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Diverse All-American Pieces and Composers

Diverse All-American Pieces and Composers

Called “riotously funky” by the Chicago Tribune, Jonathan Newman’s Blow It Up, Start Again was commissioned by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2012 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. The piece continues to be performed by orchestras around the world. Trained as a pianist, trombonist, and singer, Newman’s music incorporates many styles from classical to jazz, and everything in between. In fact, Newman is a founding member of the composer-consortium BCM International, a group of stylistically-diverse composers dedicated to mixing up the repertoire of “traditional” classical music.

George Walker, an African-American pianist, organist, and composer was born in 1922. Lyric for Strings is based on the Second Movement of the String Quartet No. 1 (another one of Walker’s works) and is one of the most frequently performed orchestral works by an American composer. Lyric for Strings was originally titled Lament, but Walker later changed the title of the piece he composed in memory of his grandmother. Walker’s compositions have been influenced by many musical styles, but the composer would not conform to one specific style. Instead, Walker was inspired by his diverse knowledge of music to create pieces he could call his own. Throughout this life, Walker composed more than 90 works.

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Friday, January 31 at 1:30 pm

Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.

Meet our soloist, Jeffrey Biegel, at Musical Insights. He and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the February concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, January 31 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to 847-562-5318.

Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.