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Boston Conservatory Orchestra Live from Sanders Theatre, Harvard University

April 23, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Tune in to birn1 on Thursday, April 23 at noon for an exclusive broadcast of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee Orchestra’s concert, featuring Grammy Award winner composer Mason Bates!

The orchestra performed the pieces The Oak (1934) by Florence Beatrice Smith Price, The B-Sides (2015) by Mason Bates, and Symphony No. 5 (1937) by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Born in Arkansas, composer Florence B. Price obtained two degrees from New England Conservatory, a Teacher’s Diploma in piano and a Soloist’s Diploma in organ.  Despite racial violence, financial struggles, and a divorce from an abusive husband, Price prospered as a composer.  She won the Wanamaker competition in 1932 and was the first black woman to have a piece performed by a major American orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Her one-movement symphonic poem The Oak, written in the mid-1930’s , was premiered in 2000 by the San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic.  It has been praised for its “unassailable grandeur and depth” and gives the listener a glimpse into the serious art of a master composer.

Curator, DJ, and composer of the 2019 Grammy Award-winning opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, featured artist Mason Bates serves as the first composer-in-residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  His symphonic music is the first to receive widespread acceptance for its unique integration of electronic sounds.  Bates has also composed for films and serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, which offers instruction in both composition and music technology.  Like the forgotten bands from the flip side of an old piece of vinyl, The B-Sides offers brief landings on a variety of peculiar planets, unified by a focus on fluorescent orchestral sonorities and the morphing rhythms of electronica.

Dmitri Shostakovich premiered his fifth symphony with the Leningrad Philharmonic in the winter of 1937 at the peak of Soviet repression in Russia.  It was titled by the composer as “The creative reply of a Soviet artist to just criticism,” the symphony was a brave and pithy response to Stalin’s harsh criticism of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District.  The symphony is stylistically varied, a heroic combination of dissonance and classical forms.

The concert took place on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Sanders Theatre on the campus of Harvard University.

Click here at 12:00 p.m. EDT to listen at the rebroadcast of that live performance on birn1!


April 23, 2020
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
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