Music Director Robert Spano will lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in "A King Remembrance" - an annual musical tribute to DR. Martin Luther King, Jr. presented by Delta Air Lines - on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 8:00 p.m., in Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. The concert will commemorate the anniversary of the civil rights leader's death.
"Our annual musical tribute to DR. Martin Luther King, Jr., has been one of Atlanta's greatest traditions for over 20 years," said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. "It is an honor to pay homage to Dr. King and his legacy, while also uniting our community through music. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with the King Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. I'd also like to thank Delta Air Lines for helping us bring this meaningful event to Atlantans."
The evening's program will feature two world premieres, including a new work by jazz pianist, and long-time friend of the ASO, Marcus Roberts - Spirit of the Blues: Piano Concerto in C minor- which consists of three movements and is dedicated to conductor Seiji Ozawa and the memory of Dr. King. Of the work, Mr. Roberts has said, "Mr. Ozawa inspired me to bring the worlds of jazz and classical music together. Without him, this concerto would not have been possible." This new piano concerto was co-commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Savannah Music Festival.
The Orchestra will also perform the world premiere of Everything Lasts Forever by composer and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassist Michael Kurth. The work was inspired by a sign posted in the Krog Street tunnel in Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood. "The irony of that phrase being eroded away by wind and rain, and being painted over by street artists, inspired me," Mr. Kurth said. "Each movement refers to street art I see as I drive to work along Memorial Drive. It's tonal, very rhythmic, and a little quirky, with melodies that will hopefully stay with the listener." The premiere of Everything Lasts Forever will mark the second time the Orchestra has performed one of Mr. Kurth's works. To celebrate 10 years of Robert Spano, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles, and the Atlanta School of Composers, he was one of 10 composers commissioned to write a fanfare (May Cause Dizziness) to commemorate the milestone during the Atlanta Symphony's 2010-11 season.
Additionally, the Orchestra will give the ASO subscription premiere of The Triumph of Day by student composer Commodore Primous. Mr. Primous, a freshman at Pebblebrook High School, won the Atlanta Symphony's inaugural Next Generation student composition contest in Spring 2012 and worked with Mr. Kurth to convert his work for solo piano into a full orchestral piece. The Orchestra gave the world premiere of The Triumph of Day in October as part of the Orchestra's Concerts for Young People series. The work has already been performed for nearly 25,000 students.
Rounding out this "King Remembrance" Concert will be "Symphonic Dances" from Bernstein's West Side Story and Rainbow Body by Atlanta School of Composers member Christopher Theofanidis.
The concert will be repeated on Friday, April 5, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.
The Orchestra will also perform this program - sans the work by Mr. Primous - on Saturday, April 6, 2013, as part of the Savannah Music Festival. This will mark the Orchestra's seventh visit to the festival.