The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the largest and oldest performing arts institution in Anne Arundel County, opens Season 62 on Friday, September 29th and Saturday, September 30th, 2023, at Maryland Hall in Annapolis, Maryland, with Masterworks I “Music to Remember”. The evening begins with Carlos Simon’s “This Land”. Simon is an American composer and Composer-in-Residence for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. World renowned Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero will play Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s Peter Minkler will be the featured solo violist for the United States Première of Boris Pigovat’s “Holocaust Requiem.”
ASO Conductor and Artistic Director José-Luis Novo is delighted to open Season 62 with these meaningful orchestral pieces: “I am very excited to start our season exploring the connections between people and their native land through music. Each composer in this program, Carlos Simon, Edvard Grieg and Boris Pigovat exhibit a very distinct and expressive voice representing their own communities. And I am equally thrilled to welcome pianist Gabriela Montero to her debut performances with the ASO. She fits like a glove into this theme,” he said.
The visceral power of music impacts the lives of everyone. It puts us in touch with our better selves, enriches the soul and frees the imagination!José-Luis Novo, Conductor and Artistic Director
Masterworks I is an opportunity to showcase the intersection of art and life. The title “Music to Remember” lends weight to the importance of using our individual and collective voices – through spoken word, art, and music – to remember history, to not repeat it, and to lend action in the achievement of social justice, democracy and peace.
Composer Carlos Simon’s This Land, a lush and bright piece that incorporates the national anthems of immigrants to America, representing hope and unity. Grieg’s Piano Concerto is the only concerto Grieg completed and remains one of the most popular of the genre. Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero will be the soloist for this gorgeous and famous piece of music. The ASO’s première of Boris Pigovat’s “Holocaust Requiem,” will be performed in memory of the 82nd anniversary of the massacre of 33,771 Jewish people over two days in the Babyn Yar ravine near Kyiv, Ukraine in 1941.
Novo included the United States première of “Holocaust Requiem” with hopes that his programming for Season 62 will provide space for symphony audiences to enjoy emotional and beautiful music while also thinking about the interconnectedness of humanity and our shared responsibility to cherish and foster a just society. “When we are confronted with the most despicable acts against human dignity, no matter how difficult they are to address, we need to make sure we do not forget, because it is the only healthy path to rebuild hope in our younger generations. Pigovat’s music places ourselves inside the horror of the Babyn Yar massacre, but it also shows us the guiding light out of darkness in that special way that only the best symphonic works can,” he said.
Pianist Gabriela Montero will perform as soloist for Edvard Grieg’s celebrated Piano Concerto. Born in Venezuela, Montero started her piano studies at age four, making her concerto debut at age eight in her hometown of Caracas. Montero is winner of the 4th International Beethoven Award and an Honorary Consul for Amnesty International, and has been recognized for Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights by the Human Rights Foundation. She has delivered the Dean’s Lecture at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and has spoken and performed twice at the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.
Season 62 marks the second Masterworks Series season returning to live concerts at Maryland Hall and Music Center at Strathmore since the pandemic, and follows a hugely successful international tour to Spain in July, 2022. The highest level of professionalism and excellence are evident in musical programming choices made by Maestro Novo for Season 62. Carlos Simon, Anna Clyne, Boris Pigovat, Narong Prangcharoen, and Nicky Sohn are stunning and virtuosic examples of new artists assuming the mantle of engaging the full power of music to speak to culture, art, and society. Guest artists include internationally renowned musicians: pianist Gabriela Montero, cellist Steven Isserlis, classical guitarist Pepe Romero, violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen, pianist Awadagin Pratt, and violist Peter Minkler. Classical pieces by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Respighi, Elgar & Schumann contribute to a full and vibrant season of symphonic music.
Tickets for Masterworks I are available now, along with Season subscriptions!