The September concert, which will kick of the orchestra’s celebration of Lexington’s 300th anniversary, features music dedicated to the love of place and of city. The program consists of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ second symphony, known as the “London” symphony, and recent compositions by two living female composers, Jennifer Higdon and Sky Macklay.
The orchestra will perform the world premiere of Dissolving Bands by young composer Sky Macklay. Macklay was selected through a process of collaboration with the Walden School in New Hampshire, a summer music school and festival that offers programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through music improvisation and composition. A jury consisting of Lexington Symphony Music Director Jonathan McPhee and Walden school leadership selected Macklay to be the recipient of a commission by the Lexington Symphony. The composer was asked to reflect on the possible meanings of the town’s 300th anniversary in musical language.
Macklay describes the resulting work, Dissolving Bands, as inspired by the first sentence in the Declaration of Independence which begins, ‘When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.’” She writes, “Musically, I channeled the emotions that the Massachusetts colonists may have felt before the eruption of the Revolutionary war, beginning with rapidly changing instrumental choirs ascending in staccato clusters of unpredictable turbulence and ever-mounting tension. Later sections express uncertainty, fortitude, and the calm, open space of unknown future possibilities.”
Lexington Symphony will also be performing two movements (“Peachtree Street” and “Skyline”) from Jennifer Higdon’s 2004 composition City Scape. Pulitzer-prize winner Jennifer Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers working today. Her list of commissioners range from the Cleveland Orchestra to the Tokyo String Quartet, from The President’s Own Marine Band to Hilary Hahn. Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdon’s work as a “deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.” She has also received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters (two awards), the National Endowment for the Arts, and ASCAP.
Tickets are available online at www.lexingtonsymphony.org, by phone at 781.523.9009, with your check payable to Lexington Symphony, P.O. Box 194, Lexington MA 02420, or in person at The Crafty Yankee at 1838 Mass Ave. in Lexington Center (cash/check only). Ticket prices for the September 23 concert are $50, $40, $30, $20 (student).