.”
Learn more about the life and music of William Grant Still on our blog.
Programs featuring the music of William Grant Still are supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. pewcenterarts.org