Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts to Feature Award-Winning Composer and Pianist |
Composer Scott Ordway was on a trip to Istanbul when he first heard the call to prayer in a Muslim country.
The sounds came every few hours, reverberating from afar to nearby mosques, and eventually immersing him in sound.
“I experienced it as a sonic phenomenon,” Ordway said from his home in Philadelphia. “I found it moving and beautiful, and began to imagine what it might look like in other contexts, both surrounded by sound from every possible direction, but also surrounded by sound that drives human activity .”
A few years later, in 2018, Ordway channeled this sound memory to create a work for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. As with all his pieces, it started with the question: What if?
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“I had the idea that all the bells in the world would ring at the same time, from the smallest to the biggest, on a glorious morning,” he said. “How would it feel to be a person that morning and start to realize something was going on and it wasn’t a coincidence?”
From this was born the 13-minute piece “In the Kingdom of Bells”, a piece that explores the feeling of progressive awareness of something magical happening. He will kick off the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Return Celebration” Saturday and Sunday at the Pikes Peak Center.
This weekend’s concerts mark the first time Music Director Josep Caballé-Domenech will serve as conductor since 2020. After 18 months of a contract dispute, Philharmonic management and the Pikes Peak Musicians Association have agreed to a three-year contract in October. Since then, the symphony has performed twice, at Christmas and New Year, but without Caballé-Domenech at the helm.
“Seeing Josep in person again with the musicians will be a homecoming,” said Nathan Newbrough, President and CEO of the Philharmonic Orchestra. “It will be an emotional time for many of us.”
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In addition to Ordway’s piece, the concerts will feature Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme of Haydn” and Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” with guest pianist Yekwon Sunwoo, gold medal winner of the prestigious International Competition of Van Cliburn piano.
“There have been discussions that maybe we need to keep it simple when we return to performing,” Newbrough said. “But in the end it was decided that we wanted to swing for the fences. We are stepping up with a big program and featuring an exciting young pianist. She’s a star. »
Ordway’s concert opening piece differs from the traditional concert overture – usually a big, bold, loud number. Instead, his work begins silently and gradually builds, culminating in what he called an “ecstatic climax” eight minutes later. Many of his works begin and end in silence, an important theme not only in his music, but also in his spiritual life. He’s a Quaker, and much of their communal worship is based on silence.
“An important part of my spiritual life is to wait in silence with a group of people and to believe that from this silent waiting moments of profound revelation have the possibility of emerging,” Ordway said.
“It’s also important in my way of thinking about music. A major task as a composer is to create a sound architecture in which a listener can truly hear and appreciate simple musical beauty.
Contact the author: 636-0270
Contact the author: 636-0270