This season’s New Sounds Live Concert Series gets underway when Mos Def, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, songstress Mellissa Hughes, and other special guests join members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic for a "reduction sampler." Hear Derek Bermel’s arrangements of Mos Def’s original songs, 19th century Shape Note singing, works by David T. Little, Lev Zhurbin (aka Ljova), Corey Dargel, and Frederic Rzewski, all in small ensemble versions of music that the full orchestra will play later in the season. The performance takes place at 7PM in the World Financial Center's Winter Garden on Wednesday October 12, 2011. Admission is FREE.
On this sampler program, hear the results of a collaboration between chamber players from the Brooklyn Philharmonic and rapper and actor Mos Def. Grammy‐nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has arranged the hip hop artist’s original songs, including his 2008 single “Life In Marvelous Times.”
There's also Frederic Rzewski’s masterpiece of musical agitprop, “Coming Together,” a propulsive and dramatic work for a quartet plus speaking voice. The text comes from a letter written by Sam Melville, an inmate at Attica prison, and was one of the leaders of the 1971 Attica riots, where we was killed.
Then listen to vocalist Mellissa Hughes and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of Dianne Berkun, perform an excerpt from the newly co-commissioned work, "Am I Born" by composer David T. Little. The piece is based on Francis Guy’s evocative 1820 painting “Winter Scene in Brooklyn,” currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum.
Plus, Corey Dargel’s art-pop song cycle “What Might Have Been” for voice and amplified strings, and an excerpt from composer Lev Zhurbin’s score for the award-winning 2008 Russian cartoon "Only Love."
This performance will be recorded for later broadcast on WNYC 93.9 FM and wnyc.org and offered as a live webcast on Q2 Music.
Launched in 1857, the Brooklyn Phil is not only one of the oldest living orchestras in the New World, but with 166 world premiers under its belt, 65 works commissioned from living composers, and the accolades of 22 ASCAP awards, it's also one of the most adventurous and widely acclaimed musical forces in America as well. The New York Times calls it “feisty and provocative.” Rolling Stone raves the Brooklyn Phil is “vital” and “inspired.” In 2011, newly appointed Artistic Director Alan Pierson rebooted the Philharmonic, taking it on the road deep into Brooklyn's famed neighborhoods to connect with the deep and vibrant musical traditions of the people who love it most.
Alan Pierson is the artistic director and conductor of the acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the London Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of ST. Luke's, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Steve Reich Ensemble, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and The Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. Pierson is also Principal Conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble, and was a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has collaborated with major composers and performers, including Yo Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, La Monte Young, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan and Elliot Feld. He has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD.